Stick it Back On
Dreamed 1980/7/15 by Chris Wayan
My mother drives me over the Bay Bridge to her new home, in north Oakland or south Berkeley. The bridge is over land, though! Where San Francisco Bay once stretched is now just sand as far as the eye can see. Though that isn't far: it's sunny, but a low tule fog hugs the ground.
At the bridge entrance, a strange man stares at coins on the sand. Is he the tollman? He tells us "If you see a girl around here, these are hers."
I do find the girl. But she's dead! Decapitated. Yet bloodless. Bloodless as a doll!
A detective comes and looks for clues. An odd guy for a cop: he tells me "Before turning to police work, I built this bridge."
Once the detective's been over the scene, the old tollman arranges her body. He lines her in different ways for quite a while--her exact orientation seems to matter to him, like she's an antenna, not a corpse.
At last, by chance, he sticks her head back on her neck.
Her eyes flutter. She blinks and looks at us in surprise. She says: "How long was I asleep?"
And that's all, folks. No tunnel of light, no divine messages... Shit, I wanted a great afterlife story!
Still, I talk with her a while. I give her the message inherent in the coins for her: "Call your parents." Again, it seems so banal, after the miracle.
She's attractive, yet I make no effort to become friends or lovers. Neither does she. In fact she's strangely emotionless, and I respond in kind. I leave... go upstairs.
Where I find clues proving who her murderer was--the Inspector in charge of investigating her case!
NOTES NEXT MORNING
How's that for a plan?
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