© 2007 Tracy Franklin
I had a dream about Charlie a few nights ago,
Charlie of the turn-it-around-'til-I-apologize-for-the-accusation denials,
Charlie of the scare-the-wits-out-of-my-son screaming,
Charlie of the squeeze-my-windpipe-shut crook of his elbow.
Charlie that I loved more than reason or pride and God help me what if---I can't even think it.
I had a dream about him, and in this dream, he was whoring around.
That's not so far out there,
but my reaction to his whoring surprised me a bit.
There was only a bit of shouting on my end, no tears, and I turned to his father
(yeah, his father popped up, handy how these things happen in dreams),
I turned to his father and said,
"Make sure he's gone when I come back."
His father is a good man,
the kind of good man who puts what's right ahead of even family loyalty,
and he just nodded with understanding as
I turned back to the door.
"You brought this on yourself, you know," I heard him say to his son,
who was by this time throwing an old tantrum around.
I only noticed the fit peripherally, because now
I was wearing flip-flops and had a beach towel thrown over my shoulder,
and evidently the stairs outside my apartment door
led directly to the beach.
I stepped out onto the sand;
you've probably caught on by now that the sun was brilliant and
the sky was bright blue and had fluffy white clouds
and the water was sparkling.
I spread my towel beside and not apart from
a whole big group of people,
and I wasn't afraid to talk to them, but
I didn't need to talk to them;
it was okay just to lie there on the sand
in my red one-piece and be normal.
It was nice to be normal and be
a Baywatch babe, too, and
it was good to lie there and not be afraid of the world,
wonderful to lie there and know that
nothing that had happened was because I was a bitch,
or wasn't pretty enough,
or wasn't a good enough fuck.
I don't really think that that beach
is on my itinerary anytime soon,
but still, I liked the dream.
After all, if you look at the brochures long enough,
you find a way to travel.
All work is property of Tracy Franklin.
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