Friday, April 18, 2008

Dreaming of the Ace of Diamonds Part 1

I used to have psychic dreams in junior high. I swear. Maybe you don’t believe in this stuff, but if you do, there are a lot of people who say that girls’ psychic abilities are particularly high when they go through puberty. Something about your hormones, I guess. My interest in the occult certainly was at its peak then. My best friend at the time and I were using the Ouija board constantly, spending a lot of time talking to spirits, particularly these dead hippies that we thought we were reincarnated from and we thought could tell us our true loves. Yeah, umm, that’s a whole other story. My point is the dreams.

I bought a very good dream dictionary from the occult store and shoplifted another one. (Yeah, I had a little problem with that for awhile…) The second one was pretty Freudian and not useful. Honestly interpreting my dreams didn’t lead to much, it was the vivid, realistic dreams that seemed to keep coming true. And they were all about unfortunate things, namely three friendships that would fall apart during eighth grade.

Because of this I still hold a lot of stock in my dreams and my recent weekly nightmares about 2nd Book being rejected by my publisher are causing me much stress. However I can’t really remember the last time I’ve had a dream that foreshadowed any future events. Except for when I dream about a certain person, who we’ll call A (for Ace of Diamonds, a playing card he gave me on New Years Eve sophomore year of high school, which I kept and glued into a journal besides a school photo of him from junior high that he also gave me for unknown reasons, perhaps to show me that there was a time that he at least looked innocent). Whenever I dream about A, he has a tendency to reappear in my life. It’s unnerving. It’s always felt like he can see into my mind or my soul or something. For those of you who’ve read Twilight (which I am almost finished with and it totally lives up to the hype), he really reminds me of Edward and I have seriously wondered sometimes if he’s a vampire of sorts. He’s always known when I’m thinking of him, missing him, needing him, whatever. He reappears at that time, we hang for awhile and he disappears again and I am usually partially sad, but largely relieved. A is not a good person for me to be around.

I dreamt about A the other night and it is still vivid. In my dream Kathy and I are in the hallway of some generic university building. It’s old and crappy, resembles my college dorms, but I know it’s supposed to be work. We’re venting about work stuff and two strange guys walk by. Except one is not so strange. It’s A. He’s older than I remember, his skin is ashy and his dreads and clothes are covered in a layer of dust. He looks like he’s been sleeping in the streets. I call his name and he says, “Shit, Stephanie” and embraces me. It’s a long, firm hug like ours always are because it’s always a long time between sightings. He doesn’t smell as good as he used to. He smells like old cigarettes, like the bottom of an ashtray that’s gotten damp. And he smells like weed. I see that his eyes are bloodshot when he pulls away. I’m fighting tears because he’s in such a sorry state. He tells me that he and his dad have to step outside. He indicates the other guy who looks to be in the same shape as him. I know they are going to get high. I’ve never met A’s dad, though I know he is a drug addict from A’s stories, and A is not introducing us now.

They leave and I babble to Kathy, trying to explain how I know this guy who looks like a total bum. I feel guilty, I tell her, like I could have kept him from ending up that way. I walked away from him and didn’t give him another chance. I gave every loser and liar in my life another chance, but not him. Why not him? Kathy tells me I couldn’t have done anything and then changes the subject back to work. I’m still fighting tears, fighting the desire to insist to Kathy that I could have helped him, I could have!

Then we both smell pot. I know it’s him. Kathy says we have to go bust them or we’ll lose our jobs. I convince her I’ll do it and go outside. A looks so pathetic. He doesn’t care that he’s caught, doesn’t care that I’ll get in trouble, doesn’t care about anything. I ask him to please, please leave before Kathy calls the police. He shrugs, not thinking I’d ever do anything to him. It makes me so anxious that I wake up.

A was my second boyfriend, or maybe third depending on who I count as a boyfriend. I actually never used to count A until several years after our…whatever-it-was when he referred to me as his ex-girlfriend and I decided if I am an ex now, I must have been a girlfriend at some point. Our relationship lasted a very intense 2 months sophomore year of high school. He stole me from his best friend. At least that is how others viewed it. I broke up with the best friend two weeks before things happened with A. Told the other guy I couldn’t handle a relationship at the time because I was an emotional wreck. That was partially the truth, but partially I just wasn’t attracted to that guy as more than a friend. I was attracted to A since the first time I saw him, wearing a black trench coat over a shirt with a huge red anarchy symbol on it. He had chin length dreads and smooth skin the color of dark chocolate. He smelled somehow like a combination of smoke and clean laundry. I was wedged into a small car with him. Rage Against the Machine was on the stereo. I was dating the best friend at the time.

Two weeks post break up with the best friend, I walked into a movie theater with A and a bunch of other people and walked out of the movie theater holding A’s hand. The best friend was there. He was pissed. Two weeks later on New Year’s Eve Eve, he would get drunk and steal another friend’s car and drive it into a tree. It was a sapling, he wasn’t hurt, but the car was. We all banded together to try to cover up the situation, like get the tree out from under the car, fix the bumper. Halfway through this A decided that me, him and his other best friend should get stoned instead. We got yelled at by the ringleader of our group of friends, told that it was A’s and my fault that the car crash happened in the first place. I felt guilty. A didn’t care. He laughed it off and turned up the Portishead song on the radio.

A is a nihilist. He’s a sociopath. He does everything he does for the thrill he gets in the moment. He doesn’t really care about other people. He’s got this magnetism though, like I imagine a real life vampire would, so he gets away with screwing people over. He and the best friend, they spent all of high school stealing girls from each other. A did most of the stealing though. A also dated two girls at the same time for much of high school and they allowed it. Didn’t care. I didn’t let him pull that kind of crap on me, though.

A and I didn’t have a defined relationship. At my high school at least, people seemed to decided they were boyfriend/girlfriend rather officially. One person asked the other, “Will you go out with me?” and things were established. Never happened with A. We just made out a lot and talked about writing. He was the only guy in high school who really got my writing and he wrote, too. But then one day the biggest gossip in our group came up and told me she saw A making out with another girl at a party I didn’t go to. I confidently told her that A and I didn’t have a defined thing and he could do what he wanted. But I decided then I was through. It was sort of strange. Every other guy I was involved with, I let screw me over repeatedly. A messed up once and I walked away. I walked straight into The Worst Relationship Of My Life. I didn’t speak to A for nearly a year.

(To Be Continued Tomorrow…)

1 comment:

ALEXA YOUNG said...

This sounds like it has the makings of yet another great novel...dreams and premonitions and mesmerizing, indescribably vibey (possibly vampire) guys that are totally bad news but we still can't escape their magic? (Who hasn't met one of those???) I'm completely invested and wondering what's going to happen next. Can I also say I'm slightly comforted by the fact that you're actually wondering if your publisher will want your second book? I mean, I've read the excerpt and it's mind-blowingly great. Seriously. XO