A convention of notes and pamphlets. I meander the aisles and eye the vendors tables. A young woman approaches me, asks for my participation. Not now but soon, and it’s going to happen in Europe, so I say sure and sign the form. Soon I am home buying a plane ticket to Berlin.
The airport is grand and silent with sepia light warming the windows. I enter the plane and rest into a long chair at the window. The seating is sparse, each row only hosting two seats, one at each side of the cabin. Takeoff is smooth and the flight itself passes imperceptibly.
After landing I am taken by car to the city and then the city center. Berlin in name only, the city has a strong but approximate feel to the many familiar European streets which open into broad public squares. The roads are cobblestone and effulgent, buildings soft beneath an overcast and embering sky. There are blue ads for some business or bank posted about. I find my residence by following instructions given from the woman, open a steel door revealing a cluttered kitchen, dark and musty with a bunk bed in the center of it. Dust particles fall softly through slender crevaces of light. beyond the kitchen a hallway with several doors before widening out at the far end to a proper bedroom. The whole thing reminds me of the railroad apartments you see in Brooklyn. There are women, several of them, who emerge from the doorways. They’re here for the same reason i’m here, and i’m gripped by the sudden realization I didn’t tell my wife why I was coming here, or how it came about. I simply booked the trip, and left her in America.
This memory of my wife then collided with an insidious uncertainty as to why I am even here…Did I intend to participate? Did I fall in love with the young woman? It’s difficult to sense any knowing beyond the destructive threat I suddenly posed to my marriages trust. Even if she never discovers why I came here, would it eventually get around to her? Or would she continue on, tenderly, and never speak of it?
The women in the hallway direct me to the bunk beds in the kitchen. This is where I am to sleep. There are clothes and cooking items sprawled out on the mattress, so I push them aside and find rest rather quickly.
I wake and am set on heading to the convention. The hall is the same structure as the one at the beginning of my dream. The same young woman is there, and she is speaking with the other ones from the residence. We discuss something I can’t hear or understand. I am asked again to sign.
I wake. In the deep blue morning bathroom the threat persists. I find sleep again, later, after reaching out across the bed to her, the calm washing over everything in silent waves.