Moxie in the Dreamscape
I’ve heard you can’t die in dreams. I’ve heard the shock always wakes you up. Oh sure, you’ll fall, but that dyskentic kick or lunge and gasp for breath always sends you gasping on the surface of the third dimension , grateful and amused. Thank God, it was just a dream.
I am eyes darting, side to side in the severed head of Roy Orbison. I always take the form of Roy Orbison in my dreams, because I suppose my subconscious recognizes him as the epitome of cool. I don’t feel so cool now looking through dark sunglasses at my arm over here, my foot over there, and viscera scattered here and there. There is never blood in the dreamscape, just wounds and pieces.
I hear Moxie screaming and sobbing. He’s still working on Moxie. I don’t know what her father had against me–or us–but he told me if he ever caught me with her again he’d kill us both. Moxie’s father is a man of his word. Right now, I hear him killing Moxie. I hear screaming. I am dead and haven’t returned to the surface. Moxie should also be on the surface now.
When the screaming stops I hear distant voices. Pieces of conversations from today and conversations from years ago play as a soundtrack,” Clear!” “I hate it when you cut yourself onstage,” “His lips are blue!” “I am so proud of you,” “I made a mistake,” I pick my ex-wife, Hannah’s voice from the din. “My father said you were unstable,” I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” “Please,” gray faces and movements like holographs, or ghosts, above, below, and all around.
A mime stands over me with an invisible axe held above its head. Moxie’s father always takes the form of a mime, but he still speaks, “I told you, leave my daughter alone!” he says and plunges the axe into Roy Orbison’s head. I flinch for impact, and when I open my eyes I am seeing from two angles. One angle sees pieces of me and pieces of Moxie scattered about. The mime steps over the pieces as he walks away and fades into the background. The other angle is eye to eye with Moxie’s severed head. Her jade eye darts from side to side, relaxes and locks with mine. If I am dead and never return to the surface, this is more Heaven than I deserve.
Couples always have cute, funny, or ironic stories about their first date. Moxie and I were holding hands before we’d ever spoke with a scarab hookah between us, blowing blue smoke. We drifted on a transparent boat in a pink sea of infinity, above and below us, all serenity. She was nude; I was in Roy Orbison’s suit. I pushed red hair from jade eyes and leaned into her. Our bodies mixed into one being, beyond sex, and before the climax I awoke and saw the empty bottle of Ambien and all around were scattered beer cans and liquor bottles. We hadn’t spoken a word but I knew her name was Moxie and I had to get back to her.
Life on the surface was over. My band had split up; divorcing Hannah was about akin to self-amputating a gangrenous arm, and moving back in with mom, and then…then the horrible job at Target! I was already an alcoholic, but I was drinking myself into the next day without sleeping. I was prescribed Ambien, and the doctor said never mix the pills with booze, I of course did, and a suicide attempt during a drunken debauch led me to Moxie in the dreamscape. I would go through the motions of my surface life, clock in, and clock out, kiss mom goodbye, back to work, back home, three Ambien and a few shots, and back to the dreamscape, drifting with Moxie. Essentially, the same dream, with different variations, from us making love on wispy clouds of cotton candy to us on our backs gazing at skulls that pin-pricked a maroon sky.
My tolerance for the sleeping pills started to build and I had to take more, drink more, and when I did make it to the dreamscape in Moxie’s place was the mime. He never formally said he was her father. I just knew. Once in the dreamscape he tried to kiss me, and I denied him. Another time in the dreamscape I asked about Moxie and was told to leave her alone or he’d kill us both.
Here I am forever gazing into Moxie’s jade eyes as voices and movements undulate and morph, above, below, and around me. I single out my mother’s sobbing. I single out Hannah’s voice, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” “My father said you were unstable.”
Telepathic I love yous pass like Morse code between our eyes, “I love you, love you, love you…”
Jason Wayne Allen has published stories in various horror, bizarro, and transgressive fiction publications and anthologies, appearing digitally as well as in print. He is currently part of the editing staff at Strangehouse Books. Jason Wayne is Southern by the disgrace of some dark god, but currently resides in the Midwest. jasonwayneallen.wordpress.com