This Isn’t Your Dream
“This isn’t your dream, it’s mine,” he said, slurping his double-shot espresso and peering at me through steamed-up glasses. I opened my mouth to argue but was distracted by the giraffe that had just ducked into the coffee shop. Its brown and yellow neck bent uncomfortably to accommodate the ceiling, and its spindly legs trembled a bit as it stood in the corner, waiting for the barista’s attention. I smiled sympathetically into its soft brown eye, which happened to be hovering just inches above my blueberry scone.
He was still staring at me, the guy with the glasses—Bob, I thought his name was, but I couldn’t remember for sure. If this really was his dream and I was merely one of its inhabitants, surely I would at least know his name, especially since we appeared to be on some sort of date. The thought gave me some satisfaction, but I didn’t point it out. Instead, I asked, “What makes you so sure?” I had to raise my voice because a man with six arms was playing a sound check on his double neck guitar.
Bob sat back, fiddled with his wristwatch.
“Because there’s no way you could have come up with a place like this.” A small, smug smile sat on his face.
“How can you say that? You don’t even know me,” I screeched, just as the sound check ended. The entire room turned to look at me, even the playing cards in the back corner that were playing Go Fish over a real fish pond. I wrinkled my nose at the smell of carp.
Bob didn’t answer. He was busy chasing down his napkin, which had folded itself into a canoe and was attempting to float away.
“My point,” I continued, wondering if I should ask the giraffe’s opinion, “is that you can’t prove it one way or the other.”
“And you can?” Bob gave up on the napkin and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand instead.
I looked down at my breasts, which had become noticeably larger and firmer.
“That doesn’t prove anything,” he said.
He stood up, naked except for his socks.
“That doesn’t prove anything either,” I said.
We both looked away and I took a sip of my latte.
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Portland Fiction Project
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