from The Nightmare Filled You With Scary
I thought I was sleeping so I grabbed a rifle from a man standing next to a horse and put it against my throat. The man asked if I was crazy and I said no that I was just having a bad dream. He nodded. I pulled the trigger and my neck tore open. Flowers bloomed from the blood inside my throat. The man made a bouquet and gave it to his wife who sat on the horse. When my body drained of blood I woke up on the hotel bed. I left the room and walked through the streets. I noticed Eric talking to a woman holding a parasol. I asked the woman if I could talk to Eric in private and she said sure and floated up into the clouds. I asked Eric if he thought that was odd and he said it wasn’t. I asked Eric if I was having a nightmare and he said I wasn’t, that if he shot me right now I would die. I told him that to get out of nightmares I have to shoot myself and he said that he already knew that. He said everyone had to do that. Then he excused himself, put a pistol in his mouth, and pulled the trigger. His body crumpled at my feet. Smoke rose from the back of his head. A fox ran up and dragged the body away. A few minutes later Eric walked out of a barber shop with a clean shave and saloon slicked hair. “Sorry about that,” he said. “What were we talking about?” I looked around the town. I saw a woman slit her own throat then appear on a roof top with a parasol. An older man shot himself in the mouth and appeared a minute later on the street selling antique glass wear. Eric curled himself up in a little ball on the dirt and fell asleep. A gun shot went off inside him and he popped back up. A woman fell from the sky and landed a few feet from us, her neck twisted, her chin resting just behind her shoulder, her parasol wet and draped over her face.
One morning I woke and there it was. Tugboat. Tugboat in the tree tops with birds sitting on the bow and flying through the open windows. Everyone in the village looking up at tugboat and then deciding to build an entire civilization around it. Tugboat is in the trees with ladders and bridges extending from its grey sides. A few people around here experience a deep sadness and throw themselves from tugboat. They think that tugboat can save them and when they get inside the tugboat nothing happens and then they run and jump off but there’s no river or ocean to catch them. I found a bloody finger and a tooth in a birds nest once. The arms of trees, the sharpness of air can do terrible things. Someone said at dinner that eventually we will have to move tugboat to water. That books written about tugboats say that tugboats can only help people if they live in water. I dreamed that night that the sky wasn’t a sky but an ocean. But when I woke up the next morning it didn’t work. Over the years more and more people said that tugboat had to be moved. It wasn’t right being up in the trees like that. No one lived in tugboat anymore but you and me. Tugboat was filled with little trees and miniature gardens and an orange tree and deer and a grizzly bear. It’s our dream and the blood screaming villagers beneath us don’t understand. When I first thought of tugboat it wasn’t in the trees. It was me steering the open sea with a big yellow hat and you drowning in the froth of the ocean. An octopus jumped onboard and extended to you eight life jackets. It’s always that way. Me coming to save you. An octopus helping. Tugboat in the trees.
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