The apartment seems off somehow. A Hollywood sell-out, not the authintic indy short that would make him feel nostalgic. He 'd shared that small flat with 2.5 roommates. The .5 was Kevin, a high school friend who paid $250 a month to crash at their place whenever he didn’t feel like driving back home. Carter would have let him stay for free, but they always needed the money.
Kevin is here, and they 're setting on one of the mattresses strewn along the floor of the single large space. Carter remembers discussions of whether this was a living room or a bedroom. Technically it was both, so they eventually opted to simply call it The Room.
The Room was thick with smoke, and a thin beam of daylight sliced through the toxic cloud like a laboratory specimen cutter. It must be around the time they had taken to visiting the local humidor, buying foreign cigarettes. Kevin was in his Gauloises phase. The way Kevin handled the crumpled soft pack and made sweeping gesticulations while discussing things—anything—in enthusiastic detail made the French deathsticks his perfect prop.
“When do you have class?” asked Carter.
“It’s Saturday, man.”
“Oh,” he said, briefly reflecting on how nice it is, even in a dream that you know is a dream, to learn it’s the weekend.
“Well, Kevin, what are we to do this lovely Saturday?” This was fun. He knew he was dreaming, but was asking Kevin what they were doing. He could get up and walk outside. He could go down the stairs, and head across the ...
... middle of paper ...
... stomach content that seemingly killed the living punch code, now static and inert.
The swan departed. Carter felt clear-headed again. He immediately tried to jump someplace else and succeeded—realizing he was back in The Room, alone. Smoke still hung like carcinogenic smog. He went out into the fresh summer air of the balcony, finding the hammock was right where it should be, and carefully climbed in. The steady drone of automotive traffic at the four-way stop below was soothing urban white noise, and helped return a sense of normality after a decidedly surreal experience. He started to fall asleep, too drained to consider the meaning of sleeping inside a dream.
A car drove by playing music, acoustic guitar and vocals. We spewed out questions waiting for answers, creating legends, religions, and myths. Books, stories, movies, and plays all trying to explain this...
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