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by Jordan J. Baum

illustrated by Mina Walker

I had a dream the other night about another person's dream.

But the other person's dream wasn't real. It was happening but it wasn't real. It was like a rollercoaster but a rollercoaster that was on TV. And the rollercoaster had legs & could crawl across a desert. A sharp sharp desert made of glass. But the desert at any time could be SMUSHED like a grape. And crumpled into a spiky little ball that you could drive into someone's skin like a hornet. You could get in your car, drive THROUGH the spiky little ball, & end up in denial.


Anyway in the dream I came across a large large large magnet. I say magnet but it wasn't really a magnet. It didn't really look like anything. It didn't really look like anything

It was black, but that didn't matter. The whole dream was black. There was actually no dream.


It was just blackness inside a dark space. But the space was twisty, like a crumpled up tissue. It wasn't quite like a crumpled up tissue, although there was snot everywhere. The whole dream had the feeling of a snot, like it was hard to move. Black black black black dark black translucent snot, through which you could see millions & millions & millions of tiny dots. The dots had no mass, but they were there, like marks on a paper. The only reason you could see the paper was because a light was shining in the back of it, a light that was made out of paper. It shone a lightlike substance that was actually lined notebook paper. And the notebook paper was cold you could tell.

Inside the notebook paper was a crease because it had been folded into a paper airplane. And you could feel the sensation of a pastel being dipped into ink & then being pushed down into the crease of the paper & slowly dragged across. You could feel it as if you were paper. But if only the parts of your body with the most nerve endings were paper. The tip of your penis, & your clitoris, your asshole, & your neck. So whenever you experienced pleasure in these areas you heard the sound of paper being rubbed. Like when you scribble with pen on a piece of paper & then smudge the ink with your finger. The smudgy rubbery sound.


And the rubbing sound got louder & louder & seemed to take up the entire dream, as if there were speakers on either side of the stage of the dream & got turned up to their highest volume, so you were hearing not only the amplified paper sound, but also the feedback from the microphones recording it. But then the microphones were rubbed against paper too, so the sounds combined. And you realized --- my penis is a microphone, my clitoris is a microphone. And you realized all the inner sounds of your body were being amplified too. Your blood cells were amplified. Your lungs were amplified. And the microphones were cold cold cold against your lungs & between your upper gums & your lip. And your heart had a microphone too, a microphone that curled up & up & up was made not out of electrical wires but out of tiny tiny toothrbush hairs that were curled together & now tickled your heart, tickled your heart & then amplified the tickling.


And your heart when it is being tickled produces the most beautiful sound: the sound of the center of a heavy object.

You ask what it is, the sound of the center of a heavy object (in the dream) & you are told you are inside of a heavy object. You realize that you are at the center of a soft soft cube, softer than air. And you say this is not a heavy object, this is softer than air. But then, because the cube is softer than air, the air slowly stars to seep in. And its filling up & filling up & you never expected air to be so heavy. And so black & glittery. And as it fills up the cube it changes bubbles. First it has hot bubbles then cold bubbles then triangle bubbles. And since its cut off from the other air, it gets really really heavy & hot & baked, & dense.


And you realize you're supposed to be listening for a sound. But all you can hear is the sound of someone wearing a leather jacket & slowly shifting on a bed, shifting one way, then the other, with a microwave wedged deep in the person's asshole, & a microphone in the miccrowave recording the sound of the sound of the jacket being heated up by the microwave.


So the whole cube sounds like the sounds of this leather jacket on a bed. And then the leather jacket gets SLURPED into the bed. Sthlwoop. Into a hole in the bed. And it appears in my mouth. A warm warm leather jacket, slightly chewed on.


And I start to chew on the leather jacket, sucking on it, covering with my spit, gnawing on it, making it soft.


And I realize that the spit is neon, I can feel it, it's neon.


And I realize that the neon is spit is soft, & I spit it out, & it makes a little bit of rain.


The rain is sand, but the sand goes up, inside of a mountain. The mountain compresses & flattens & it's really cold, you feel it with your naked body.


Because you start to ascertain that the entire solar system is a twisted twisted metal & the way the universe FEELS is when you have a metal cap on your tooth & you bite into metal. That's how the universe feels, all the time, bouncing up & down against nothing.


The curves of the universe are actually edges, the edges are actually holes, the holes are actually spots, & the spots are actually pigment, containing the universe itself because there is no in or out.


The dream ends with you going in & out, of nothing, then a gray gray desk, then a car, then a person, & then bare skin (your own in.) As the dream ends you pop up inside your own skin.


And your skin flips inside out & you can trace a pebble along your flesh & when you fall you fall inward, into nothing, because you're actually a many many angled diamond looking out into the universe in all directions at once.


Like you're a bag turned inside out & the universe had to go somewhere else.

So the univesrse is gone & just the bag is left. You try to look inside the bag, but you can't because you're not there. You try to adjust your view of the bag, but you can't do that either, because you can't see the bag. And you try to move but when you try to move you move the bag instead, & then the bag leaves.


You pretend to be a bug getting squished flat & that's how you feel flattened. And you imagine that the universe is what's spread out beneath you, but that curls up into a motorcyele & drives away fast, into what you think your vision is.


And your vision crumples & becomes a huge boat which is actually a button, & when you press the boat you wake up. ♦

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