Birds are chirping, light pours in through my window. I stir and awaken, check the clock. It’s already late morning…
I roll over, pull my arms over my head, stretching my whole body, every finger, every toe. All my muscles tighten, then release.
I bury my head back into my pillow. I have no reason to get out of bed, in the most wonderful way.
One more dream, then I’ll get up.
As I drift to sleep, a vivid image of a Shiba Inu appears, pulling back a yellow rubber ball in a giant sling shot.
He lets it go and a swarm of his peers leap to catch it like bridesmaids trying to catch the bouquet.
I jolt awake as they fall over each other in the perfect green grass, my last scrap of lucidity inviting my conscious mind to come over to this awesome Shiba party.
The Cattle Tattoo
As I leave an appointment with my hair stylist, I remember that they also do tattoos at this salon.
My stylist is happy to book me in for a tattoo appointment. I’ll finally take the plunge, the image I’ve always considered marking myself with permanently.
I walk out with a smile on my face.
When I arrive home, my boyfriend is excited for me. He loves the idea, he is so proud that I’ve decided to take this step after years of careful thought!
The day arrives, we go together to the salon.
I’ve drawn out the concept of what I want, hoping my hair stylist turned tattoo artist can refine it.
She takes one look at it and frowns.
“I can’t do this! What is it? Are those cows?”
I’m taken aback. This was something I’d thought about for years!
Frantically, I try to explain myself.
“Yes! It’s a hill, with cattle on it, and a fence in the foreground! It’s a memory from when I was a child, from my Grandpa’s farm! This is very special to me!!”
She tells me to leave, that there’s a tattoo parlour a block away that might consider something like this….
My boyfriend tells me that we should go check it out. I’m dejected, I feel so stupid for sharing my idea, I just want to go home. He assures me that my tattoo is important, that if it matters to me, then it should matter to anyone who cares.
We walk to the other tattoo studio, and they’re closed.
Running as fast as I can, my chest burns, I’m too scared to look behind me. I know he’s close, I know he’s gaining on me, but I can’t risk looking back. My feet feel like they’re no longer attached to my body, I stumble.
As quickly as I hit the ground, he’s above me. Kicking, punching, forcing me into submission and eventually, unconsciousness.
When I come to, I’m in a basement. My arms and legs are pulled as far out to the sides as they can be, tied firmly to metal bars on either side. I’m so scared that I can’t manage to make any noise, I try to scream but can’t.
Then I realise that my tongue is gone. There’s blood everywhere, I can’t determine where the pain I’m feeling is coming from, because it’s everywhere. It surrounds me like an aura.
The man, I don’t know who he is, stands to my left. I can’t see his face. He’s busy cutting the tip of my index finger off, popping the joint with his knife before cutting through the tendons and tissues, then moving on to the next finger.
He continues in silence, working his way through every finger, every toe, until I am dismembered all the way to my elbows and knees.
I am unable to scream. I feel everything he does. It moves in real time, this one dream consumes hours of my sleep.
When I awake, I am exhausted and covered in sweat and crying.
The city is building a new train line, raised above the streets & buildings. The support pillars are going wherever they have to, in this case several are being built inside our warehouse & up through the roof. With such a big job on their hands, there is a shortage of trades people who can help to get it all done.
People are being forced to help in any way the government decides.
An angry looking woman arrives at my work & informs us that the concrete beams they’ve installed are getting their steel sheaths today. We will all be subjected to a welding test, those who pass will be required to help.
I am livid. Not only do we have no choice in any of this, but it’s also the beginning of my lunch break.
The dream turns into an epic temper tantrum. I’m yelling, screaming about human rights and slave labour and welding fumes. I’m trying not to hit this ugly Ronald McDonald looking bitch. I’m throwing wrenches & trying to walk out while she yells at me about the common good, she even compares this forced work to giving blood in it’s benefit to the city as a whole.
Eventually I collapse, exhausted, lying on the floor, with burning tears of frustration running down my face.