A couple of nights ago I had this dream. I remember it being an important dream because it was the first dream I’ve had in my new house. A new house dream. This dream smelled like empty rooms and half full boxes and crunched to pieces like packing peanuts. This dream started off normal enough, mundane things like walking down streets with California lighting and Chicago architecture, talking to people, riding the train and then I fell in love with John Travolta.
This wasn’t John Travolta now though; this was dreamy, wavy-haired, bubble boy era John Travolta. I only met him because my pack of douchey, tv marketable, flower children friends had dared me to go see the freak and curiosity had gotten the better of me. Little did I know that he had been watching me grow up from his upstairs window with those big bright-blue eyes, his dopey smile and hairy thighs that wrestled to keep his balls in his orange track shorts.
I’d met John, while he was still in the bubble, and I swear to god that thing must have been magnified because he saw right through me. At first I was met with a lot of hostility, towards what I represented- the outside; but we both knew that just was his sexual frustration speaking. We’d talk for hours, him in his plastic prison, and me in my society-made one. He was so foreign from the outside world and each observation fell out of his mouth like unmarred jewels. Every time I looked at him through that bubble I felt as though I was seeing myself clearer and that within his crystal bubble lied the answer. He’d whisper things to me through this membrane and the vibrations enhanced all of his words as they rooted themselves into my spine.
Pretty soon, we started trying to figure out ways around this bubble. However, handjobs with a big rubber glove loose their charm pretty quickly, especially with lubricant’s problems going through the immunization machine. Also, one can only make out with a piece of cellophane for so long before it starts to feel ridiculous. On the plus side, our parent’s had no issues about us hanging out for long amounts of time- my mom felt safe that I wasn’t going to catch any diseases and his parents were just happy he had any friends.
However, one day John had had enough. Seeing me having boyfriends and a life outside of his bubble was driving him crazy and he had turned to drastic action. He took a pair of kiddy scissors from his desk and slit a long hole through the plastic. He fell head first through the membrane and gasped like a fish on the floor. He had been reborn.
Here I became a little conscious of the outside world. Instead of the regular noises I had grown accustomed to, like the stomping and the clanging of pans the shrill barking of dogs momentarily woke me up. My eyes looked through their slits for a second and me and John suddenly had started our new life. This new life meant a new Travolta- this John was a combination of Danny from Grease and Vinny from Welcome Back Kotter.
This Travolta would put his arm around my shoulders and make jokes and smack my ass at diners. There was something demeaning about the whole experience but at the same time I was glad the over-intellectualization was over and all that remained was action- even if it was dumb action. For some reason all of our dates were 50’s themed, like sock hops followed by malts and long nights at “The Point”. After one double-feature horror film at the drive –in the inevitable happened, and I became pregnant.
In my dream world all of the pregnancy was practically skipped until the birth. It was basically all the montages in romantic comedies to represent the baby growing: John running out to go buy things for cravings, us arguing over baby names, and who could forget that whacky morning sickness. When it was time for the birth I remember seeing two viewpoints of my birth one was from John’s point of view- looking at me panting and sweating legs out, bump up and the other was from over my stomach and between my legs.
From between my legs I could see that my sweet bubble boy had changed again. Starring back at me I saw his cyan eyes had grown metallic and humorless and his breathing turned mechanic and rhythmic as it passed through a filter that clipped on the sides of his nose. He had transformed into Battlefield Earth/Post-Scientology Travolta complete with the dreads, platform shoes and puffy man-head. Today when I gave birth to my child I wouldn’t have excited Look Who’s Talking Travolta picking up our child and screeching with his overly scoopy voice full of excitement of new life- no this was a completely different matter.
As my breath changed and became quicker and the contractions more and more frequent things became. I noticed how sterile the hospital had become and the lights glowed with an uncomfortable hum. When the baby’s head began to push through I saw the doctor’s eyes widen. Suddenly after the skull had passed through, six claw-like members attached to the skull spread open my vagina and forced itself out of my body with one clean little scuttle as I felt a tail push the rest of it out.
When I woke up all I remembered were the decisions. I felt the mechanic warmth of my heating blanket, it felt like John had just got up momentarily to go pee. I lay in that imagined vacancy and inhaled the spot where his head would have been, where it would have smelled like outdated musk, plasticy new school supplies and baking bread. I expected to hear that clunk of the toilet seat being slammed down followed by the flushing echo, to hear his tall frame click down the hall adjusting from the cold tile to cold hardwood floors only to look up and see him enter the room. I expected to see him back in his orange gym shorts, leaning his weight on the doorway, with one hand on his hip, hair tossed back and grinning.
The doctors told me that I shouldn’t kill it. The doctors said that one day it would hatch into a real baby. But as I looked at it there with its shiny exoskeleton and wriggling little pincers I knew what I had to do. This was no baby; this was a fossil.