Dreams I Had While Unemployed
I am leaving a grocery store with my dad. It is daytime. Dad walks ahead of me in the parking lot towards the car, but when I pass a parked car, a man runs up behind me.
“Can you spare some change?” he asks. I know I cannot because I am unemployed.
I don’t stop walking, but I do hesitate and he notices. He attempts to grab me and drag me into a car, but I react immediately. I fight him off, but call out to my dad for help. I can see his head, bobbing between cars, getting smaller and smaller. But he doesn’t come back for me. I break free from my attacker and start to walk. Towards what, I don’t know.
I am attempting to make macaroni and cheese. What may have started as an instant, out-of-the-box project soon involved me making a béchamel sauce from found things in my kitchen. Surprisingly, I think I can piece together all the necessary ingredients, but the stove keeps turning off. When I lift the pot to inspect what is wrong, I realize the burner is completely missing. I try moving some things around and construct some kind of burner, but nothing seems to come together. There will be no dinner that night.
I receive a call from someone I recently interviewed with and am thrilled because I think it means I got the job. He asks to meet, and I dress in my finest to go in and get the good news. Once I’m there, however, he launches into a series of questions, and I realize this is just a second interview.
I am staring at myself in the mirror, particularly at my face where a unibrow has inexplicably flourished. I reach for the tweezers and dive in on grooming the little forrest growing in my t-zone. Impatiently, I start plucking anything even close to the middle of my face, resulting in my brows looking patchy.
“Oh well,” I sigh. “I’ll just fill it in with makeup.”
I am in my childhood home in Hawaii, standing in the living room and staring out the glass doors that line the wraparound balcony. There has been a flood, and the water has risen all the way up to our floor. I can see over the hedge to the house next door, which is completely submerged. Looking out at the ocean around me, I realize the water is now a muddy, opaque brown.
A small wave rolls in, and I watch as a smooth layer of water washes over the floor of the balcony and pushes through the doors. The water has gotten in the house.
I run to find my mom, but the rest of the house has turned into a winding cave. When I finally find her, after many twist and turns, she is not phased at all. Instead, she offers me a snack. All I can think of is the dirty ebb and flow of the tide.
Kimberly Lew is the proud writer of plays, blogs, and the monthly check when the rent is due. Check her out at www.kimberlylew.com.
Charrow is an illustrator who lives in Brooklyn.