Would you mind if I sit here and dream about my life? Rachel would it be alright? I’ll get that look that signals a leave-taking; the mirrored, distant one. Will you let me try to become a street kid in Africa? My eyes are welling up with the blood of dead parents. I’ll need the feet, the smile and the energy to run down a truck filled with cassava chips. And so it is. In this moment I rise up on my knees and survey the world from the flat cardboard and notice the puddles of water from the rain last night. My breath is a small, wet fog. The faucet is dripping so I wash my face. I dress in shorts and flip flops, hanging free, loose as I run up the hill to the highway and throw a rock at a dog down in the donga. My plan is to hang out in the trading store parking lot and try to get some mzungu to give me an orange or carry bags to the car for a shilling or two. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll go ahead and be the best hope of Africa as I grow 1,000 feet tall and try to touch the sun.
The African kid blends into the movement of cars and then I recall my dream last night. Shit. Oh dreams and medical conditions and money problems that stress our lives into a grave dug by alcoholic strangers. The dirt walls collapse and cover our faces before we die. I was nominated to be the Prime Minister of Cambodia. The party convention ballots were written in Khmer, which is a mysterious language that tells the secret of how to find the good life of robotic women with golden arms and hands turned at right angles. The women dress in silk and they move down stone halls spaced with archways that open into a jungle filled with parrots and butterflies. Everyone drinks moonlight from large jars that hold rain water. It is unprecedented for an American to be nominated to be Prime Minister. The English Pirates, who are a little known, yet influential political group along the Cambodian coastline, didn’t like that one of my Khmer military friends nominated me. I got a call from the US embassy. They threatened me about meddling with Cambodian internal affairs. It was at that moment that I woke up. The dream was over, but my heart was racing.
These are the kinds of dreams that I have, day and night. Dreams are like my erratic heart beats. I am an African street kid. I am running for Cambodian political office. I am dead in the desert or the mountains or floating in the sea. I often am looking down into a valley where a wind storm is building and I have to organize my men and we work as best we can to nail down our supply tents.
Whatever happened to dreaming about having sex with unknown women and being unprepared for a test and running naked in public? Those dreams are over for me and one day I will dream about everything black like a Dutch fashion show that has nailed my eyeballs to dark cloth. All the old gods will come to me then and I will discover that the most important language is that of dreaming. The letters are funny. They look at bit like Khmer except with an eternity of swirls in the curls of Rachel’s hair.