I kept having that dream, over and over. Sometimes twice a day. I'd hover out of the room, float down the stairs, out through the bar, down the road, over the water, into the water, through an impossible tunnel of air, into the ocean, then I'd die. I piggy-backed on Jorge's back as he hitched me back to our little apartment. In his eyes it dawn on me how sad that place must have been for him without me there, I was caught in a moment where I wasn't sure if I was being selfish or having to take care of myself. At the apartment he left me on the bed, I could not move my body, I think I was paralyzed. For the next couple of weeks my only sights were out the window from bed-height, the books Jorge would provide me (mostly upon my own request), a growing photo collection, and my dreams. It felt like I was sick at home, my mother would take care of me, leave for work, and check in on me throughout the day, as I lived on my bed. Three times a day he came home, never late never an appointment missed, he'd move me around to prevent bed sores, and it felt nice to feel someone touch my body, my flesh laid there motionless, it needed some stimulus. He was also really good at massages, though I could tell he was getting boners every time my body was between his legs. I could tell he was hungry, and I was afraid I could not give him more than some kisses.
The dreams in repetition started to blur my sense of reality, I slept twelve sometimes fourteen hours a day, day became night, night back to night. Occasionally I would wake up at 3am or 4am, restless, watching Jorge sleep, unsure where I was, if he was a dream, or if the dream was a dream. I'd read for a bit, looked at the photos Jorge took or found from the day, and I'd study them. Each image gave me a sense of escape, I felt like I was walking down into the grove, approaching a farmer, looking at his face, seeing each and every wrinkle, his voice was my own as I imagined what he had said, how his day was going, the weather, where his kids were, how he buried his wife, and how he was surviving, alone, no, he said, he's got plenty of help. Most of the photographs were taken far from this island, places Jorge had lived and visited, the people he cared and some that he loved. An El Camino at a cliff with a road that vanished, a Mexican man with two boys sitting in the back of a truck smiling, a baggy of joints with finely written comments on them (too small to read in the photograph), a man standing beside Jorge both holding rifles behind their heads (they both had red eyes), mountains obscured by clouds, a woman smiling (she looks breathless in this moment), a dog with three legs, a sad-looking apartment, some strippers working the poles (I don't know why he gave me that), it just comes on and on. I wondered why kind of life he lived, I've seen some of his world, what he chose to show of it, to keep with him, and each photograph meant something to him, that they were dear, and if I were to lose just one he would feel something deep down inside of him be lost. He trusted me, he wanted to share his life with me.
The dreams aren't all the same, the pain of dying is less and less, and though I feel like I'm definitively dying each and every time, I find a calmness growing. The impossible tunnel burrows deeper each time too, and a few nights ago I noticed the tunnel doesn't just end when it reaches the sea floor, it now curves back to the shore. I started to sleep more, I was working that tunnel with my mind, I knew it, if I stretched out I could expand it, only to die in the end. Somewhere in the chronicles of my life I remember a web-based game that was popular in the early twenty-hundreds (2000s) where you controlled a skier going down hill, you can hit ramps and catch some major air and you had to dodge trees. No matter how good you got, how far you reached you'd be eaten alive by an abominable snowman. I kept playing that game over and over, feeling like I got farther each time, death didn't bother me, I felt that there was the faintest possibility of not dying, of reaching the finish line, and when I did get there there would be no abominable snowman, nor a crowd applauding me, I would fade to white, the game would never end, I would ride on forever into infinity.
When Jorge grabbed my dead body at the bottom of the sea I noticed a cloaked door that replicated everything around it. All but the edges showed the slightest signs of distortion. I tried to tell him, to move my arms to point to the door, he was beginning to ascend, I wasn't going to let him, I screamed as loud as my non-working vocal cords could muster, I forced my limp body in every direction it go, and finally I heard Jorge say ouch in the most nonchalant way, he stopped and looked at me, I then motioned to the door. Jorge in his deep-sea diver suit lifted the door, which worked more like a portal, the water stopped at its opening. He grabbed my still limp body and gently laid me on the grounds of a dark, moist, and dippy cavern. It was pitch dark but we could see enough, as if we had night vision, and so on Jorge's back I was carried down hell's hallways. At the end we reached a stairway made from volcanic rock. With each step I could hear Jorge's breath pant as he continued to carry me higher and higher. I wished I could walk, to even help him up the stairs but my body was still a life-less mess. Time was frozen as it appeared, the darkness gave no signs to the passage of time, it just gave the impression it was endless, like the void itself. Jorge took breaks every so often, laid me down on some steps. I couldn't even talk to him, I felt like a mermaid, he was a man from the world of land, he had caught biggest catch of his life, he was taking me home. Taking me home.
We reached the top and met a hatch door, with the last remaining strength he had, Jorge gave it one heavy hit to loosen it, then he pushed it open. We both when blind from spilling light, we reached the surface, we were out of the darkness, there was air. My eye balls were on fire, and by the time my eyes recovered I felt my hands over my eyelids, I was able to move them again, I tried moving different parts of my body and they too moved. Joy rushed throughout my body, I was alive again, and in all my excitement I had forgotten about Jorge, my savior after all. He laid flat on his back, one arm covering his eyes, I moved his arm to recover his face, it fell lifeless down in a giant thump. His eyes were teary, and that's when I realized he was now lifeless himself, that perhaps he had given me his strength. I didn't know how to help him, he was too heavy for me, even with all my strength back. His eyes looked into mine, his face was frozen with that stupid serious face he does, and I could tell he wanted me to continue, to continue for the both of us. I didn't want to anymore, I wanted to stay there by his side. He said go with his serious face, GO, be free. His face disappeared, his body vanished soon after, all that remained was his deep sea diver's suit. Alone, I looked around me, all white, I wondered if it was some sort of heaven, and as that thought occurred the white veil lifted to a semi-transparency, I was on top of the mountain. Down beyond I could see the valley, directly across was the western mountain, and south of that was the mountain Jorge and I lived on, and then I realized I was on top of the Eastern Mountain, which had no access to being too steep and rocky to climb. I thought I might have been the first person on top of here but then realized that someone must have built that twisted little passage up here. I continued to look off, I wondered for a long time, with my back to the viewer my eyes ventured to the unfolding landscape before me, I held a contemplative stance as the sea of clouds passed by, what a marvel it was, the stuff of dreams, or in remembrance of Jorge, The Milk of Dreams. Yes, The Milk of Dreams.