Floating Point, Book Four of Devi Jones’ Locker, available now! Find out more.

Lucidity

Lucidity

“I’m sorry I didn’t believe you at first,” Carly said to Dave, one night after they’d been working late and went to a nearby pub for a quick bite before calling it a day.
“It’s okay,” he said, smiling and holding her gaze with his own. “I knew you’d be disappointed in me taking — Lucidox for fun, but who else could I tell?”

Carly smiled. She could feel the better part of the three glasses of wine she’d had with dinner on her sense of propriety. She let her hand wander over to Dave’s side of the table, and her stomach flipped pleasantly at the softness of his touch as he put his own hand ever so lightly on her arm. “So what did you want?” she asked. “What dream desire made you take Lucidox in the first place?”

She swore she felt Dave’s hand on her arm stiffen but in the dim light of the pub she couldn’t see his face flush. “You,” he thought, as his heart jackhammered in his chest. “In all my dreams it’s always only ever been you.”

Aloud, he said, “Flying.”

I looked into his eyes
his eyes which were
your eyes
his hand moved against me
it felt like your touch
so soft it is more a memory
than a caress

“Do you remember when we first started here?” Dave asked, as he filled his mug with coffee from the pot. “Could you have imagined then that we’d ever be presenting to the Royal Academy in London?”

“Of course not,” Carly laughed. “We aren’t even British.”

The grad students and postdocs had all left for the day, but Carly and Dave were still in the lab, ostensibly to finish preparing their talk before the flight across the pond the next morning. Really, they were both too nervous to be alone, and had no other excuse to be together. They both had always been most comfortable in the lab.

It was the sex dreams which had finally catapulted them into the spotlight. Even though it had taken a few weeks for it to become obvious, it was impossible to ignore that for nearly two months, in a thirty-three hour period between Sunday and Monday every single sleeping person on the planet past puberty was experiencing intense and vivid erotic dreams. The dream research community was abuzz with the revelation, and Carly and Dave’s theory about the other lifeforms populating human dreams was, amazingly, among the most credible explanations.

Once they had formalized their theory, Drs. Andrews and Windeman had teamed up with several other professors at the university. Anson Sindow, the psychologist, hypothesized that the beings were trying to communicate with humanity through pleasure. Kevita Dhaliwal, the biologist, guessed that it was some kind of mating ritual within their own species that they were reenacting with sleeping humans. The physicist, Sally Jensen, suggested that it was the random result of electrochemical stimulation. Whatever it was, it was real and worldwide and completely impossible to ignore.

“So, what do you think it is?” Carly asked Dave, as he flipped through the final draft of their presentation for the millionth time. “The Sunday night special?”

“I don’t really know,” Dave said. “It’s not exactly my field.”

“Sure,” Carly said, “But you’ve experienced it almost ten times now, and most of those times you knew it was really the other beings, not your own unconscious at work. You must have a theory.”

“Well,” Dave said, putting his feet up on the lunchroom table and leaning back in his chair. “I do have a thought or two.” He glanced at Carly, and couldn’t stop himself from remembering his most recent dream of her. He quickly looked away. “I don’t think it’s just a mistake, or some kind of translation error,” he said. “It’s too… consistent for that, you know what I mean?”

“Yeah,” Cary said, laughing. “Is it the same one for you each week, too?”

Dave nodded, his heartbeat racing in his chest.

“It’s so strange,” she said, “having this lover that you don’t even know.”

“You don’t know who it is?” Dave asked, his eyes catching Carly’s for a moment. “You don’t ever recognize anyone?”

“Oh, that,” Carly said, a flush creeping up her face. “Well, who we see is just a product of our dreaming minds,” she said. “Your Swedish soccer team, for example,” she grinned. “But who it is, really,” she said, “I wish I knew. I wonder if we’ll ever know.”

does it bother you
that this man I dream of
clothed in your body
is not you
are you jealous of him
my dream lover
who stole your name and your face
whom I loved last night
exquisitely

© M. Darusha Wehm

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