Chapter 1: Am I Dreaming... About the Past?

"Am I Dreaming" is a series for Eternal Sleepover written late at night by Emma about things that actually happened and things that didn't, things that were thought and things that were said by others, all blending on a subconscious plane. What is real and what is not is for you to decide. 

The eternal sleepover has been going on for a few months now, actually a year and a half. Ever since Cybelle came to visit me in New York in winter of 2016, was it really that long ago? I was living in a first floor apartment in New York City, the floor where the light never reaches. It was so dark in there it felt like 3 am at noon. It was a weird place to live really, my boyfriend at the time was living with me, sleeping in my bed, we met and he moved in a week later, he told me he liked me while we were sitting by the pond in central park. It’s funny that my only idea of moving to New York was visions of the park, running there or the cotton candy, hotdogs and ice creams and kids and old people and ballerinas and cobblestone and hills and strawberry fields forever.

Upper west side turned out to be rich white and didn’t feel unlike how I had grown up in Vegas.

In some cities you just feel the judgment in the air like you feel fog in San Francisco. 

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That’s kinda how that place felt. There was a construction worker outside of my first floor window. They would watch me sleeping, for some reason it never bothered me. Apparently the tennants that jumped ship before me and left the apartment left because they were robbed by a construction worker breaking through that window. My boyfriend said he would wake up to rocks being thrown by them at his window. He slept all the time though, maybe they were just worried about him. Our rooms were also all different colors, we taped those color changing light strips in the corners of our apartment, between the wall and ceiling. the room was orange blue and purple all day, our sun didn’t rise and set, our scenery changed colors. The sink was dirty and one of my roommates was trying to kill the mouse while the other was secretly feeding it. It was dysfunctional. I lost sense of up and down morning and night me and him wrong and right. I felt I had been asleep all december, the two block walk to the coffee shop was unbearably cold, cheeks pinched frozen. I grimaced and tried to make it through. 

January Cybelle came. She took one look at me and i saw the reflection of who i had become in her eyes. Same shirt for days and packs of cigarettes crumpled in corners. 

When she came I saw a future, something beyond the technicolor cavern I had crawled into, there was a way out. My apartment lease was up, everyone scattered like the roaches out on the sidewalks at the sight of streetlamp and footsteps. There wasn’t much holding us together, the railway apartment felt miles long with too many rooms doors and demons trapped between us. And yes we thought a literal demon was living there, so much so we did a group seance while my friend from Los Angeles was sleeping on the couch, we tried not to wake her. We also did a spell and froze her name in coffee water. It worked, I gave her a cigarette on my front steps.

I'm losing track of the time and of my words. They left, Cybelle was there. She was there and she let me have my nights bleed into days and said nothing of it. We had our space and our rules and ordered pizza and drank wine, I threw up on valentines day, I called him and broke up with him and ran into the snowy night for my friends apartment three blocks away, in Brooklyn three blocks are long. I was in striped pajamas and a polka dot fur coat, and I was listening to Solange. I was only listening to Solange that whole month actually. I tend to drown in one artist and let them heal or corrupt me with their voice in my head. Solange healed. I wanted to be someplace without cel service without anyone I knew or could attach myself to, someplace that was NOT winter. We decided on Cuba. 

I remember our street really clearly, the pink fence where blind kittens mewed for milk, the boy with a whistle who beckoned ladies out onto the balconies to lower their baskets for him to put the bread in. Our room was bright green bright orange bright blue. I played guitar with two strings missing and talked taxi drivers from $30 rides to $4 ones. Concrete walls and flat beds and a fan humming through the whole night, a TV that wasn’t black and white, it was blue. There were two beds but we slept in the same one. We kept this going, sleeping over endlessly the whole year, Cuba to Portland, Seattle, London, Paris, South of France and the Countryside, Mexico, Salt Lake City, Vegas.. it just never ended. We found places and people and came back to New York and got a place of our own. The sleepover never stopped, and a year went by of us sleeping in the same bed. 

Make sure to separate colors when you put them in the wash and you don’t have to worry about looking both ways if you are trying to secure that lawsuit. 

The sky is pale icy and the night is ending. We just got plane tickets to Vegas in four days and have no money to our names. Less than none actually. 

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Today I did some math and numbers and she tetrised things into a suitcase. I carved a punch in a punchcard with a kitchen knife to get a free coffee. 

Moon in my mouth crunch and break tops of my molars off. 

Nabisco snacks tucked into jansport backpacks TiVo the nascar races excecise on a elliptical and then eat four slices of French toast. Is this that thing called the American dream? 

Saw a jar of peanut butter being sold for $20 and screamed.