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Dream in Which Your Ghosts Throw a 90s Teen-Movie-Style House Party that You Cannot Seem to Escape

By Adrienne Crezo

All your ghosts showed up and put on Sublime and ate all the food and trashed the place, packed in good and tight, wearing their newest outfits, your house full to the roof, ghosts pouring forth from the windows and doors, so many of your goddamned ghosts, so goddamned many of your ghosts, and no room for you, no air to breathe because the air is just your ghosts, so you swim and push through as hard as you can but then you realize, oh shit, all your ghosts can feel your fear, so now you have to play it cool, swim like a cool guy through your living room, Chili Peppers on now, high-five the people you knew before they died, dance briefly with disembodied shames you thought had passed on, accept a drink from the idea you had about what your life could be, keep it cool, keep it level, breathe slow and easy and smile at the men who told you to smile smile smile so you dreamt of dropping each of them into a vat of green acid, one by one, and now here they are, Jokering while you breathe in counts of five like you learned in yoga, and make your way not to an exit but to the door of your own bedroom and Jesus christ, what is this miracle of miracles, it's empty, just you in your own bedroom while your ghosts haunt everything else, and when you look out of the window you see the deck and balcony and woods and sky are all your ghosts, only this room is safe from your ghosts, the whole goddamn world is to the gills with your ghosts except this room, so you decide to change into pajamas, decide to climb into bed, decide to lie down and wait for the party to end, but then you're just at the edge of sleep, impossibly tired even as the earth—the entire goddamned earth—is swimming in your ghosts and there, at the precipice of cool and liquid sleep, a soft warm hand slides up your leg, ankle to thigh, hot like the only hands you ever dream about, then back down, one smooth and gentle and human thumb strokes you softly along the curve of your heel, the arch of your instep, swoops the bone of your ankle, softly, slowly, so sweetly, and you know if you can stay brave until morning you will make it out of this room alive, but you do the math in your head—the time from the bed to the window, the distance from the window to the ground, the odds of living through that jump, of surviving a landing on the deck below—and you know leaping headlong into the air and land of your ghosts is a certain death, and you know that death scares you less than a warm and tender touch in the dark.

Adrienne Crezo is an editor and writer who lives in Ohio and the 90s (but not simultaneously).

Art by Jay Baker, an artist from Colorado living in Oregon, by way of New Mexico; he records music as Tom Foe.


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