Seat 70

I had a dream about you last night. We signfied as lovers. As together, only there wasn’t any actual togetherness. Photographs of you and another woman, the one you’re living your life with, lined the dream like wallpaper. An inner and outer lining. Our bodies were inside the photographs. They were an affective geography. The kind anxiety produces and the unconscious set designs. In the dream I ended up sitting next to you on a plane. You weren’t the least bit surprised or interested. You didn’t talk to me. You had headphones on. You were watching a movie. I wasn’t really there. The plane was a series of other planes, worlds, landscapes, labyrinths. I kept misplacing my seat, a 100 crumpled boarding passes with different seat numbers in my pocket. None of them correlated or led me back to you. At one point I realized I’d spent hours sitting in the wrong seat, on the wrong plane, losing precious hours with you. Who did I think I was with, if not you, or did I forget to remember you completely? Sometimes, searching, I wasn’t even on a plane, but on train tracks, icy pink fields, snow, rivers, parking lots. In an empty office building, then suddenly a car park, someone said, “Don’t you now he’s in love with you?” But it wasn’t even you they were talking about. It was a real-life friend posing as you, except in the dream he wasn’t a clone, he was actually you. Blonde, nothing like you. You. Not someone I have ever loved or even wanted sexually. You. Not-you. My unconscious finding ways to tell me what I already know and fear: that I don’t know you, or anyone else, so why shouldn’t you and everyone else look like any number of people? The unconscious knows full well the problem of identity, resemblance, recogniton, and refuses to give us any easy or stable signifiers. Whenever I would get back on the plane, which was a future plane, in another time we don’t quite know yet, more like a planned living condo teeming with a network of rooms and offices, flight attendants and free-floating rogue commodities, the flight attendants wouldn’t help me, couldn’t find my orignal seat either. At one point, a female flight attendant briefly led me back to you, Seat 70 (plane seats never go that high, they usually stop at 40 something), where I discovered that you hadn’t even noticed that I’d been gone. Then I lost you again. At the very end, my loss and confusion turned into a bureaucracy—a problem of incompetence —as I tried to resolve the issue with a mean male flight attendant, who never found my original seat before I awoke from the dream. He was concerned only with money and protocol. “You have to pay to be here even if you don’t have a seat. You have to pay for your search. You’re still on this plane,” he barked. “If we find your seat, and I don’t know that you ever had a seat on this plane, we’ll have to charge you for the flight again.” I said, “No way.” Why did you show up if you’re not going to show up? Why does anyone?

Crossposted with Love Dog

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