Immediately, the dream. I am the Clarissa Dalloway character, concerned with delphiniums and my ex, FF, is the Peter Walsh character, worldly, in love with an Indian girl. I am having dinner with him and his father. The father is stern, silent, dark hair, dark eyes, just like FF, only the Ayatollah's blood pumps through his veins. I read his thoughts, you walk around completely exposed. I am afraid, perhaps, that he will kill me, as they killed Nedha Agha-Soltan, in the street, blood pouring from my nose. We clear the dishes, I want FF to touch me; I burn for him. But he is preoccupied with the saffron rice, how to make it perfect for his father to eat. “Don't touch it,” he tells me when I peer under the lid. Don't touch it. We are in a car driving. I am at the wheel. There is a bridge overhead, the Tobin, the Throgs. The Throgs. I see the mountain of pale blue steel ascending into the fog, yes. B is in the back complaining, the draftsman are back there with her. I had promised FF to her and she to him. Besides, I need to go home and she wants to go to Sunken Meadow. Are we going to Sunken Meadow? She keeps asking this. I tell her no, I have to get home; I have to catch the train home, I don't know what the hell I am doing in this car anyway. Then I am out of the car and my widowed mother appears. She is in a tar pit. (I don't even know what a fucking tar pit is.) I want to pour my heart out to her about FF and she wants to pour her heart out to me about my father. She disappears. I am in a classroom, at the white board drawing my friend Kira, a prominent figure at the Environmental Protection Agency. I get the eyes right, but the jaw is too wide. I erase the jaw and replace it, carefully, thinking of how the cheek angles slightly toward the lips. Concentrate, I tell myself. Concentrate.
Anything to rub up against FF again. Anything, anything, that is what my mind and body said. Anything for that thrill.
Ah the summer doldrums.