Rose

I was in Miranda Hobbes‘ (yes of Sex in the City) house and there was this big party going down. Paintings of my friend Mark were up on this high shelf and people were inquiring about them. Before long we all were sitting having cocktails and suddenly, Rose, this girl I dated in high school (yes, I dated a girl!), sits down beside me and says hi. I kept poking her in the shoulder to see if she was real; it was so vivid. She started talking about where life had taken her, and I started to point out the successes I have had, but thought better of it and just kept poking her shoulder. I just kept thinking, ‘How can you be sitting here? You died years ago in a car crash’.

Just as that thought bounced around my mind, a large brigade of fire dancers walked through the crowd, not unlike when I saw Pigface perform in San Jose years ago. And before I knew it, I was in a parking lot with Rose, on a mission to secure cookies from Wegman’s (a Rochester based supermarket chain). She mentioned that she still had her discount from working there so we hoofed it to the door past a pissy security guard, who was surprisingly rather young.

Once in the store, she pocketed a cookie as her ‘discount’ allowed her to have a free one, and we took the other up to the register, which we were to have a small discount on as well. We paid for it and the girl at the cash register nonchalantly says ‘Here’s your cookie, and now I have to arrest you’. We were dumbfounded and Rose immediately started in with ‘why?’ The cashier responded that they have been through this several times, and just like last time, she had to arrest her (presumably for the pocketed freebie).

I poked Rose again and said, “You know, dead people can’t be arrested.” She looked down in that way she always did when she realized a truth that would rather stay unknown. The cashier then turns to me and says ‘Well, then, you would be responsible.’

My eyes caught with Rose’s and it was clear that we had to run. Out of Wegman’s in a blur the security guard screamed at us. I recall he had a gun, though no shots were fired. As sirens wailed in the distance coming for us, we just about made it to the car and stopped for a pause. Thinking of what to do next it was suddenly clear: Wake up.

– – –

Rose was one of the few friends I had in High School. We went on a couple of those dates that you go on when you are fifteen or so and trying to figure out how the game works. I pretty much knew I was gay at the time, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Even though we hung out a bit in college, we soon lost contact when I went to to California, Rose to Arizona or New Mexico (I don’t recall which). She had this fun ‘alternative’ spunk to her and while we weren’t really close, we had a commonality in music as well as alternative lifestyles (she dated girls for a spell, though it’s unknown to me of her exact orientation). I remember she shaved her head once and as it was growing back, she dyed it bright green. My mom forever associated her with ‘the girl that showed up with green hair’ at my front door, though she liked her.

It is almost eight years since Rose was in a fatal car crash. I don’t really know the specifics, but I remember my friend Colleen contacting me with the news. I felt weird reminiscing about days of adolescence with my friend. It’s not that I had any regrets of not staying in contact or the like, I mean, people often come and go throughout your life, but you just get this weird feeling. I may be wrong, but I think Rose was studying to be a psychiatrist, and I think she would have been successful at that.

My dreams are always vivid, and as such, I woke up rather spooked today. It is comical at times, I can wake up furious at someone because of what they did in a dream and the emotion can linger hours afterward. I know it’s totally irrational, and I’ve learned to control these feelings, but I’m sure Rose will be haunting me today; just like the day I heard of her passing. It seems rather fitting heading to Deathguild tonight to dance as she wanders through my mind.

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