Kathy’s Dream by Mark Vanner

I spent weeks visiting a therapist;
Trying to process what was happening to me –
what was happening to Kathy –
It all seemed so impossible.
Take your time, the Therapist said, 
as I stared at the giant,
smudge-like painting on the wall.
For the past forty years, I said,
I believed I was in control of my life.
Thought I was the master of my own destiny.
The captain of my own vessel.
Then I discovered I was just a figment of Kathy’s dream.
The Therapist handed me a box of tissues.
How? She said.
I looked across at Kathy
who was fiddling with a braid of her cherry blonde hair
and then back to the Therapist
whose head had transformed into a gigantic grey squirrel.
For a long time, I said. I found it strange
that time didn’t move in any orderly direction
and that the surrounding scenery was constantly
shifting. Then I realised,
I couldn’t remember a moment in my life
when Kathy wasn’t with me.
Now everything seems…
So meaningless.
It’s okay
, squawked the Therapist from behind an orange beak.
We’ve all been where you are now.
Understanding that our lives are utterly pointless
is the first step to acceptance.
But what will happen,
I asked, when Kathy stops dreaming of me?
I suppose it’ll be like falling asleep and never waking up, the Therapist said.

Yes? She said.
I’m scared, I said.
We all are, she said.
I gazed at the painting on the wall
for what seemed like an inordinately long time.
When I looked back, I was driving a red,
top-down Mercedes, with Kathy by my side.
We hurtled along sun-drenched avenues,
up towards Kathy’s hillside mansion
where there would be a Barbie-shaped pool,
Labradoodles serving drinks in bow ties,
and a never-ending supply of fluffy pink fairy cakes,
but I had no idea how I knew all that.

Mark Vanner was born in Nottingham and now lives in Gloucestershire, UK. His poetry has appeared in publications including, Neon Literary Magazine, Punk Noir, Outlaw Poetry and many more. For more information please visit: www.markvanner.com or find him on Twitter: @VannerMark