portion of the artwork for Monic Ductan's fiction

Dreaming in Louisiana
Monic Ductan

I had a dream last night that you dated my aunt, the older one, the one who is seventy-something and cuts cheese squares to pair with Ritz crackers every Christmas and 4th of July. She is old but firm. She is not gnarled. She moves slowly and bakes things you love—ziti, rotini, calamari, biscotti.

She is wide and brown and married to my uncle, the bald one whose hands shake under the sun as he works outdoors. He is at least seventy-five, and he is my favorite uncle because he smiles and shows off all his original teeth and then he kisses my nose and says, “Hey dere, boo. Ain’t ’chu purty today!”

I don’t think my aunt and uncle are happy, so maybe that’s why she is dating you. I feel that you would leave me for her because you like to be babied, and you like to come home to a clean house without raisins on the floor and dusty carpet.

And maybe she is good in bed, an elderly nympho with a penchant for your dark eyes and cute grin. And maybe she doesn’t shriek and dive under the covers as I do whenever it thunders. Maybe she can control the thunder and the lightning, make them both appear simultaneously just when you reach your peak—Aaahhh, oh. Aaahhh, oh.

In the dream, she opens a door to show you her private treasures—I hold my breath, afraid it will be her geriatric genitalia on a pearly platter—it’s a room full of pink plants, pantsuits, pearls, patent pumps, prissy petticoats, and crinolines. I think about our bedroom, how I’ve nothing but jeans and faded tees, how my over-sized cotton panties have choked out/canceled out/outlasted any lacy thing you ever bought for me. You always wanted a feminine woman, didn’t you?

In the dream, you are holding her hand and not mine, and then you tongue kiss ’er as you squeeze her thick waist, and I think I’m gonna die of jealousy and maybe rage. I want to cut y’all with the cheese-caked knife, or maybe bludgeon you with broad, brown branches, shove ya wine glasses up ya asses, sneak up to your car and throw lightning bolts through the windows and hiss at you when you kiss.

When I awake from this dating nightmare on the third night, and those images of you holding her hand and not mine, I see the look of joy on your face as you sleep. I sit up in bed, still looking down at your sleeping self, and I am wondering if you’re having a similar dream. I lean over and straddle you, shake you awake to announce, “I had a dream …” You smell like my sweat, my swamp, and very old wine as you roll over, grumble, and fall into a deeper slumber.

First appeared in the spring 2012 print edition of Crab Creek Review.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 41 | Summer 2013