Harry Patelli woke into an eerie dream.
He quickly glanced at his Rolex and the dream seemed to slow, speed up and pieces entered and exited his consciousness without chronology or causality—Harry knew what this was.
He sprung from the bed in the apartment downtown New York City, and noticed a woman already awake—she was yelling into her cell phone in the kitchen. But why was it never Harry's wife?
“Lana,” he whispered through the hallway, who’s on the phone?”
A dark haired beauty snapped her head back at Harry. “Nobody, stop being so jealous already!”
Harry shook his head, acknowledging that the disposition of girlfriends is nearly always askew of a wife, Then he sluggishly dug through the pile of his clothes, then her clothes, and their stuff strewn on the chair next to the bed. “What a mess,” he muttered. “We're really good in the sack, but we suck at housekeeping--even in my dreams.”
He turned sideways and sat on the edge of the bed. His head down, shaking side to side, Harry thought, “I'm **** dreaming. This life's just a dream, and I still can't wake up with my wife or keep the house clean.”
He looked up remembering the possibilities of the dream. He looked at his Rolex. He smiled as existence slowed and events of three hours in the future played out in his mind.
Harry stood up and began digging through the clothes again. He found his underwear, his socks, his tie. He laid the underwear aside and slid the socks on. He looked around for his suit and saw it crumpled on the chair by the bathroom door.
He walked to the bathroom and stopped. He looked hazily at the pink razor by the sink. He thought of himself crumpling by his Mercedes.
He turned and pulled his cell phone from his pants pocket. “Yes, no messages," he thought and then cell phone in hand he thought for a moment before calling out, “Lana, where’re my keys?” Before she could answer he turned toward the table by the bed. As Lana responded to his question, he mumbled under his breath, “On the table, by the bed.” He turned back to see Lana pointing an acrylic nail through the door toward the bedside table.
“OK, Harry old boy, before you do anything else, you better decide where you want to end up.”
Harry shut the bedroom door and sat on the edge of the bed. He ran day through his head. He’d woken up late. He’d rummaged through the piles of clothes, looking for his own. He’d heard Lana on the phone and asked who she was talking to. He could go into the bathroom and shave with a pink razor cutting himself in the process.
“OK, okay….all of that but it's easier to choose an end and work backward. How do I want it to end?” Harry relaxed glancing at his watch and sank within his own mind. Slowly he began to shape a picture. He developed the image piece by piece. And then….
“Lana, will you marry me!?” he screamed laughing as he pulled his pants on.