Dream, home, 4:20 am
A traffic jam on a city street. I walk through the idling cars towards an intersection. A middle 70s sedan blocks the flow in all directions. Its hood is up and I see a man leaned over the exposed engine as though he were looking for a mechanical failure. As I get closer I notice that he does not move. When I reach the stalled car, I find that his wrists have been tied with jute rope to the underside of the open hood. He is dead and someone has posed him to make it look as though he was working on the engine. With his arms stretched across the width of the engine, he appears to have been crucified to the inside of the hood. I feel I should recognize him.
Later: 1890s, upstairs in a middle class home, a woman knows that she is dying of cancer. She tries to distract herself from her immanent death by playing with her son. He does not know that she is in her final hours – he only wants to play with his mother. They enjoy pretending that they are stage actors in a drama. As it is foremost in her mind, they play a death scene. She sits herself near the foot of the brass rail bed. She grasps the bars before her, acting, when real agony strikes her. Her features contort as she chokes on the words “My heavens.” The ballooned sleeve of her blouse catches on the brass bed stead and tears as she slumps to the bed, her face pressed against the bars. How long will her young son believe she is pretending?