Monday, May 28, 2012

The Pencil Case of Holding

She always liked to imagine a pencil case, an ideal pencil case. It would be small enough to carry in her pocket, yet large enough to contain a drafting table, she could put anything she liked into it, in
any order, of any size, and it would always appear at the top when she  needed it. Used pencils would appear sharpened, old pens would be full of ink and ready to use. That old fountain pen she had ignored for 8 years would not only be mysteriously full but its nib would also be moist and ready for action. Even that lucky ballpoint she lost after her final exam in high school would be there. All in her pocket.

One night, she dreamt that her neighbour stole her pencil case, came into her flat in the middle of the day while she worked, found the pencil case, stole it. Why had she left it home that day? Of all days?

By the curious logic of dreams she understood she had to leave it or her neighbour couldn't have stolen it. She awoke with a sense of loss so upsetting she called work and took a sick day. Sat nursing her coffee in the heat of the late morning. Missing something she'd never had.

Later that day, she kicked a puppy and was cruel to her neighbour. Offended and upset, her neighbour went home and drank beer in front of the tube until he fell unconscious, dreaming of scribbling terrible graffiti on her front door.

He dreamt that in his pocket, he had a pencil case full of cans of spraypaint. He had no idea where he'd gotten it but somehow, he liked it.