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"Wants to Talk" by Z.H. Gill




Life’s been so-so, been good enough: I’m working at the Ken Foree Chrysler/Jeep down on Lankershim Blvd., selling lemons to degenerates—not the worst post I’ve ever occupied. Can’t complain too much, although just the other day my dad’s beloved dog Olive did die at the hands of that ludicrously negligent kennel master in Toluca Lake, you might have read about him. (He’s behind bars now.) (The city promised to give my dad a new dog, but it hasn’t come in yet.)


My fiancée is now the one of us who’s having the most trouble: my counterpart in her dreams—not me, but not not me—keeps telling her lies, she doesn’t know what to think anymore when she wakes up.


She asks me if I really love her (Of course I do!), if I think she’s annoying (Of course not, usually!), if she needs to stop talking through the films we watch together (That might be nice).


I tell her I’d like to pick my dream-self’s brain. I write up a little questionnaire: How old are you? Where were you born? What’s your full name? And mother’s maiden? That’s the gist of my list of 60-something questions.


We visit our witchiest friend Beth, she casts an incantation onto my question sheet, which apparently allows my fiancée to bring it into her dreams.


The next morning, she tells me it worked, but.. He didn’t like that too much, she says, clearly exhausted.


What did he say? I ask, delicate as can be.


He says he wants to talk to you.

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