My dreams began as an assortment of the genies I had seen on television or in movies and the jinn I knew in real life. I saw Max with blue skin, wearing his suit and a turban and folding his arms in front of him while saying the magic words from Jonny Quest, “Sim, sim salabim.”
I toured the skies on a magic carpet with Lakedema, who was now appropriately dressed like a belly dancer. I had a coffee cup, hand-painted with green ivy, in my hand and it was full of endless champagne from which I could not stop sipping. We landed in the desert where I found an oil lamp in the sand. As I rubbed the lamp, Lakedema’s breasts began to grow larger. The harder I rubbed, the larger they grew until eventually she was sucked into the lamp breasts first.
Starting to feel a little drunk, I opened the top of the lamp. There she was, like a tiny Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie, lounging on a plush round couch.
“What are you doing in there?” I asked.
“You put me in here Mr. Tilton.”
“Can you just, would you just call me John? I thought only the intent stuff went into the bourbon bottle, or whatever, and your essence returned, you know, back… back.”
“That is true, in almost every instance,” said Max, suddenly standing right next to me, now without his blue skin and turban.
“Max, it’s good to see you my genie. Can I make my wishes now, before you disappear again?”
“You cannot, primarily because you are dreaming right now, for the most part, and because I am not capable, at the moment, of granting wishes.”
I looked back down at Lakedema who, despite being less than Lilliputian in size, still exuded massive amounts of sexuality. She did not seem to notice Max. She waved.
“Mr. Deep Water,” I said, feeling a slur slip into my words.
“Yes, Mr. Tilton.”
“When you just said just now that the essence of jinny people returns to the neighborhood, the community, most of almost all the time, you meant every single time except one time. Is that all true, what I just said?”
“It is, indeed.”
My head was spinning. “And I’m thinking now that the exception in the rule isn’t Ms. Lakedema down there maybe yonder.”
“That is true. Lakedema, as she appears to you now, is only a dream.”
I spun on my heels and lost my balance. “Ah ha,” I said, as Max reached out to steady me.
“This is the result of the hypnos administered by Lakedema,” said Max. “The symptoms of drunkenness will not follow you into the waking world.”
“But you, you are not a dream Max. Are you a dream?”
“Lakedema can explain when you wake”
Then I had what I imagined was a moment of clarity and it occurred to me I had an important question for Max. “How was I selected and picked, Max? How do you pick, how do you choose the, you know, wishees?”
The word “wishees” struck me as funny and I began to giggle uncontrollably. Even Max appeared somewhat uncharacteristically amused. “That is a complicated question and not usually my department. It is intended to be a random procedure, as you might understand randomness.”
“Ah ha again,” I yelled. “You have been equivocatory, I believe myself, on several points in this dream dear Max Max.”
“Mr. Tilton, you must listen to me. There have been several exceptions to the rules on this assignment, as you guess. I am indisposed at the moment because I choose to be but this may change.”
He closed his eyes as if concentrating. “You will wake soon. When you do you must locate my red book. Your father’s words will help you.”
“It’s in your pocket genie boy. And what the heck, no, what the hell does my dad have to do with anything about here? He’s died, you know?”
Max began to fade. “No, the book is in your pocket. Keep it safe and more importantly use it. Lakedema will help you, Mr. Tilton, as will your father, though you cannot imagine how. Trust Lakedema and those along the way, but do be cautious. You will hear from me again.”
“Jesus, Max, call me John.”
“I might yet, Mr. Tilton, when it is required.”
I was back on the flying carpet, this time with Mr. Magoo, the sight of whom made me laugh so hard my stomach cramped. He took us on several misadventures, flying through the marketplace, then the palace, and then, as near as I could tell, a den of thieves.
A giant blue hand appeared in the sky and plucked me off the carpet.
“John. John, it is time to wake. We must talk now. John.”
The giant blue hand became Lakedema’s face and I realized my eyes were open.
“Holy mother… I might not feel drunk but I sure as hell feel hung over.”
This time, Lakedema looked ashamed as she apologized and she dropped her gaze. “I am sorry to bring you discomfort John Tilton. Please understand that to cause in you, or anyone, anything other than pleasure is an extreme hardship for me as it is against my purpose for being.”
As she spoke, she touched my hand and I felt an amazing combination of absolute desire and total contentment. I wanted nothing but to be consumed by both feelings. The hangover vanished. When she removed her hand from mine the adrenalin subsided slightly, just enough to allow a small nagging thought to enter at the edge of my consciousness. Max.
Noting my expression, Lakedema’s face brightened, though she carefully spared me the effect of a full smile. “Max found you then, while you traveled?”
“I don’t, well, yes I suppose. He was a part of the dream.”
I felt Lakedema’s excitement at my answer and the blood once again rushed to the center of my body.
Apparently sensing this she moved away, across the room. “You must tell me John, what did he say to you?”
“He said he was unavailable, indisposed I guess. He said it in that patronizing way, you know, ‘in a manner of speaking,’ as if the truth would be too complicated for my tiny human brain.”
Lakedema turned toward me and spoke evenly. I could feel her heightened awareness filling the room. “These were his exact words?”
“Close enough, but he made it clear that this was not the full story.”
“I understand. What else did he say?
“He could not grant my wishes because of the whole indisposed thing, whatever, and he told me to find his book, his little red book. And he mentioned my father. Why would he talk about my dad?”
I had thought Lakedema was wearing a replica of Max’s suit but now I noticed the jacket seemed shorter. In fact, it was very short and as she walked it rode up onto her waist, exposing her bare blue hips. I was mesmerized by this change in wardrobe. As she approached me, I realized it wasn’t a man’s jacket at all but a vest, a vest that concealed almost nothing.
“We can talk about your father another time. Did he tell you where the red book was, John?”
I watched the vest, feeling certain it would pop open at any moment.
“John, tell me what Max said about the red book.”
The vest, now held together by a single brass button arrived within inches of my face. I felt I would die of anticipation and welcome the death. I wanted to reach out but my hands felt so heavy. Everything began to blur at the edge of my vision and suddenly feel familiar. I knew this feeling. It was the feeling I had while flying on the magic carpet with Mr. Magoo, the feeling of knowing you’re in a dream, or a combination of dreaming and waking. Lakedema seemed like a dream, the door to my apartment opening and the afternoon sun pouring in seemed real.
Lakedema stroking my hair, a dream.
A bright flash, like a camera flash and something like a roar, real.
The sound of Lakedema asking me in a soothing voice about the red book, unreal.
At the same time, the sound of her voice, panicked, telling me to wake, was real.
Copyright © 2016 by Mike Ferguson
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