Wings / Dreams

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“What do you mean no one will know it’s me? Everyone will know it’s me. Or someone. And I grow faint in my struggles with this damnable shirt-like creature.”

But,” said Nedbert standing in the wings with the wings and unruffled as usual by Optimus’s balking and doubting and prolonging the simplest of activities, “by someone do you mean that everyone won’t know it’s you but someone will know it’s you?

“Or do you mean that everyone will know that the Lepidoptera peacockamamierum gigantica appearing before them is not real but is, rather, someone perhaps not you, perhaps someone other than you, wearing what will be a thoroughly striking man-sized lepidopteral outfit?”

“Why oh why must you always bring mystifying reinforcements into the arena of every discussion? Of course the leopard cannot change his spots. Only a magician can do that.”

“My point precisely, sir. Seeing is believing, and man often knows not the difference between what’s real and what’s a dream. It will be a magical moment. Or several magical moments all strung together to make an occasion. But before those moments or that occasion may occur, we must move forward with getting dressed.

“Oh, my. I’ve forgotten. Am I to welcome the shirt-like creature or spurn it?”

“You cannot very well spur with an arm or a hand, sir, and the wall between us prevents my ascertaining the exact position of the shirt-like creature. But if you are in a state of wonder regarding whether to remove the shirt-like creature from your person, then, yes, you must remove the shirt-like creature before anything else can be done.”

“Well how was I to know that? I’ve been entangled here for centuries. One forgets if one is going forward or backwards.”

“That’s correct, sir, you can just back out of the shirt-like creature.”

“How can I back out of it if it grabs me no matter which direction I turn? And these leggings are all wrong. The wrong color. The wrong size. The wrong everything.

“Those aren’t leggings, sir, those are your handsome and attractive legs. And let me ask you a question. Can you even see your legs, or, if you insist, your leggings, from where you are beneath the shirt-like creature?”

“I can see barely anything, but if I look down I can see the bottom of the miroir, in which is the reflection of my sinister shoe and the rather more benign ankle above it.”

“We’ve discussed this before. That is not a miroir, sir. It’s a portal.”

“I thought we were going to a par-tay. You didn’t say anything about a por-tal.”

“Sir, we must pass through the portal to attend the par-tay. The portal is part of the par-tay, but you cannot go to the par-tay until you are attired. Please remove the shirt-like creature so you can remove the remainder of your underpinnings and I can spirit myself through this wall to affix these wings to your person.”

“Damn straight, I’m tired. I’m telling you I cannot get out of here. And if I remove my underpinnings, I shall be naked, and if I am naked—do you anticipate that I shall attend the par-tay naked. What a fool you are. And why don’t you help me free myself of this shirt-like creature?”

“You shall not go naked. We have ointments and flecks of gold with which to slather your person. and dress you. And I cannot help you sir. As you must know, I am on the other side of the wall. I am merely in waiting.”

Baiting what? Are we going hunting?”

Waiting, sir, I am waiting, always waiting, waiting on you. Sir, please, sir, disrobe. We have wings.

Dreams? What dreams? Are we dreaming?”

Wings. I said wings. You, sir, you are dreaming. You are the only dreamer here.”

. . .

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