vodka & soda

by Bec Fary

That funny dream-state when you wake up and go back to sleep, those dreams in the in-between-hours are the most vivid for me, often about waking up, morning rituals and real people and events. In this one, I was already thinking about my morning coffee…

Taste was a stronger dream-sensation than usual. I’d been camping in the woods with people I didn’t recognise, but I knew them well. I was sitting at a table and food was scattered everywhere. It was morning, everyone was getting ready to go home, and it felt like the end of a weekend of partying.

Two men were sitting across from me and one handed me a cup of black coffee. There was something else in the cup and the coffee tasted strange. The two men laughed when I poured milk in.

They asked me what was wrong with the coffee, so I tasted it again. I realised there was rice floating in the coffee, and it tasted of soy sauce. One of the men told me he’d eaten sushi out of the cup earlier. I was disappointed, but kept drinking the coffee anyway.

The man said when he’d worked in am office, he used to put dessert in people’s coffee cups.

‘That would be the best coffee ever!’ I yelled, desperately, because I really meant it and for some reason I wanted everyone to hear (I think at this point there were multiple conversations going on, I felt self-conscious). Then I realised my boyfriend was sitting next to me, nodding, and I was so happy he agreed with me.

But I felt so guilty, too, because earlier in the dream I’d kissed someone. A grey-haired man in an athletics shirt had been running around, part of a contest or game that everyone was playing.

I remember the colours distinctly, everything was greyscale but with accents of red. I can’t remember the details but some people were in red shirts and everyone else was grey (the grey-haired man had red stripes on his clothes), and there was a kissing/sex competition. I don’t remember the ‘rules’ of the game, but I know I’d been desperately chasing the grey-haired man, because his clothes were a different colour to mine.

I knew the man didn’t want to follow through with this game, but he kissed me anyway, and I knew he cared for me or at least wanted to protect me.

That next morning, everyone was calm and happy. I remember watching people standing on the edge of a raised wooden platform. It made me nervous, I thought they might fall and it was around 100 metres to the ground. Until they jumped, held hands for a slow descent, and landed calmly. It seemed so normal to them, and I wanted to try, but I knew I didn’t have whatever they had and would end up with broken legs.

Other people started following the jumpers’ example, but now each time they jumped they would bounce back up, landing on another raised platform sitting opposite. At one point someone jumped with a giant soda bottle under their arm (although the bottle was bigger than the person), and when they hit the ground the bottle fizzed and sprayed soda into the trees.

The next person to jump had another bottle under their arm as they clambered over people, climbing to the platform. It was a huge vodka bottle, and the red label radiating through the greyscale woods. People started cheering for the vodka, but when this person hit the ground the bottle didn’t bounce, it thudded and I realised it was a glass bottle. It didn’t break, instead rolling through the woods and the man started yelling, chasing after it.