Another dream is dressing,
preparing for her entrance.
I hope she is good. I have
not paid for a ticket but
I have rights. The curtain
twitches and the lights
dim. I hope the dream is
in her best dress. Something
gold and glittery, hip-hugging,
trailing down to the floor as
the dream sways like she is
about to walk onto the red
carpet. Maybe her hair will
be wavy and flowing, topped
with a tiara. Stilettos lifting
the dream a little, making her
walk taller and stand straighter,
proud and excited to perform.

Sitting in the front row of the
theatre by myself, I am underdressed
in my pyjamas, but I am an
eager audience – stripy blue
and white bottoms and even
though it’s February now, a long-
sleeved top with Rudolph’s
face on it and a gimmicky
pink ball for a nose, which
strangely sticks out not far
from where my stoma used
to be. I am comfortable yet
vulnerable. I urge the dream
not to read my thoughts, not
to think about the day just gone
or the day about to ascend. I ask
her to perform a work of fiction,
to sing a happy, upbeat song
I won’t want to wake up from.
I pray for a play that strays
from my normal viewing –
that strays from dead relatives,
from haunted houses, from
familiar fears, from realism. The
curtains open and I see the silhouette
of the dream walk to the microphone.
I clap, my hands hollow and echoing
in my private purgatory. The
spotlight shines on her, and she begins.