For those new to my life, please allow me to introduce a woman who has a profound effect on my sleeping habits; Bonnie Parker. You may know her better as the Bonnie half of Bonnie and Clyde. A couple of years ago I started having very vivid dreams about Bonnie and I have some rather unusual conversations, and since then she pops in and out of my dreamscapes at very irregular intervals. Oh, and she’s armed. Bonnie carries a Browning Automatic Rifle around with her like most women people carry a purse, except most purses don’t have armor piercing bullets or a twenty round clip. I get oohs and ahhs about there being some remote possibility that Bonnie is actually a ghost, but there are a few problems here, some of them more realistic than others.
Ghost people tell me ghosts haunt either people or places, mostly people in places. The idea the ghost of a dead red headed woman who never set foot in Georgia is now haunting a man she never met, who is a member of a family she never had any dealings with, goes against everything all the ghost people tell me is true about ghosts. Oh, and I do not believe in ghosts. This doesn’t help very much when Bonnie shows up.
“You and your damn strays, “ Bonnie said softly. She likes Sam. Bonnie loves Sam. She sat on the bed with Sam’s head in her lay, and she was stroking his ears, but she was looking at Lucas, who she has never seen before, “it’s a wonder you don’t have a house full of ‘em.”
“Three is plenty.” And very nearly I added, “When it comes right down too it one is sometimes too much.” But I didn’t because quite honestly I like Bonnie but she scares the hell out of me. There isn’t a reason to be rude to her, and she armed. The BAR sat leaning against the end of the bed this time. Bonnie was singing a lullaby but I can never pick out the words. She’s a tiny woman, not five feet tall, and not a hundred pounds on her. She’s smaller than my niece, who is seventeen.
“This one,” Bonnie nods her head at Sam, “would be enough, but he would get out of sorts without another to play with.” She cooed at Sam who rubbed his head against her side. “You do good by him, you know, Mike.”
“Thank you.” She doesn’t use my name very often. But I’ve known real people like that. It’s usually at this point I have people tell me, “I would have asked her what it was like on the other side!” Or “Why don’t you reach over and try to grab the gun?” Let me explain it to you one more time; She’s dead. She’s armed. If you think the sight of a dead woman who is proficient in the use of automatic weapons sitting on your bed won’t cause you to freeze up a bit, my suggestion to you is to try it. Go find yourself a ghost and ask her all the damn questions you want.
See how easily I slip into believing Bonnie is real? She looks real. I can feel her shifting her weight on the end of the bed. I can smell her. I know her voice. There’s this weird thing she does when she walks, sometimes, when she’s feeling good, and likes being around me, she will take a step with her left foot, turn a little to the right, then step with her right foot, like she’s thinking about dancing. Or sex.
“It’s not like you think it is.” Bonnie tells me, and she steps left, turns, steps right, and then does it again, leaving her rifle at the foot of the bed and walking to the window. Sam follows her with his eyes, while Bert and Lucas never twitch. She’s wearing a simple dress, that’s white, but with an orange-brown band around the waist, and another down at the foot of the dress, and a smaller one around the neck and front of the dress.
“That dress looks good on you.” I hate this. I hate thinking she’s real. I’m sitting up in bed, and I can feel the weight of the dogs on the bed, I can see the moonlight coming through the window, and I can hear her light footsteps on the floor, I know she’s barefooted, and I hate none of it is real, and at some level I know, I know this isn’t happening, I mean, I have to know, right?
“Yeah?” Bonnie drawls at me. And she started unhooking the dress from the back, facing towards me. She makes a show at it, undressing slowly, and I can see just a sliver of her face in the moonlight, and there has never been a more real women in my life.
I find myself standing in the living room, in the exact same place I was standing the last time she was here, and no closer to understand what she means.