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June 17, 2024

Dinner With Henry 64: Clarissa's Dream (The Reversal)

By Bruce Memblatt

Her eyelids opened sharply. Then they began to flutter in quick jagged stops and starts like a sewing machine. Distance appeared strange; what used to seem far was now near, what was near was now far. There was a shoe towering above her. And even higher and farther above the shoe stood Andre's large bulbous head. But what was even more intrusive and more frightening was his laugh, which now seemed louder and more jarring than a fire alarm.

And then he spoke. The volume and depth of such, he sounded like a god.

And he said, "Oh my, dear Clarissa, what has happened to you? You are now small, almost tiny. Oh, it is a sad day. Why I could step on you and you would be gone. But, of course, I would not do such a thing to Henry's mother and sweet Winifred's grandmamma ..."

She didn't know what to do, or what to say. If she buzzed would he even hear her?

Andre boomed, "Yes, do not worry, I will hear you, Clarissa, buzzes travel."

"Jumpin' midgets! How did I get so small?" She buzzed.

Andre moved his hands through the air. She could feel the breeze they created. "I wish I knew, Clarissa, it is like a dream, oh wait, I mean it is like a nightmare." His eyes scrunched.

"But what will I do? How will I get back to the big?" Clarissa said, she fluttered, a small speck on the floor of the loft, into the parquet.

"Again, I do not know, Clarissa."

"And what about you, Andre, who will you cook for? And who will Shakespeare make parfaits for? Henry wash dishes for? And Diego do whatever she does for? How will you all ever survive?"

Andre stood still for several moments, a blank look filled his face, and like he woke out of a daze he said, "You always win, don't you, Clarissa?"

"Yes," She buzzed.

Then a strange spark suddenly flashed across Andre's eyes as he stared at the floor and said, "I should throw caution to the wind, I should not think about anything and just step on you, you leetle bug."

"Andre be, careful, when I get out of this, and you know I will, I will remember," She buzzed. A particle of dust landed on her wing and she felt it.

Andre stood looking down at the floor even more intently. "But what if you don't, what if this is not a dream?"

"Then, the questions still remains, what will you do?"

"You know, Clarissa, I used to admire you, but lately you have become more and more of the bully. You think you can do anything just because you are big."

"Well, I can."

"I thought you were going to bring the future, the new evolution, herald our destiny, but you only brought mishegas."

"Evolution isn't all that it's cracked up to be," Clarissa buzzed out. She thought about flying to another spot, but she changed her mind when she realized she had Andre right where she wanted him.

"Neither is mishegas, but at least evolution offers hope. What you offer is insanity and judgment!" Andre said furiously, pointing his fingers at the floor.

"Andre you're going to make me cry," She buzzed.

"Oh no! I do not want to see a grown big bug cry."

"I am no longer a big bug -- I am a has-been," She sniffled-buzzed.

"Oh my goodness! My dear, we must do something quickly." Andre's ears, eyes and nose twitched.

"You never do anything quickly, blabbermouth."

"Clarissa, did anyone ever tell you you lacked charm?" Andre said, his nose in the air.

"I don't need charm -- I'm big."


"Whatever will I do, Andre? What will we all do?" Clarissa sob-buzzed.

Then Andre looked up in the air as if a window had opened in his brain. "I've got it! We will keep it a secret! You just remain here in the loft. I will tell everyone you are fine. If anyone tries to come up I will tell them you are sleeping in another room. In the meanwhile, downstairs I will keep everyone hopping in the kitchen."

"But what about Simpson?" She fluttered and buzzed.

"I will kill him," Andre sneered.

"And you said I offered insanity?" Clarissa buzzed and then she spun around, and buzzed some more, "Time to evolve, Andre. Time to evolve, evolve, evolve, evolve," She kept repeating as she spun faster and faster.

Andre just shook his head and said, "Evolution is history."

"No, Andre evolution is everything. Wait till the door opens."

"Oh please, enough with your crazy door, Clarissa, we have a serious situation here. If this is not reversed, all evolution may be halted."

"Just keep your mind on the door. Always on the door," She buzzed and then she began to cry-buzz again, "What will we do? WHAT WILL WE DO?"

"Don't worry, it is just a dream, anything can happen in here." Andre grinned. All his teeth sparkled.

"Are you sure, Andre? Then when will it end?"

"When you wake up."

"But what if this is really your dream?"

"We don't know, do we, Clarissa?"

"Where is Henry?"

"Perhaps in another dream."

"When will we stop talking like this?"

"After I sing."

"Oh boy," She sigh-buzzed and trembled.

Then Andre cleared his throat, and he began,

"In a dream I see you.
In a dream you come to me.
My destiny.
Like the future you are always waiting, always near,
But you are never clear.
Like an x-ray or a puddle of gasoline.
You are hardly ever seen.
Go away."

Then Andre abruptly stopped singing and he said, "You know something, Clarissa, you asked where Henry was before, but you know he came to this warehouse two years ago and you still have not accepted him, STILL." Sweaty beads began to form on his forehead, "I AM SO ANGRY AT YOU RIGHT NOW I COULD STEP ON YOU AND I WILL!"

And slowly Andre began to lift his foot and he grinned.

"No, please, no, Andre!" Clarissa cry-buzzed and she fluttered and flustered.

Andre's teeth shone brightly and he began to cackle like a madman. Then Clarissa saw her view disappear and the dark shadow of Andre's heel cover everything in her sight, and then she woke up.

And She was big.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2012-03-19
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