"Curry Turkey at the Gas Station, Tom" by Jean McLarney

Tom and I are walking down Yonge St, talking. That much I’m sure about. Dreams are weird.

 

We’re nearing the time he has to go. There’s no definitive indicator of this. It’s just a feeling. Tom’s mom is coming home from a trip—his wife has their son. Tom’s a doctor. There’s a limited amount of time.

 

We get to a convenience store (that isn’t there in real life) across from Belly Busters on the east side of Yonge. The store must be inside the building the bank used to be in, or else it’s where Ho-Lee-Chow was.

 

Inside, I buy a pie plate with foil over top so my crust won’t burn, a poetry chapbook off a metal rack, which I must have bought once before because I’m giving this one to Tom, and the clerk is asking if I want to get my 8 lbs turkey now, and gas, and asks if I collect points?

 

I pay for the gas but don’t have my car. The car is back at my grandmother’s place a short walk away. Tom and I go back for it. There are all these puddles. I guess I leave him in one of the puddles or at the house because I’m back in the store alone.

 

The turkey smells delicious cooking behind the register, coated in spicy green curry, and I’m clutching my receipt to make sure I get my gas.

 

But now I’m in the lobby of a movie theatre I don’t recognize, and it’s not thanksgiving, or is it thanksgiving? And I’m waiting for Tom. This is where it gets sketchy.

 

We’re about to see Steve Barron’s Ninja Turtles. Anna, Tom’s wife, is there. Anna asks what is Toronto like in March?

 

We’re inside the theatre before I can answer. Mass is being celebrated in front of the screen. I ask the denomination and am told United though it looks Catholic. The preacher is a member of the Peaky Blinders crossed with one of the spooks from Dark City.

 

In front of the store now, Yonge St is gone. I’m standing by a payphone. There’s a shimmering blue lake right where my car should be.

 

And I wake up before I pump my gas.