The Slightly Misguided Dreamer

An artist with an overactive imagination and a cursing habit, and her imaginary boyfriend who exists solely in her dreams every night, accidentally starts blending the line between dreams and reality and comes to believe that he really exists. Meanwhile, a lonely writer giving up on dating and his failing career, helps her out through acts of coincidence.

A quiet jazz melody broke through the conversations that intertwined and became one loud, overbearing mumble of a noise that encased the interior of the coffee shop like a humid summer heat. The barista behind the counter, feeling a certain groove welling up inside of him, turned the knob for the volume on the sound system ever so slightly to the point where the buzzing noise was slightly inconspicuous in comparison. Only one patron seemed to notice the balance of sound suddenly shift and she lifted her head for a moment from the book that had kept her encapsulated for the past hour and forty three minutes.

It was then when Maggie realized that it was not in fact jazz, but most definitely reggae. She momentarily let a small look of distaste distort her otherwise emotionless features. she reached for the green ceramic mug full of coffee that she had ordered but soon abandoned after its arrival. The liquid was cold, and cold stale coffee is rarely considered delectable in any respect. But to Maggie, coffee was coffee regardless of temperature.

Maggie got up and made her way to the condiment bar with her cup, and was soon doctoring the drink with sugar and cocoa powder. She took a preemptive sip and silently congratulated her efforts.

Back at the table, she returned to the book, but soon found that her sporadic bouts of ADD were kicking in. Maggie knew for a fact that it was most definitely not the caffeine from the coffee due to years of abusing the liquid. She was well past using it to keep herself awake and alert. Her system was much too accustomed to the welcome buzz that it was now just a matter of mere survival. Without the proper dosage of caffeine in her system, Maggie just wasn't herself.

She set the book back down, making a mental note of the page she was on. She wasn't one to be bothered with using bookmarks. Had it been her own book, she would have simply made a small dog-ear in the upper corner of the page. But she had borrowed the book from a friend, and people can get pretty anal when it comes to dog-earing pages in their books.

Maggie sighed and sat for a moment, nursing her cold cup of coffee she had nestled in her hands. She stared blankly out the window, not at anything in particular. She was infamous for spacing out for lengthy amounts of time. Sometimes she would get to the point where someone could speak to her for almost five minutes without her even knowing.

This had garnered her a lifelong reputation for being rude and distant, as well as being observed for weird and abnormal behavior. But she used this to her advantage, accessing herself plenty of time free from the polite conversations and awkward social interactions that most people find themselves trapped in.

It was usually in these moments of stillness that she either cleared her mind of its usual mass of thoughts and observations, or she let it roam wherever it wished to go. She always found these to be the moments where her best ideas and fantasies came into play.

Today, she wanted to have a nice uncluttered train of thought, but she kept drifting into her time consuming fantasies. She had a dream last night that she was having a hard time pushing aside. In her dream, she had been sitting up in a large bed having a conversation with a faceless stranger in striped pajamas. The dream really hadn't progressed past that, but it had still left her curious.

For the past year and a half, Maggie had been having dreams every night that involved this particular imaginary faceless person. The reason she always regarded him as faceless was not due to the fact that he didn't exactly have a face, it was just that she could never remember what he looked like upon waking. Yet, this faceless stranger encapsulated every aspect and quirk that her ideal boyfriend would emanantly possess. She had even gone to the extreme point of naming him Neil, a name she had found oddly fitting.

And, as she sometimes clouded the line between dream and reality, Maggie had accidentally slipped a few Neil references into daily conversation. And not wanting to admit the fact that she had just told her friends that she had not spent a romantic afternoon going to a flea market with "Neil" and that it was in fact, just a dream.

Of course, upon realizing her faux pas mid-story, she ended up going along with it, embellishing a few minor dream details to make the story more interesting. Although after the completion of this story, her friends now believed that she had a boyfriend named Neil. A tragic literary type who wore mismatched socks and shared her love of artichoke quicshe, public scorn, romantic walks at flea markets, and Pablo Picasso.

Maggie didn't think that the minor detail that Neil did not exist, and was simply a figment of her excessively overworked subconcious to be such a big deal. This was of course until her friends started pressing her more about her elusive boyfriend and she figured  it couldn't be that hard to talk about him. She had made up nearly every detail of his life and personality. She had tons of notebooks stashed on her bookshelf, filled with Neil dreams, stories and anything else she could conjure up.

Some might go as far to say that Maggie was a compulsive liar, among other things.

She snapped out of her daydreams when the dull murmur of voices once again overtook the music. She looked down at the now empty cup of coffee cradled in her hands and noted how despite her mind drifting completely into other realms, she could still retain necessary eating and drinking routines. Maggie sat back in her chair and contemplated finding a new place to spend her bleak afternoons of mulling about.

The End

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