In my dream, Cassie didn't so much cheat on me as she cheated in front of me, with three truck drivers while we ate breakfast at Clay's Kitchen. The four of them did so casually at our booth while my eggs sat untouched in a dirty plate.
I knew certain dreams could be visions from God. Dad dreamed of his own future, had witnessed to it, claiming it a vision, and these gifts were often inherited, the church said. Dad told everyone that his family would be taken from him and that he would not live long, his heart crushed.
There were no instructions in this vision, Dad told the stunned congregation, only the understanding that the Lord will not abandon me during this time.
I came away with no instructions and no understanding, but the Cassie in my dream was the Cassie of my past. And that could never happen.
I met her while playing in a punk-rock band during my rebellious years away from the church. There was mostly pot and then more Budweiser and Old Fitzgerald and Jack Daniels on top of that, but a few years in, the band switched to cocaine. Rooms were left spotted with foul clues that humans might have spent time there, hard and strange time, warped time. I dabbled less with cocaine than some of the others, but during this period the music became a phantom excuse.
The few times I did take part, pinching my nostrils afterwards until it seemed the soft bones might push through the skin, I did so only because Cassie was there, staring at me with warm hair and killer eyes. Two three four times she would bend over the coffee table in tight denim and take lines, that warm hair splashed out from her head, a giant dark hand, a claw with thousands of needle-thin fingers, clutching and pushing her head down from above, through the ceiling from some kind of heaven-hell, cheekbone against wood, throat stretched tight.
It was how she had looked in my dream in front of me and my cold eggs.
I decided to take action after my dream, but I spoke to no one about it. Mysterious, mysterious ways. A fanatic, an addict, believes in the excuse more than he believes in anything else. And when I prayed, I prayed very quietly while Cassie slept beside me, the easy sound of her breathing steadying my thoughts like something holy, something wrathful.