WOLVES

For my aunt Karina. For one of my favorite artists of all time, David Lynch. To all the dreamers, those awake and those asleep.

By the time they hit the road, they could feel the sensation crawling on their skin. It was an unusual day, the kind that feels brand new, but not in an exciting way. It felt different than anything else, nearly impossible to figure it out why. It felt as if the Earth has never seen a day like that before, and they both knew it.

Karina has always had a signature way of driving. She would place her right hand on the bottom of the wheel and the left one at a 11 o’clock angle. She often found herself getting home and realizing her mind was so full of racing thoughts that she couldn’t even put into words how she got home. She just did — a kind of automatic behavior that landed her remarkable jobs but also exhausted her. Her satiny and long dark hair was surprisingly not tied today, even though it was a hot summer day in the city. The windows were rolled down and the wind felt warm yet still cooling. Today, the city was breathing. The gleaming asphalt looked thirsty. On a day like this, she thought, it was possible to believe that anything could be accomplished.

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                                   David Lynch – Woman with Dream, 2007

Shelly was sitting on the passenger’s seat, in charge of taking care of Sparky, a high-functioning and extremely friendly French Bulldog. She always liked the way Karina drove, and thought it was funny how serious her face could turn in a matter of seconds. Karina was more than just her aunt, but someone Shelly grew up looking up to. Shelly always felt like she could understand Karina and her complex personality, even though they were complete polar opposites. Her disciplined habits, incredible emotional strength and ability to speak her mind regardless of the consequences, were entirely foreign to Shelly. She was a deep observer of the world and was usually lost in her own thoughts. She had a hard time getting out of her own head sometimes, always thinking of the endless possibilities surrounding decisions, places and interactions. Her curiosity verged on obsession, but somehow she always managed to keep her feet on the ground. Shelly liked to think of herself as someone who knows how to unleash her ideas; letting them fly up high to find new horizons, but always remaining rooted in her principles. She liked to think of herself in many different ways, carefully coming up with explanations on why she was the way she was. This would usually lead her to fall victim of her own self-sabotaging mechanism, and unlike Karina, she would end up with numerous unfinished projects.

Shelly’s blonde hair was reflecting the strong July’s sun rays, in direct contrast with Karina’s brunette tones. The two were driving under the subway train for what seemed to be an eternity, and Sparky was starting to get impatient. About the time they hit the first red light, Shelly spotted Sparky’s owner driving on the opposite direction as them. Pete was driving slow and seemed relaxed although his face was covered by a foggy cloud. She alerted Karina about Pete — the two were supposed to return Sparky that same day. In that moment, it became clear for Shelly what the two of them were doing that day. For the entire car ride, she was trying to remember where they were really going and why Sparky was sitting on her lap.

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 David Lynch – Man with Thought, 2009

Traffic was non existent and that specific street didn’t seem to have many rules. It was an area in Philadelphia known for its never ending road renovations and drivers felt entitled to make up their own rules. Karina started waving to Pete so he could see her on the other side of the street. She looked at Sparky and quickly grabbed him from Shelly. She rolled her windows all the way down and stuck the bulky dog out the window. Shelly noticed that she was holding Sparky with only one hand and thought to herself: am I dreaming?

She noticed Karina was starting to struggle to hold the dog and before she could say anything, Sparky fell off her hand and ran away. The two of them looked at each other, feeling nervous about how they would retrieve the dog.

Everything changed in a matter of seconds. They weren’t in a car and they weren’t in Philadelphia anymore. As night fell down, everything changed. Karina and Shelly found themselves walking through a poorly lit parking lot, located in between a couple fast-food restaurants. Shelly felt she was the only one genuinely confused about the events that were taking place and how they ended up there. She unsuccessfully tried to come up with explanations, after all, it all seemed so strange. She looked over to Karina and saw her very focused on finding Sparky, carefully and silently looking around. Shelly had a strong gut feeling that it wouldn’t be a good idea to call for the dog or make any noise and in her head, she knew she wouldn’t find Sparky unless she screamed his name. She looked over to her side and realized Karina wasn’t there anymore. She vanished just before her eyes and things began to feel even stranger than before.

The thought of being by herself in that dark and empty parking lot made Shelly increasingly nervous and absolutely terrified. She could feel a presence all around her, eyes watching through the bushes, figures passing behind her back and no sign of Karina or Sparky. She swallowed hard, took a short and deep breath and screamed: “Sparky! Where are you?”. As soon as the words came out of her mouth, she instantly regretted them.

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   David Lynch – Rock with Seven Eyes, 1996

Her scream seemed to be more powerful than she thought it was and her voice awakened something in the parking lot. She heard a noise coming from behind her back and as she turned to see what it was, she found three big black wolves. They were walking towards her, at the same exact speed, perfectly aligned. She remembered one documentary she watched a while ago that said you should never run from wild animals, such as bears. If you did, they would quickly eat you up, so she turned the other way and slowly began walking away from them. She realized they had caught up to her, and were now just a couple inches away from her back. She looked over her shoulder and noticed two of the three wolves had disappeared and she was now alone with one black wolf. She stopped walking. She closed her eyes.

She imagined the wolf going away, walking the opposite direction, taking her fear away. She felt the wolf coming up closer to her as he placed his two front paws on her legs and started sniffing her neck. At first, the wolf was incredibly gentle — slowly smelling her, entangling his nose in between her hair. The soft but uncomfortable feeling transformed into unbearable pain and fear and as she opened her eyes there wasn’t a wolf there anymore. The wolf became a tall man, whose face was a clear blur. He grabbed her arms, her hair, pushed her against him and frantically attempted to rip her clothes off. As Shelly started to fight back she realized it was becoming harder and harder to breath. The anxiety and fear completely took over her body and she wasn’t sure anymore if she would ever be able to escape. Escape the wolves, the man and the empty parking lot. Escape the frightening feeling of being trapped, being held down, never having her voice heard. Escape the fear she has always carried with her, even if subconsciously, of being attacked by another man. A fear that belongs to her, and one that accompanies many women walking home at night. She began to scream, but all one could hear was deep silence. No sound was coming out of her mouth until she saw a perfect image of herself asleep in her comfortable bed.

She awoke.

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