Literally Reruns – The Dreampurple Light by Leila Allison

Another of our regular contributors has chosen work to be ‘Rerun’ and it’s a beauty. L’Erin Ogle pulled The Dreampurple Light from under the floorboards and this is what she said:

I love Leila Allison’s work. To quote “The Dreampurple Light”, “life is so goddamn arrogant.” In one line, she hits a home run. By that sentence, I was already hooked. Leila Allison is a master of voice in all her stories. But this story is my favorite—I love stories about fractured families and sisters. I’m a sucker for broken homes and the aftermath.

The story is about two sisters. Tess, the narrator’s sister sees a dreampurple light in the graveyard she frequents, the narrator does not. Tess tries to explain it but fails, and we find in the next paragraph that methadone cut with cherry syrup comes the closest to the dreampurple. “Just a teaspoon of the right stuff can make you fall to pieces.” And then the story unspools in a beautiful multilayered tapestry. There is the relationship between the two sisters, the abusive mother, the small town ghetto, the way life happens to girls with no father and no real maternal figure. We’re rooting for them to succeed, and the narrator does, in a way. She finds a career, she writes, she has the eyes of someone who has already seen a lot of life and is no longer surprised by it or hopeful that it will ever become easier.

But Tess is chasing the dreampurple escape. I’ve had my fair share of problems with substances, and relationships with those who never kick the shit. What Leila does so beautifully is illustrate how addiction begins as an escape from pain, that an addict is a person, that sometimes we want to better, but we just cannot. That reached up and punched me right in the heart.

I won’t spoil the ending for you, but just read it and then also read the rest of her work!

***

The Dreampurple Light

2 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – The Dreampurple Light by Leila Allison

  1. I want to thank L’Erin for her kind words. She is a first class writer, and this praise from her makes me feel almost respectable.
    I neither judge nor ridicule those who bask in the glory of the dreampurple light. And although it is probably unwanted, I only advise that you ask yourself now and then “Does this thing want what’s best for me?”

    Like

  2. Thanks for the suggestion L’Erin!
    Leila, it is a pleasure to revisit any of your work. There are so many layers to be be re-thought or realised.
    I said in my original comment that I loved the imagery of the title and I still do. I’m not sure if those that aren’t good for me are as much of a light, probably more a haze!
    Looking forward to more stories from both of you ladies!!
    Hugh

    Liked by 1 person

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