Seconds ago, I was sleeping and having the oddest dream, an intense one, and odd, very odd. Then noises woke me up, and as I was coming to, I had no idea where I was. I lay here with my eyes closed until it came to me, and I forced my eyes open, heart racing. That’s happened several times before, but never so intensely. It must have been the dream that put me in such a weird place.
I’ve lived between six months to three years in any one residence since I was 18. I did the math in my head while still sort of lucid, and if I’m right, which I probably am—I’ve had plenty of experience doing math in my sleep—that’s 1.27 years per residence. It’s not uncommon for me to wake up not knowing which walls I’m opening my eyes to.
I misspelled years while typing that last bit, and autocorrect replaced my mistake with Yeats, with a capital Y. It’s refreshing to know my phone is familiar with the arts. With Irish culture, no less. Of course. Well.
I picked up my phone after waking to see the time, and I was astonished to see that it’s only midnight. I feel as though I’ve slept for hours and hours.
That dream though. Something about water and chess and time and an infinite expanse of rolling hills beyond a line of trees. And a birthday party that I and others escaped from as the mother of the birthday girl gave a speech in which she berated and humiliated her daughter. We ended up at a buffet of good food that repulsed me. I filled my plate anyway, but I didn’t eat. Then there we were, my fellow escapees and I, reclining happily on a cliff that overlooked a beautiful and wide white-water river to the other side of the split where sparsely lined trees stood on the edge of the opposing cliff; and through the trees we saw endless rolling hills that were clear of all but a coat of wheat. I felt happy. Very.
That’s when I woke up—from the moment of my dream that felt as real as the awake world, to a moment in which I had no clue where I was.
My mind filled with memories of dreams all day today, and waves of pleasure washed over me, pushing their way into my goings on. The equivalent of endorphins overriding pain, I suppose. How melodramatic of me; I’m not in despair. I was still quite sick but recovering, though reviving walked me through a waterfall of emotion. I cried this morning like a whimpering child reaching for Mom, silently and pitifully expressing “I don’t feel good.” I recovered shortly after arriving at work, but not before a coworker saw my face soaked in tears. She’s a kind woman, but tough as nails. “You’ll make it,” she said in that motherly tone while walking backward, facing me as she went quickly to ready her day.
And I made it.