He was dreaming when he woke the first time. A mild sweat hung over his body as he lay in the darkened bed, tucked within a down blanket and damp sheets. His head protruded up out of an opening in the material at the head of the bed; as the flower head of a Jack-in-the-Pulpit does looming in the night sky, waiting for the sun. He thought and wondered how he had gotten into this position. He usually slept on his stomach.
Moments before, inside of a dream he was running to a house, an elder man’s house to be exact; Robert’s house, he was running with a friend.
Upon arrival they ransacked Robert’s kitchen and less than asked for Robert to donate his belongings, mostly his eggs. Robert did so, but he did so with a quiet warning. A tacit warning; Robert in dream form remained laconic and ominous.
Robert sat in a recliner; donning flannel and corduroy slacks, he sat back and laughed. Robert was watching nothing in particular on the television, but it was on. Not much for sound, but the screen was producing a white-light image. They could not see the image on Robert’s screen as they fried the eggs. But the imagine was their and transfixing to their ‘host’. “Robert, you are out of eggs now!” the dreamer’s friend shouted, Robert, nodded in agreement, turned toward them, and then back to the shots of light coming from the screen. Robert did not look toward them after this encounter.
He woke up again with stomach cramps, he lay on his back, it was 2:13 AM; a slight malaise that could have been avoided… He thought. Maybe it was because his girlfriend didn’t love him like she used to, maybe it was because of the copious amount of Sriracha he dressed each meal with. Well, it was happening now. Pain shot through his abdomen. Had to deal.
He woke to the point of cognition, an unpleasant arousal. Stretching to one side he pulled his legs from under the covers and set them on the hardwood floor, he pulled his body up and looked forward into the darkness at the wall. He flung the blankets toward the window across the room and opened the door. A faint light came through the shades.
Maneuvering through the unlit threshold of the kitchen he felt along the wall for the bathroom door; opening the door he flipped the light switch to a blinding flash, and a glimpse in the mirror of himself; split seconds, then the intensity from the fluorescents caused his eyelids to close…
He pissed, a long piss, he recalled the color; a brownish-yellow, dark, very dark, he was dehydrated. He remembered his pigment and smiled. Still amazed, still lucky. He thought of water and of the hour in which he would have to wake. A day ahead of himself, a week ahead, by most accounts he was light-years from where he should be.
He walked towards the bathroom door turned the knob and exited, he flipped the light again to see black dots floating before him. The television was on in the living room in front of where he stood; a black screen, but powered on. He could see the blinking lights near the cable box even though he was nearly blind in the dark from the great disparity in light. His pupils had not caught on yet. Some senses dulled.
He walked towards his room, which was to the left of the dining room when a thunderous boom came from in front of where he stood. The television blinked on. Bu-boo, the welcome sound of his community PC echoed in the downstairs air. He stood silent. Walking forward cautiously he examined to find no one, not a living soul. Not a thing. Trepid and confused, he waited. He walked to the center of the living room, in front of him the television screen showed an imagine of a piano. Not even a mouse was near. He walked to his bedroom, lying down on his bed, and he lay awake in the night. He thought, god damn, why couldn’t it have been my grandpa? What was this house before it was a house? And is there an afterlife? All these fleeting inquiries; and will it be here tomorrow?
He sat and lay in the twilight.
Bu-boo, the sound came at first from under the door, it was 2:58 AM, and then again as he exited his bedroom and entered the living room entrance. He walked past the television and the empty room, up the stairs, and began knocking on his IT guy’s door. His IT guy came to the door and told him to “fuck off” at first, and then, later, expressed empathy. He explained himself to the IT guy and was told to unplug the community PC, and stop watching so much television. He walked back down the stairs, into the empty living room, unplugged the PC box and shut down the television, on the way to his room.
After that he didn’t remember falling asleep…
He woke near the threshold of the kitchen, a light on within. There was no one in sight. He flipped the switch off and the light in the dining room came on. He flipped the dining room light switch off and the kitchen light switch flipped on again. He stood in a tug-of-war between two rooms until finally he gave up.
He fell to the floor and woke up in the light.
With both lights on he dressed, hurried out the door, and came to at work to find a disheveled mess of baked goods, dish bins, and nothing of worth to sell any customer.
That was when the door opened.
He stood in his work attire, frantically cleaning. Trying to get to the bottom of the bottomless mess. Trying with all his might to make a decent impression to a first time customer, or to a patron. No such luck was found. “Coffee!” an elderly lady shouted, he said they weren’t ready to be served yet. She looked in disgust and in the time it took him to look to the ground she walked out the door.
What a day; from supernatural experiences with a television set, to playing tag with lights, to coming to a dismantled work environment, this day was unexpected and different. The taste of the air at work was hot, the feel was surreal, almost warming, and then he came to with his head smothered in sweat, drool, pillows, and blankets.
He woke in his bed, looked at the clock again. The clock read 4:50 AM.
Then he was up for work, ready to go. Out of it.
He sat eating an apple looking in all directions, as if home was a far off lunar surface. He ate cautiously, steadily, and thoughtfully until he had to go. He did not finish his meal; he had lost his appetite throughout the night.
Not a painful empty stomach, just a carless empty stomach.
As he opened the door and shut out the lights in the house, he could feel the cool air from outside. What a relief after this episode, the morning was still. Not many were out to witness the beauty of day at this time. He stood and relished the moment, momentarily, as not to be late. He had made it in one piece. He was outside now, no moonlight, no sunlight, just a locked door behind him and the stairs and lamplight to guide the way to his occasional occupation.
He pushed off with one foot down the driveway and took a wrong turn on a one way. He rode stealth-like with speed; he rode past a few people in cars, a few people waiting at the bus stop, and past a few neon lights of empty businesses along Nicollet Mall, as they waited for business.
He thought about the events that had unfolded as he locked his bike to a signpost. He thought about how messy his work had been in his dream, and how strange and amiss things had been.
Between pedestrian and employee.
He walked into a familiar corridor, through some same ole’ doors and came to a halt. Secondary doors that were in the middle of the hall were locked. He placed a phone call and an attractive co-worker of his came and opened the door. Her blond hair hung limp over an ironic t-shirt: Stay Fresh, All Natural, was written across her breasts, her smile was on display, hesitantly. She was amazing even in the distress of a busy work atmosphere. A positive reinforcement for him; his day was becoming better as they walked. She knew it.
He asked her how she was. She replied with, “Busy, behind, tired.” He replied with, “How are you really?” She replied passively, “All right.” She opened the door and they both walked in. He followed close as she approached the counter. He could see the bakery was in disarray from through the window; dirty dishes everywhere, baked good nowhere to be found, coffee product missing. Everything was lost. Then she turned to him and said:
“Jackson was fired today, we are really behind and we need your help. Grab some eggs, sprinkles, and frosting. And for God Sake call Robert!”
As she finished speaking the lights flickered on and off throughout the room and a booming sound came over the speakers, Bu-boo-Fucking welcome to Windows 8.
He woke up in a heavy sweat, covered in a pile of wet blankets. He looked at the clock the time was 3:13 AM.
He had an hour and thirty-seven minutes to sleep before he had to get up for work. He lay back and began to stare at the ceiling.
The Fucking streaming media isn’t working.
I am going nuts!
Can we get a Torrent video that is not of shit quality that doesn’t take 6 hours to buffer?
Suddenly he realized what he had done wrong: Nothing.
The only thing he could think of was he was out of batteries, watching too much television, hyper-paranoid, and out of his mind. He shouldn’t have eaten stolen eggs in his dream, and he should have taken better care to shut off the tube when the day was out. My book wasn’t this heavy.
Time flies when you are having fun, but time drags when you cannot sleep, or are living in a nightmare.
Life is but a dream.