I am in a lake, inexplicably and Jacob is there with some others. We are all in the water but I am the only panicking. We were on wooden logs of some sort but now they are sinking. With each grasp, the wood slips out of my grip, pushes further down. I can reach the bottom but am scared of it and I am clinging to one, treading water, trying to will my body on this thin piece of bark. As it turns over again, I realize, not only is it just a scraping of a tree trunk incapable of holding any weight but there are in fact, nothing but sticks in the water. Where I saw boats, planks, safety, there really are just twigs and pieces of branch and nothing to hold. Where I saw two alligators on the bank, I see a ripple in the water coming towards me.
I guess it is about 11 am when I wake back up. I am making it up. All of my clocks were electronic and the phone has been dead for almost twenty four hours. Genevieve is still purring next to my face, practically sitting on it as she does every winter. I am still complacent, wrapped in everything I own. This is depression.
“No, it is cold.”
Rolling to the side, I nudge the cat a little causing her to look up in alarm.
“Are we eating today, Genevieve, or are we skipping?”
Facing the window, curtains closed, I hear some ruckus outside. Yelling, but can’t decipher it, and laughter. Sounds like cars starting up and down the block. Good. I’ve always wanted to live in a mansion in the sky, have a block to myself, have everyone’s stuff in a closet.
“They will come back when I’m ready.”
I shut my eyes, thinking of the first time I saw the alligator running towards me. Frozen in place, I squinted, not able to believe it’s size, it’s stature. It wasn’t just large but faster than I imagined and I was stuck near a large tree, watching it. In crisis, I can flounder, sort of vacillate between ideas at a rapid rate without picking one fast enough, and squinting. That’s what I do when I’m turning it over. I was not debating whether or not I should climb up the tree, a viable option, but whether or not the beast barreling towards me had crooked teeth. I wanted to be sure it was an alligator not a crocodile. Certainty has always mattered to me. And to the sound of the gravel, then the pause, then the gravel, then the pause, my eyelids flutter with a rhythm too; a motion to move too. I begin counting sheep before the last car pulls away. I hear a yell, “Anyone here?”
“No one answered.”
“Ok, then let’s go.”
I have a cat on my neck, fifteen blankets, three cans of cat food, one banana, five cans of beans, one can of tuna, some wilting brussel sprouts, four bags of lentils, not a single time piece in this townhouse nor a single friend in this town.