Feeling less guilty about missing the conference, I napped the rest of the afternoon. My dreams were uneasy again. They always are in this town but this was exceptional. Last night, a white woman appeared to me, elderly, from the bathroom. I immediately was vexed, on edge and approached her solely to to choke her to death. As if it didn’t happen, I was then back in my bed but upright. It was this room except where the TV is, there was a mirror. Staring directly at it, I watched bats fly out of my mouth.I remember saying the phrase, I cannot help you, you are already dead and then waking up horrified at 2:30 am. I don’t know who I was talking too. Today, a black woman appeared in the room shaking her head at me. I didn’t feel like she was going to be violent, yet I got up, punched a window to produce a shard of glass and held it at her. I awoke in sweat with a start. It was a similar feeling. Like they were there in the room. Like it was really happening. Sometimes it’s like that but here it’s worse. The clock read 6:56 pm. I had slept for nearly four hours. I was sharing the room with two others but all my clothes were off as were the covers. I could hear people downstairs and the sound of pots and pans. Without any try, my eyes shut and I faded back into the dream.
This is the barn. The dream about the barn. Or the dream about the woods, the cabin. The cabin is inexplicably on fire and I am watching it from outside. Where I stand, there are droplets of snow falling lightly and when I turn around I am facing the woods. It’s the same woods. It’s the same dream about the barn. I begin to walk towards them. They are in a semi circle and one of them stands up. I never get too far. She always starts with her hands out saying “wait, wait. be careful what you say.” And then it’s like the movie cuts or time passes, I am in the ocean, in open water, surrounded by waves that are coming from both directions. Even if I knew where shore was, I couldn’t get there because i can’t tell which current is real.
When I wake up, the clock says 9:12 pm. There is no noise downstairs and I can feel my body shivering. I have pulled my two blankets over me. The light in the bathroom has been left on. I have to pee but piss myself instead.
At 10:30, Camille is shaking me.
“You need water.”
“I need sleep.”
“I’m taking you to the hospital.”“No, fucking way. I probably have the flu.”
She felt my head.
“I have the flu!”
Turning towards the window, I ripped the covers from her hands.
“Two more days and I am back on the plane. Let me rest, Camille.”
“Fine, drink this water.”
“Put it on the nightstand.”
“Drink it now.”
I wondered if she could smell the sheets. I wouldn’t tell anyone. I am sure I would feel better enough to change them before we left.
“No,” I moaned.
And in her fashion, she slammed the door. Later, I would recall things differently but it was 9:17 pm and I was already drooling. I was on a beach watching a tidal wave form.