The Awakening

September 6, 2008 at 12:11 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

I am on a concrete city street and I am running towards my wife. A muscular, hirsute man is attacking her. I attack him, grabbing him around his neck, which would thrust up well above mine if his knees were not bent. He leaves my wife and focuses on me. I will be crushed. He rises up and I am jerked off the ground. I release my hands and begin punching his head as strongly and quickly as I am able. I am surprisingly good at this but he seems unaffected. He throws me against a brick wall. I too resist the attack, again to my surprise. We trade furious blows, beating and tossing one another without accomplishing anything. I think that my wife is safe for the moment. But they have my child. They have my baby child. Where is my child? I am dreaming.

I knew that I was dreaming for a moment perhaps before I woke up to glaring sun and baby screams, but only with part of my whirling stew of a mind. Another part took a half-second after I awoke to realize that it had been witness to a pointless fabrication, the two states of awareness floating over and around each other like well-shaken quantities of oil and water. In that blended instant of wakeful acuity and sleep-induced hallucination I felt my veins freeze and blood congeal. Full realization quickly melted them.

The black posts of my bed towered above me and were rendered crooked by my hazy mind. Another late night, another early morning. I’ll sleep when I’m dead; it won’t be long. My circadians are like a six-year-old drummer.

“Can you get him?” she asked, her voice craggy with sleep. I rolled over towards her, unable just yet to force my lead-limbed body to comply. Her face was turned away, her back towards me, but the soft line of her side enticed me still, the high shoulder sloping down to her narrow waist before the dramatic rise of her hips and those intoxicating limbs all splayed and warm. I set my lips to her neck-nape and inhaled her dulcet woman-scent as my hand came to rest on the topmost surface of pelvis.

Alright. I rolled back to the left and off the bed, then staggered to the kid’s room. He stood there in his crib, eyes full of agony and desperation but lit up by the spark of hope that here I was to get him. Beneath them his mouth hung open and taut with twisted yammering. All that melted to exhausted relief as I lifted him to my chest and let his pliant cheek nestle onto my shoulder like a bird returning to its roosting spot. The world is too cursed and fucked for something like this to be, and yet it is. I guess that’s why we’re all hanging around here still after all this godforsaken time. I kissed him absently.

We headed out to the living room. Forty-five minutes til work. Forty-five minutes of harried, half-nourishing sleep. Better than forty-five minutes of whipping my spastic body and reeling mind just enough to keep them upright and conscious. I sat on the couch, set the kid on the ground so he could lean against it, and collapsed back, aiming my head at a barely receptive cushion. He gurgled and slapped the sofa a few times while staring off and up. Forty-five minutes of dreams, fevered and insane like all dreams caught in fitful, preoccupied almost-sleep.


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