WHAT’S IN A DAYDREAM?
I lulled myself back to sleep around five o'clock, feeling too lazy to recite the morning prayer and resenting the dawning life outside with it's indifferent cheery twits and ululating roosters. The panorama across my window diluting to the powder blue of washing powder. Commercial jets rising in diagonal flight, red bulbs on their abdomens hungrily signalling for climbing heights. I was awake again after awhile, I know this because I was staring at the ugly black and grey knitted headboard of my bed while listening to the ominous rumble of rainless thunder and the jet drone of the ascending planes.
I wanted to get up, pegged with the soft gongs of a tip-toeing headache from too much sleep but my eyes disagreeably fluttered, lidding my sight alternatively between the rippling lens of dreams and the solid ugly knitted headboard. The door alarm to the car park opposite my apartment squealed unceasingly and then ebbed off into a deaf vacuum.
Half-awake, I revelled in the Saturday sleep-in, surprised by the fleeing speed of a huddle of black birds outside the window, as if catapulted from somewhere behind the balcony as I snuggled against the unusual blanketing chill in this humid country and wavered in and out of leadening sleep.
Through the wall, pages of a book swished too loudly; a harried student was panickingly doing some last minute cramming, sucking his finger noisily to assault the paper with. I wish the neighbours would keep it down, my ears sensitively picking out even the hum of the lightest of vibrations; the snap of light switches, pad of shuffling footsteps, bubble of boiling kettled water...the motorbikes on the freeway mechanically snorting on soothingly. Slowly, dreadfully slowly, a chair scrapping hard and long enough to tear the out the floor boards made me jerk in my sleep. I heard it as distinctly as if my ear were pressed to the very floor....the chair tilting on it's hind legs and it's swing before it hit the floor and motion bore it that hair raising voice.
A movement in my room projected itself in my mind's eye the way one can perceive shadows without seeing them and stirred my comatose sensations to struggle a rise out of my inert form. The ugly knitted headboard, however was constant in my drowsy vision and convinced me that I was still anchored to the real world with the planes, birds and absolute emptiness of my apartment.
The ridiculousness of the presence of strange people in my room made no sense to my staggering consciousness but my body was tremouring as the scrapping chair and the flapping pages engulfed my senses with a continuity that intimated the familiarity of people sharing a room and going about their everyday business. The walls vapoured around me, my transparent mind viewing this with it's uncanny owl-neck ability, their foggy crumblings whorling the ceiling fan.
Something was tapping the floor in a rhythm I confusedly recognised as some form of running..no jogging since it was more measured, short pommels and thuds and the squeak of sneakers unmistakable even through the mesh of scrapping chair and slapping pages. It was a Chinese girl, the blurry jogger behind my mind, wearing blue shorts and a headband to soak the sweat from her forehead.
The ugly knitted headboard reassured me that I was still in my room but I was demented into trusting either my instincts backed up by these taunting sounds or my stunted eye vision now a stagnant vignette of ugly knitted black and grey.
The edge of my bed sheet flapped from the rush of the jogger as she kept at it; to and fro then back again. I counted her breaths with her while trying to push my fright down like a burning drink frothing in my stomach and daring to erupt through my nose and bringing up everything with it.
The bed sheet stopped flapping, the floor was silent and so were the pages and the chair. I was desperately willing my body to roll closer to that ugly knitted headboard, the proverbial port in a storm but it only rocked sluggishly. My back infested with the pinpricks that awake in a deadened arm or leg and warmth from something like a body compressed against it.
My spirit cowered in the folded flesh of my paralysed body and my heart coiled into itself as she stooped. Stooping over my helpless form, she reclined her head and inhaled as if to scream. A round pink mouth funneled out silky soft breaths of icy air breezing my neck making my body shiver with epileptic convulsions, contrictions banding around the shrivelling heart in my chest. Only the black was left in the ugly black and grey knitted headboard before my dimming stare.