I just shot awake from a nightmare.
I was in a tiny house that in the dream was mine. There was a small kitchen table, circled by warm and inviting people. I was making them roar with laughter and crack with smiles. There was a knock at the door and I went to answer it, hesitant.
Earlier in the dream, there'd been a knock at the door and when I answered it, two tattered, shady people had tried to tell me a story, sell me on something, get me.
I'd closed the door on them with a thanks-but-no kind of smile.
When I went to answer again, they talked their way in. "You have a dog, right?" he said in a loud voice that talked over mine. "We just drove by a dog and we didn't hit it, but can you come over here and look out the window and -"
I went and looked out the window and was quickly lowered to the floor by this tall and thin man with oily black chin-length hair and then I saw a plastic bag and I knew that if I didn't open my eyes right away, Emily, NOW Emily that I would suffocate.
It's 2:37 in the morning and I'm sitting in a red velvet armchair in a cubby-like corner of my bedroom. It's big enough for only the chair.
When I woke up from this dream a few minutes ago, I was panting and sweating, my pulse quick and pounding in my ears and belly and chest. I thought that maybe I'd woken myself up because I was actually about to die, that I'd been holding my breath in my sleep or something equally unlikely.
And in the thinking I've done in the interceding minutes, I've come to believe that while I may not have saved my physical, breathing life, I probably just shook my internal, knowing one.
For days - weeks - now I've been seeing it.
Things happen, and there's the flashing neon sign saying "LOOK HERE, LOOK HERE."
Why am I reacting so strongly to this person? Why was that tone of voice so irksome? When will my creative drive return?
And then tonight, "Wake up, sweetheart. Wake up and listen, breathe or suffocate," my golden center wailed.