The dream weighs on my shoulders like a wet wool coat, scratchy, heavy, uncomfortable. I try to shrug it off, blink my eyes open but something isn’t right here in the passenger seat. I look to my left. L, again. My heart vaults into my throat and my pulse races, for the first time in an effort to flee, run from the car. My heart pounds in blood-language: No, no. Nuh uh. No, no. Nuh uh. No, no. Nuh uh.
He smiles at me and I drag the corners of my mouth into what might resemble the same, as though I am dragging an oar through water, nothing flows, nothing comes easy.
“Oh, hey. You’ve been sleeping.”
I shake my head, trying to dislodge something, an idea. “When is it?”
“Oh, uh, it’s about 3.”
“No, it’s not—what day is it? What’s the date?”
He looks at me with that look I got so often, the one that wonders if I’m joking, if he should play along or ignore me. Not sure yet, still, quite how to read me.
“Stop the car.”
“What? But, we’re on the—”
“STOP THE FUCKING CAR.”
He lays on the brake and the car skids to a stop on the gravel side. I rip the door open and run to the edge of green. It looks like we’re in Cape Breton or somewhere like it. My hands on my knees, I try to catch my breath.
2009. 2009. 2009. That means I’m still with L. No. We haven’t even broken up yet. What. I haven’t even met G yet. I’d show up on his doorstep and he’d think I was crazy… “No, seriously man, we’re totally soul mates. Made for each other. Believe me…. no I don’t want your bottles for recycling. I’m not homeless. No, I’m not crazy. I’m not crazy!”
I try to laugh but it catches in my throat as dry heaves. The next moment and I am vomiting food I can’t remember eating into the tall grass, car idling behind me.