I wander downstairs to answer the sunshine knock at the door.
The hall clock points to nine. I've slept in. I'm late for work.
It occurs to me that I'm dressed only in my underpants and feeling more than a little portly today, but I can see it's the postman. He's a pleasant chap by the name of Dave, and I don't think I'll offend him by appearing in my unmentionables.
I unlock the door as Dave's silhouette patiently whistles an elusive tune. He gives me a cheery wave through the textured glass door. I wonder if I look slimmer from Dave's side? Seconds later, I open the door to see the smiling postie. He salutes smartly and meets my gaze, ignoring my semi-nakedness.
Good morning Mr. Roth, Sir! I have to give him points for professionalism.
Hey Dave, I mumble sleepily. He has a large, enticing-looking parcel. It's wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string. What've you got for me this morning?
Well, I'm sorry to bother you, Mr. Roth, he says, somewhat abashed, but I've a parcel for your neighbour but there's no reply next door. Would you mind taking it in?
Sure. Of course. Nothing for me? I ask as I take the parcel. I was hoping there'd be some goodies today.
No Mr. Roth, sorry! He shrugs, Sometime soon tho, I'm sure. He snaps off another salute that would shame a Wing Commander. See you tomorrow Sir! And thank you!
I smile and he turns and walks off down the path.
I sigh and sit down on the doorstep. I feel crushed for no good reason. The sun is bright and hot, and there is no breeze. The humidity is uncomfortable, and I can feel the rising edge of a headache. There must be a storm coming.
Ten yards away on the tree-lined summer path, a mother walks by with a toddler. The boy points at me and giggles, but the mother hustles it past with a hissed scold.
I'm not looking forward to the day, and it's barely started.
Unexpectedly, a pair of warm, gentle arms encircle me from behind. A delicious scent of vanilla entices my senses as the warm face nuzzles up to mine. There's a sleepy kiss to my cheek.
Morning Babe, she murmurs, as her long red hair tumbles over my shoulder. Are you coming back to bed?
God, that sounds wonderful. Beautiful oblivion.
No, I have to get to work, I find myself saying. What?
The arms hug me tighter. Oh, do you have to? There's a gentle Scots lilt to the voice.
Of course I bloody don't! Why would I want to?
Yep, 'fraid so. Again, my voice is working solo in defiance of my brain. The arms slide away, and she sighs her disappointment.
I stand and turn into the sunlit hallway, closing the door behind me.
She stands, tall and slim, all red hair, brown eyes and freckles. I recognise her from TV. She's wearing one of my shirts. It's way too big on her. Damn, it's a good look.
Are you sure? she asks, with just a hint of coyness. My libido growls.
Yes, I nod sadly. I wander over and take her hands. You know, I confess, I move in fairly strange circles. I kiss the top of her head on an impulse, somehow knowing it will be my last chance. But I know that you're Fiction.
She hugs herself into me and whispers, Sometime soon you'll learn to relax, Indigo. There's an abyssal sadness in her next words.
You can't do all this on your own.
And she turns and walks up the stairs and back into memory.
I wake in my bed, disoriented. I cannot smell vanilla. There has never been vanilla in this room. I feel profoundly alone.
Sunlight slices through the smallest of cracks in the curtains, and I can already feel the humidity of the day in the early morning room. My head aches. There's a storm coming.
Sometimes my dreams are way too literal. Sometimes they're mundane. And sometimes they're just plain mean.
I have no idea whose side my subconscious is on most of the time.
I need to do something with my life. It won't be easy, or even today.
But it will have to be sometime soon.
This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2010
Thanks to Faye Pekas for the clock photo