Swinging from tall trees in my grandparents' backyard.
I'm gripping a thick but supple
vine in one fist, marvelling at the bounciness of the thing as I careen and spin through the air above the glider chair
grill. I love my job
. As I do my aerobatic
tricks, my first patient swings up and entwines his legs around mine to keep us linked as he discuss his problems. I'm a backyard vine-swinging therapist
The dream shifts as ninjas leap down from the treetops. I somersault to the grass below and call up to my patient to let go. Apparently, his fears of being pursued by the Yakuza were not symptomatic of paranoid delusions! His vine is cut, and he proceeds in rude fashion to fall on me. I leave him to face his demons and run into the house.
The stairwell is circular and strangely-proportioned, like something out of H. P. Lovecraft's writings. I climb to the top, fearful, and enter the only room apparent. I want to call it the tower room, though my grandparents' house didn't have towers the last time I checked. An old man lies on the bed, staring wide-eyed at the opposite wall. A bowl of frosted flakes sits on the food tray beside him. I ask if that was his breakfast, and he asks me if I remember what I had for breakfast. I don't, and he smiles. Then imagine what it's like to be me. Imagine how it would feel if you couldn't remember what you did four minutes ago."
That woke me up, shivering.