I am lying on the hardwood floor of my bedroom. It is very cold, and I can see my breath curl in white vapor in front of me. I am surrounded by books, in stacks that go almost to the ceiling. The piles sway and I can see them all fall quicky at once. I do not move.

I am in a classroom, dark and wood-paneled, distinctly not a classroom I have ever been in. I am sitting at a desk, staring at a professor that does not have a face. Nor, in fact, does he have a body; more of an essence than a professor, really. I am writing, but there are no words coming from the pen when it moves across the page. The room melts, which is to say the vision becomes wavy and liquid like a hot day's through a windowshield.

I am lying very still on the asphalt behind the strip mall near my grandparent's house. My friends are about me, sitting on the ground or the cement steps leading to the backdoor of the drugstore. They ignore me, talking without saying anything, and laughing like barking dogs. I close my eyes.