Saturday Night and I just got paid. Not accurate, but still a heady line. I will not see folding money again till this is over. I have been thrifty banking on the gas I use each day to get here versus 30 days. If it takes that long. And if it doesn’t, I simply don’t know.
My landscape is changing around me ushering in the cold, dead season ahead. The leaves that reached over my parking spot, which glowed dying fire as the chlorophyll blanched out are now skeletal limbs that shimmer and crack. The dead leaves carpet the roots of the tree where my black bird friend watched after me. The grass is slowing down and going brown.
I have not had any further astral visitors. I am no longer sure if I expect any. I am zealous. 20 days to go.
Fuck. I have never been so afraid in my life.
The sun is coming up over the Target parking lot. Another gray day in a series. And I am still shivering badly.
I knew I was going to spend the night at the crossroads. I gathered whatever winter wear I had remaining. November gets cold at night and I could not afford to use my heat.
I sat in layers and listened. Wind teased the highest branches and flicked rain on my windshield. It was peaceful. This was my home, my native land. There was not a whip snap of a branch or cry of an animal new to me. I lived round hear all my life.
I had a dream, which itself was peculiar. I do not dream. I have not dreamed in years.
I was in a hotel room, but not the type I have stayed in much. As opposed to the modern version of lodging with its single serve coffee maker and fire exit maps on the door, this was clearly an older style hotel, something akin to city life. The windows were open and I heard sounds of life being lived many down below. Car brakes and horns, industrial sounds of steam and distant voices.
I was fully dressed, the lights on, the windows open. Big band music churned out of a radio on the bedside table, adding to the time out of time feeling. And beneath , the sound of running water. I looked around the room and saw a door with light leaking from below. Small shadows of movement buzz in the refracted light.
I stared at the door. Nervous. I had no reason to be nervous. It was palpable within.
I heard a sigh, decidedly feminine behind the door. Then the lights went out beneath the door. And the sound, all those city sounds, went dead in a blink. The only sound was of the Big Band music slowly devolving into static and scratch.
I sat frozen in place as the lights in the room shut off. And the bathroom door opens.
What was strange, even within the dream, was that the windows that were letting the sound in, seemingly open and brimming with life, were pure black spaces now.There was no light at all.
My breath caught in my throat. I was terrified. ‘tap….tap….tap’. It was distinct and it was getting closer. ‘tap….tap…tap’. I could not move a muscle.It was blackness and increasing tension. True mortal fear. I felt as alone as I ever had in life.
I could not see it. I did not want t see it. I crushed my palms to my eyes.
My eyes opened and I was at the crossroads, in the driver’s seat. The dream spun away from me. It felt like it was evaporating all around me. I started to calm down,relief like a physical rush.
On the passenger side window, on the back windshield. ‘tap…tap…tap’
Light scratching sounds on the roof. ‘tap…tap…tap’ Though I could not see anything, I knew what it was.
My brain was a block of ice. Pure Instinct started the car and floored it, fishtailing wildly away from the crossroads.