I watched as they circled upward into the sky a mere five inches from my face. I watched them dance in slow motion, my sense of vision heightened. I never remembered hornets being so big and yellow, but for this frozen moment, I could see their wings beating furiously, their stingers, pulsating. And just like last time, I was powerless. The steady drone of their buzzing grew louder and louder, like the whistle of a bomb right before it falls on you. Thud.
6:30 AM. One more torturous hour.
You were at my school. Not literally, because I know you weren’t in my head. But your spectre was there in the haunting silence like a fog. Given the decor, we were probably on the third floor. Professor was droning on and on, louder, and louder, probably about analogical, counteranalogical reasoning, and other big words she likely made up. Mute button.
Wait, Robert is in the bathroom. I rushed to the door and poked my head out. No sign of him. This was my only chance. Clawing my way over the table, I pulled out his memo, tucked neatly in the right-hand pocket of his folder. I must have been moving at a glacial pace, because it seemed like forever. 79. C. Relief. A twinge of guilt. No, actually, I didn’t feel bad at all. This is all I have.
* * *
Dreams are so fascinating to me because they represent us at our most vulnerable. When we’re awake, it’s easy to put up psychological protections and shields to help us navigate through our existences with other people. But, when we dream, our souls are laid bare, naked, unprotected. They are the most pure and visceral manifestation of who we are, what we fear, what we love, what we hate, and what we believe. You can’t lie to yourself in your dreams, but every time I wake up, it’s like I’m born again.