I had this dream last when I was eight. I remember because I had my eighth birthday party in the huge garden of our new white house with fat white columns and the Indian people that lived down the street. I had a new room that was painted white and had pink curtains and a bigger bed smack in the middle.
In this dream, I am riding my bright yellow bicycle with the neighbours. We ride up to the estate gate and back to the football field the boys play on to see who’s fastest. But I ride right through the looming gates of the estate in that unfathomable way that is familiar with dreams, leaving the others behind in what appears to be a blur of colours when I look over my shoulder.
The walls along the street fade away and it is just me, my bicycle and the road. The wheels lead me on this path and my feet have no will against pedaling. But I see a depression ahead. It is not a pit. No, because it doesn’t plunge right down into nothingness. It looks like a vortex. Yes, a road vortex. My arms push the handles in a tangential direction, away from the force sucking me in, but they aren’t obeyed. The wheels go on of their own accord and I am drawn in. Round and round and down.
Then I wake up and my palms feel like crumpled paper and I guess it would feel the same as when a nail is pulled across the surface of a screen or scratched at the bottom of a tin bucket. Because I just want to scream and cry and cut them off. I am cringing in my own skin. So uncomfortable that I scratch at my palms in a rage and scream like a wounded animal and beg the moment to pass. But it takes its sweet time and I curl into myself and sob into my night shirt.
But it is more than fifteen years after and it disturbs me that the dream is so familiar. That immediately I had seen myself atop my yellow bicycle in this dream, I had sensed that I would see a vortex and it would draw me in. I close my eyes as if it will help me understand why I am having this dream on this particular night that I am a thousand miles away from home; a different country, a different life, a different-