I come out from the dream clutching my neck, my mouth open in a soundless scream, and I don’t know where I am. I look out into the blackness that fills this place. It is a thick, malignant black that looks like it could kill any light. I can still feel it throbbing in my neck, the bottle the mad man had stuck in it, and so I cannot take my hand away. I blink, trying to make out a wall, a window, but the darkness won’t let me. So I close my eyes, take deep breaths and count the numbers off in my head till the pain stops. At forty I can take my hand from my neck.
I open my eyes and I remember where I am. The darkness hasn’t given way, but the pain in my neck is gone now so I can hear his gentle snoring. It was the last thing I heard before I fell asleep last night, that whisper of a snore that had begun almost as soon as he’d rolled off me. I grope on the floor around me in the dark. When I find my phone I press a button for light. It’s three forty-five. I slide off the mattress and to the floor and notice that my head is pounding. I crawl onto last night’s condom just as I reach my hand bag. It sticks to my knee and I brush it off with an impatient motion. Still holding my phone for light, I rummage through my bag till I find my lighter and pack of cigarettes. There’s only one left. It will have to do till he wakes up. I light it with shaky hands. Read the rest of this entry