There is a strong smell of soap. The kind of soap that comes from dispensers three feet off the floor in primary school toilets. Pink soap. I open my eyes and begin to focus on a piece of white copy paper which has appeared in my hands. Typed on the paper in nice bold letters, evenly spaced, correctly punctuated, are the words
I keep waiting to wake up, but I never go to sleep, so how can that happen?
It makes me laugh! I don’t really know why, but it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m in fits of giggles; I laugh and I laugh until tears come into my eyes. My cheeks and jaw begin to ache I’m laughing for so long, and, absently, I drop the piece of paper… which promptly vanishes before it can reach the floor.
I’m about to think that this is strange, but am stopped short by the thought that it is not as strange as there being no floor at all… which there isn’t – I am, in fact, floating in mid-air. I am six feet off the ground, laughing and floating like the kind old uncle in Mary Poppins. It seems logical, now that I’ve made this comparison, that if I stop laughing I will descend gently and peacefully to earth, just like the dear, kind old gentleman did in the movie. This feels right, so I do... and I do. Interesting!
Back on my carpet, the faintest grin still lingering on my face, I look around me and begin to recall the last 10 minutes of my life: I had been at my desk, in front of my computer screen, blissfully daydreaming about the wonderful novel I have in my head that I have no idea how to get out. I can see the shape of it, feel its texture, experience its tone – it’s right there! But I can’t get it out. I was trying to make some notes, drinking some red wine, staring at the screen in desperation, like all good writers do. And I must have drifted off. I know that it’s late, after midnight. I know that I’m alone in the house, that I had fish for dinner, that today was a Friday and… My God, I was just floating in my own living room! What the hell is going on?
My stomach lurches like a drunken party-goer sobered by the fact of almost being hit by a car on the wobbly way home. I am a little drunk, I can feel that now. Have I just experienced a micro dream? Yes, but the memory of what just happened is vivid, it has weight, not like a dream. Maybe it was an alcohol induced hallucination? I don’t feel tired, but maybe it’s my mind’s subtle way of telling me to turn everything off and go to bed? That must be it. But… No, that’s not it!
I decide to try something.