Dominique felt the unattested words, not quite born yet, strung together in a rhythmic sonic in his brain. They floated there in a way similar to music, the way he imagined pianists heard keys in their heads, or composers heard melodies. Sometimes, the muscles in his lips would move slightly, imperceptibly, in rhythm to these unformed words. He was feeling the sounds of his womb sentences—they made no sense yet, but like the faint heartbeat of a fetus, they pulsed and contracted; they existed, but couldn’t stand on their own.
Sometimes, he thought himself a musician of words. Most of the time, he felt ashamed he couldn’t be like those freestyle rappers who could spit out their words, womb to tomb, in a matter of nanoseconds.
Tonight my dreams are peppered with the lounging bodies of sleepers. They don’t look uncomfortable, even though they are stretched out on the hard floors of my dreamscape (if dreams have floors … limits). I am not sure yet what the limits of my dreams are — can I do anything I please, in a world where what normally is, isn’t? Am I bound by the same mathematical and scientific laws of my waking world? I am a newcomer here, to this black and white-washed world, and I haven’t yet discovered its potential—or rather, my potential here. This night I merely walk among the sleepers, watching them lie still among the grass and the birch trees. I cannot tell if they are breathing; they are so still they could be statues. When I step up close to gaze at their faces, their features meld into an indistinct blur, as though my dream, vague enough as it is, is censoring their identity from this stranger of the waking world. As the dream continues, I begin to grow tired, and I find myself suddenly seized by a desire to lie down on the grass with them. Is it possible to dream within a dream? I watch their blurred faces, which show no sign of consciousness, or even life. Are they just an illusion, or are they individuals just like me, with whom I can interact? My only way of finding out is through tactility. I reach out my hand to touch the arm of a sleeper; I grasp it, feel my fingers curl around something solid, warm. I feel the muscles — it is real. But no sooner have I grasped his arm than I wake up, and see that I have grabbed the arm of my brother, who is leaning over me like a gas station mechanic over a troublesome engine, his hair disheveled.
“Get up,” he says, shaking his arm from my hold. “There’s a guy in a suit at the door, asking for ‘Mr. Fischer.’”
I sit up, rubbing my eyelids and feel the last dregs of the dream slip and fade from my periphery; I have a bad taste in my mouth. “A who?” I say, feeling my cheek with my hand, which is crusted with drool. I must have been really tired—I only wake up with saliva on my pillow when I’m exhausted enough to remain in one position all night, like a rock.