Last night I surrendered to sleep in Sara Wilson’s curtain-less living room under the shaddow of a giant plant of some former friend of hers who had finally left the city. Ensconced an improbable pink duvet, I dreamt that Ingrid Hoffmann was helping me pack. I had fallen from grace somehow, and time was of the essence. I was frantic, stuffing things in crates, throwing things away. I was worried that all must be contained in order to travel on the train. There was the implication of memory, of a recent move, to which we made frequent reference. (In the previous move there had been an allowance for loose objects, by the end. The last leg had been by car. A lamp had fallen, I suddenly remembered, from the roof of the car. I winced in my sleep. In my dream I reminded myself, that was only a dream).

I seem to have been living in a pharmacy. I was snatching bottles and bandages from the shelves while I still had the chance. Pills spilled continuously and danced upon the tiled floor. There was some urgent deadline, like a ferryboat looming at the head of a line of fuming cars. Ingrid stepped about the piles of undecided packing and explained things to me, made lucid the how’s and why’s of what to take.

At some point my younger brother came along and admonished me against my decision not to pack a large, blue, down jacket with a hole in its back. He demonstrated ways in which I could fold it so that it would hardly be a problem to pack. His endeavors caused feathers to leek out and float aimlessly about the room. I was sure I had damaged the pink duvet. Finally he disappeared and I was left with Ingrid and the bowels of an old white dresser I had once owned, the fronts of its drawers removed and strange soft pink contents falling out ass over teakettle, smothering me at last, in a darker and more clouded sleep.

J. R. Carpenter