I sit up straight in bed. It’s three in the morning and I woke up screaming. My own shout echoed right back at me to make sure I was really awake. I sit there staring at a blank wall. It doesn’t speak and neither can I.
I see the black hair, frizzy and curly as it bounces with the movements, with the screams. I need to shake this image off. I get up out of bed and start shaking like I’m doing an African dance. It doesn’t help. I can still see her.
Off to the kitchen. The cold from the refrigerator wakes me up even more, but ironically, it’s empty, so again I stare into the empty void and hear the screaming. The hand that is wading.
On my balcony I soak up some fresh air and listen to the sounds of the night. Indefinable sounds of the night and suddenly I have to think about the time when the streets used to call me name. I remember how their hunger used to feed me, I remember the cold how it used to keep me warm and I remember how it’s demon were my friends. Is it a theme in my life?
At three there are no birds, only a lost car and rustling leaves. The quiet makes me restless. I decide to poor some wine and I sit down in the cold without a coat or a vest, but I do not care. All I can see in the dark of the night is the wriggling body with the frizzy hair. And the hand. The hand that is searching. I get up. I have to. I lean over the banister and try to find something to focus on, anything. A tree, a parked bike, an adventurous cat, but the streets are as empty as I remember them.
I start singing. I know it’s socially unacceptable, unethical and displeasing to all the restful sleepers. But I have to share. So I sing. Out loud. In the middle of the night. I like this, it seems to help. So I grab my guitar and donate some bonfire midnight guitar to the neighbourhood. ‘Hey, you idiot, what do you think you’re doing at this hour? You sound like a squealing whale.’ And I’m thinking that’s what she sounded like, the woman with the fuzzy hair and the wading hand that searched for her. I drop my guitar.
This is stupid. And when stupid arrives, there is only one thing left to do. Call Levine. The man that has hair as if Angels reside in it for pleasure. His reaction is pretty much the same as my neighbours.
‘I’m sorry, but I need a distraction. I need to get something of my mind.’
‘So, that’s what I am to you. A distraction manoeuvre. I feel so useful. What is up? Tell me. I’m straight up in bed for you, baby.’
‘Okay, but don’t get angry. I saw something. Something horrible.’
‘I’m listening. I’m a big fan of horrible stories. I’m all ears.’
‘There is this woman with black hair, frizzy and kind of ugly, she is lying somewhere, I don’t know where, and she is screaming, like really loud. Like a squealing whale.’
‘Is there blood?’
‘Hey, I’m not kidding, master mind.’
‘Well, if you’re serious; then you just saw somebody getting murdered.’
‘No, she was alive while there was a hand searching her.’
Levine starts laughing really loud. ‘This story is awesome. Keep going. I’m glad you woke me up for this.’
‘I didn’t make it up. I swear. The hand is searching her intestines.’
‘What? Like a doctor? Hey, it just got boring.’
‘No, silly, he takes her intestines out. The hand is wading around inside her stomach pulling out anything it can find.’ I stop to catch my breath. I can hear Levine slapping his thighs.
‘This story is fantastic. You should do something with it. Write a book. What happens next? Does she live?’
‘She lives while he is pushing his way through her kidneys, colons and other contents and pulling them out.’
‘Where does the hand put them?’
‘She’s in a dark room, with chalk black walls and no light. The only colour is the colour of her flesh and the hand.’
‘That is one freaky dream. You should go back to sleep. I’m sorry I can’t share your sleep. But write them down, all of them. They are priceless.’
I hang up the phone and wipe my own hair from my face. I get the shivers. Black frizzy hair, screaming, stealing hands. It’s four o’clock in the morning and I certainly won’t sleep for the rest of the night.