by the other theo

It began with the luggage stacked in the corner.  It was red and looked like our luggage.  It smelled.  It was a musky ammonia smell.  It was in this large, empty house and the police had just broken into the front door and entered the next room. Were they going to find the luggage?  Were they going to discover the smell?  Were they going to know what that means for the man who disappeared on the cruise ship before his luggage was shipped here?

Wait.  What is that smell?  Is it the pillow?  I’ll roll over.  I don’t usually have dreams about homicide. I’ll roll over.  The air conditioner is loud.  I’ll put in one earplug and roll over.

Is there someone in the house?  Has someone broken into our house to steal?  Are they wandering around our living room?  Oh wait, we have an alarm system.   They can’t be in our house.

I need to put in an earplug and roll over.

Wait, there are people in the house.  They are in my son’s room!  They want to take him.  Why couldn’t I hear them come in?  Is it that noisy air conditioner?  No!  I have earplugs in both ears.  How did that happen?

Wait.  That’s a dream.  I only have an earplug in one ear.  There is no one trying to steal my son.  The house is empty, except for our family, but there is that luggage standing in the corner of our bedroom.  There is that musky smell, too.  Why is there a dead body from a cruise ship in luggage in the corner of our bedroom?

Wait.  That’s a dream.  Do I have any earplugs in my ears?

The air conditioner is noisy and I don’t know I’m dreaming that smell or not.   I’ll turn off the air conditioner.  A skunk could be in the bushes outside the window.  There.  It’s done.  It’s quiet, except for my wife’s breathing.   The alarm system is on.  Our house is empty of strangers.

I’ll roll over.  I put in an earplug.  There will be no luggage, no bodies, no smell.

My dreams are not usually this involved.