Thursday, January 31, 2008

The night before my birthday I dreamt I was back at school. University or some such thing. Sitting in a comfortable study lounge in a dormitory in the evening having a meeting. The room was full of people I knew.

We couldn't think of the word for "shipwreck" in German. Nobody knew it. We were stymied. But a number of people had dictionaries: Langenscheidt German-English/English-German dictionaries. I could see them under chairs and next to bags with their distinctive yellow covers and the big blue L for Langenscheidt. I demanded, "Would someone who is not mentally retarded please hand me a dictionary?"

My old friend John H handed me his. Weirdly, the back cover was wet. It was just water. But why? I didn't know.

I looked inside it. It was actually not a regular dictionary, but a picture dictionary. I looked in the table of contents and found ships. There were a few pages on ships, but no word for shipwreck. I handed the dictionary back. "I'll find it in my room," I announced. I had three Langenscheidt dictionaries there.

In my room, I picked up the first dictionary. I couldn't read the text, there was something wrong with it, it was illegible. I put it down. At that point the power cut out and my room was plunged into darkness.

I walked around the room looking for another of those bright yellow covers. Thought I saw one on the floor near the desk.

I heard something behind me. Something was in there with me,

I turned. Part of the floor of my room was a low slope of wet clay, glossy in the moonlight that slanted in the window. Some of the clay was moving. Something was behind it. The clay popped out like a cork, and the next moment a large boa was sliding its bulk into the room through the hole it had made. Paralyzed with surprise, I just watched it as it slipped into the shadows and vanished in the darkness of the room.

A few moments later it reappeared, but with the head of a house cat, and completely covered in fur, then vanished again.

1 Comments:

Blogger Nathan Horowitz said...

shipwreck = Schiffswrack.

2:08 PM  

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