“There is a kind of place that you can access only in dreams,” he says. “It is vicious, unhinged, formless horrors scudding back and forth across an impenetrable sky.” He sips from a cup of tea and lights a cigarette.
“Sometimes they touch the earth next to you. And take on the guise of friends, and you look into their eyes and see yourself as you appear to others; pallid, rank, without redemption.” He pauses to drag on the cigarette, and taps some ash onto the floor.
“You can only scream at them. And even your screams transmute to something coarse, indistinct, bereft of emotion; horrors of their own. And your friends laugh, their jowls trembling. Their laughter reaches up to the heavens and the whole world quivers like a being on the verge of ecstasy. And you curl up in fear of what may come.”
“Haha, what may come,” she laughs and is pleased when he narrows his eyes in irritation.
“What’s wrong with that?”
“Well, you mentioned ecstasy…”
“Oh right,” he says, still frowning. “You’re a funny one.”
“Speaking of dreams, I had one the other night,” she says. “Do you want to hear it?”
“If I must.”
“Oh, you must. Anyway, I was in a conference room. There were a few people gathered around a table. I was giving a presentation I think. Or observing one. In any case, I was among a group of strangers. And quite suddenly I had the urge to take a dump.”
“Aha!” he exclaimed. “You pooed in front of everyone.”
“No, that’s not what happened. Don’t interrupt.” She stops and lights a cigarette. “Anyway,” she says, exhaling. “I felt the urge quite strongly. So I excused myself and went out of the room. There was a corridor in front of me, dim, thickly carpeted, at the end of which was a door. I opened it, and of course, it was a toilet. But there was something strange about it.”
“Was it shaped like a cow?”
“Not quite. There were two trays sticking in from either side of the toilet bowl. There was maybe an inch or two between them, through which I had to crap. The contents of these trays though were interesting.”
“Well, one tray had dried dates, and the other had seeds. Date seeds I think.” She brushes aside a strand of hair from her eye.
“Anyway, I was wondering how I could do it without getting any on the dates. I sat down, placing my rear with great care, so that my crap would fall exactly between the trays. But oh man! My shit was explosive.”
“You soiled them, you disgusting brute.”
“Yes I did. And I was washing the crap out of the dates when I woke up.” She looks at him and flicks ash from her cigarette.
“Did it never occur to you to transfer the dates elsewhere before you did your business?” He says smiling at her.
“Damn it, I hadn’t thought of that,” she says. “Don’t you wonder what it means though?”
“It probably means you’re stupid and people are going to find out just how bad your shit stinks. Some sort of public humiliation is obviously imminent.”
“Shall we make a move? I’ll get the bill.”
“OK,” she says getting up.
She walks down the stairs and out of the door and waits on the street for him. The light has drained from the world and a cool twilight has fallen. All that is left is to sleep, she thinks.