"Last night you had the strangest dream 
I know 'cause I was there ..."

In the middle?

"Now this is more like it," he says to himself in satisfaction as he watched the others disappear into the steaming swamp. "Maybe now I can get back to where I was before they came in and messed things up. Yeah, it'll be great not having to worry about someone telling me what to do and what not to do."

Sarah looks at him and sighs. "You've got to stop talking to yourself like that. You're just confusing the issue."

"Yeah, I know," he answers. "Isn't it great?"

She gazes at him steadfastly for a while, shakes her head wistfully, then jumps up and runs away. "Come back!" he yells after her. "I have a surprise for you." "You and your surprises!" she yells back as she disappears into the fog.

He sighs, pulls his cloak over his head and tries to go to sleep to get out of his dream.

The fog says nothing.

* * *

So now he's gotten himself tangled up in his blanket and he can't find his way out. He tries and tries until he finally gives up, mumbling to himself how can anyone expect me to do anything like this at this hour of the morning, I mean you just can't expect a person to crawl his way out of here so early without any breakfast or anything and for all I know the sun isn't even up yet. So he decides to go back to sleep, a sensible course of action. Maybe when he wakes up again he'll be untangled; I mean, you never can tell, right?

And find you're in the wrong place?

They sit together staring into the fog. "Let me put it this way," he says. "I don't especially like being here, but then I don't especially like being anywhere else, for that matter. So I'd just as soon stay."

"You've got to stop being so narrow," she says.

"Yes, you're right." He sighs, shifts his weight a bit. "Maybe that's my problem."

* * *

So now he's lost his pillow somewhere in the mess, can't find it anywhere. Now how's a person supposed to sleep without a pillow? It's not as if it got up and walked away or anything, pillows just don't do that sort of thing. Well this one seems to have. Don't be ridiculous, you're just confusing the issue.

Someone else?

"I just don't get it," he says. "I don't see how I could have missed it."

It's night; the fog has turned cold and clammy and they're sitting huddled under blankets shivering around a nonexistent fire.

"Just try not to think about it. It wasn't your fault."

"But I feel as if it were." He stares into the fire. "At least, I feel responsible."

* * *

Now how did that butterfly get in here? Wait a minute, that's not a butterfly, it's a puddle of sunlight oozing through the windows onto the sheet, drip, drip, drip; no, that must the faucet, anyway, got to remember to turn off the lights next time.

At all?

Day again.

"If only that damn fog would go away, at least then we could see something."

* * *

Now what was I looking for, oh yeah, the butterfly, hey! it's gone! Oh well, I guess it just got tired and flew away.

Than before?

"Wait! I think I see a patch opening up! Wait here while I see if I can ..."

"Be careful!" she calls after him, but she knows it's too late, he's gone.

* * *

Is it snowing? why yes it is! Great big huge flakes floating down lazily through the hole in the ceiling. He was proud of that hole; custom made, it was.

The road?

Stumbling through the fog.

"Ouch! Damn fog, can't even see where I'm going. Now I've done it, I've left her and gotten lost and what am I going to do now? At least before I knew where I was; now I don't even know that."

The fog sighs. "You've got to stop talking to yourself like that. You're just confusing the issue."

"Yeah, I know," he answers. "Isn't it great?"

Back to Lit'ry Pretensions