Open/Closed

I open my eyes and the sun floods my brain, washing over the thick green hedge and the tops of the houses lining the street. I’m standing outside but I can’t remember how I got here. It’s early morning, and it’s summer. It feels like college. 

I notice my keys in my hand and press the unlock button. There are a few cars in the driveway and I don’t know which one is mine. The blue one beeps in reply and I register that it’s my car. I don’t know how I know it’s mine. I don’t have a blue car…yet. I blink, shaking my head, but the sun and the trees and the houses are still there when my eyes open again.

I open the car door. Although it’s warm outside, the interior of the car is chilly. I can’t see my breath. Everything is shadowy. I parked next to the hedge in the shade. There are no cars behind me. I don’t know where I am and I need to get to somewhere I recognize. I feel my pockets but there’s no cell phone. The green street sign is too far away to read. All the houses look the same: same creamy front, same new-construction vaulted roofs, same large driveway with the same two-car garage. Except the house I’m in front of has a ton of cars in the driveway and parked along the road.

I have to find Travis.

I start the car and back out of the driveway, turning left and into the sunshine. At the stop sign I can’t make out the street name, thanks to the glare from the sun. I turn left again, down another street that looks exactly like the street I just left. Nobody else is awake. Nobody else is driving. I don’t see anybody else on the road. It gently winds for about half a mile before meeting with the main road. I turn right without recognizing anything.

I’m back on campus. I know this, but nothing looks familiar. I drive down the small hill on the left that curves around graduate housing and the little creek behind the sports fields. The sun is higher now and I’m not the only one on the road. I close my eyes and grip the wheel.

“What are you doing?” he asks. I open my eyes. I don’t recognize him. I’m not moving. I crashed the blue car into a hedge behind graduate housing. I’m fine, but I still don’t know where I am.

I have to find Travis.

“Looking for Travis,” I mumble.

“Who’s Travis?” he asks.

“Who are you?” I ask.

I close my eyes.

I open my eyes. Hazy gray pre-dawn summer light shimmers through my curtains. I’m still in bed. My bed, in my house. I don’t have a blue car…yet. I didn’t crash a blue car. It was a dream, but not just any dream. I was sleepwalking, and worse, sleep-driving. I haven’t sleepwalked since college.

But I’m still in college. This is my college apartment.

I try to slow my breathing and remember what I know. This is my apartment. I’m in bed. I didn’t crash a car. I’m not lost. I know where I am. Who is Travis?

I close my eyes.

Leave a Reply