Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta nightmares. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta nightmares. Mostrar todas las entradas

lunes, 24 de abril de 2017

No one

   The floor was cold and the room was very humid. No light entered the tiny space where he was trapped. He had forgotten his name long ago, maybe because of the many beatings he had received or maybe because it wasn’t something that was important anymore. A name didn’t help anyone survive such a horrible thing. Then again, he wasn’t sure he wanted to survive. He just wanted his awful situation to change, one way or the other, it didn’t matter at all.

 All the days were the same so remembering each one individually was difficult and also useless. There was no point in having a good memory when the schedule every day was the same: early in the morning he would be woken up by a plate of water sliding towards him or by cold water coming out of a hose. It apparently depended on the humor of his captor. Then, he was kept there all day unless his captor wanted something else from else, usually to work for him in the most awful way.

 He would knew it was a “work” day when an old mattress was put inside his cell, alongside the water plate and also some food. The food was never good, some sticky stuff that looked like mashed potatoes, but wasn’t exactly that. He ate it anyway but his stomach always complained. Those days, he would have to wait all day until his captor’s client would come. It was and excruciating wait that didn’t get better after it all ended. Of course, he wouldn’t see any of the money the client paid.

 Actually, he had never seen the face of the man that had kidnapped him and kept him there. He always wore a ski mask, so he had no idea what his face was like. But what he did know was that he was a very strong individual. After many beatings, using both punches and kicks, the captured had learned how heavy the captor’s body was. He had an incredible force in his arms and legs, probably because he exercised a lot. But the man was losing his eyesight living in the dark, so he could only go by what he felt was the truth.

 The beatings took place randomly. It was the only thing in his cell life that changed and, of course, it wasn’t something he would look forward to. When it happened, it almost felt like part of a sick and awful routine that had survived for far too long. The man in the cell knew he had been there for a long time but he had no idea how long that was. More than a year? Probably. Five years? Maybe, he didn’t really know. What was true was the fact that the violent man would never use him as the clients did, which the captured always thought was strange.

 But that was only when he wondered about his situation, which was really that often. Instead, he loved to sleep. It was the only way his body felt actually rested and, when he managed to sleep long hours, he was able to dream. Even when nightmares slipped in, it was a good thing for him. After all, he had forgotten what having an imagination was like and seeing all those images that make no sense inside of his head was a sign that there was still hope for him, in a very sad way.

 In the dreams, he was sometimes free. Not every time and that was very strange. One would think that his obsession was to be free in the world. But a recurring dream happened to be a redecoration of his cell, with more light and nice furniture, as if he was restoring his childhood bedroom, which he didn’t really remember anymore. When he dreamt of freedom, it always ended on a stark note, like a remainder that he wasn’t really free and that he might never be free again.

 What he did want, at least judging by his dreams, was to be able to talk to someone. Once, he did have the chance to do so, when another person was locked in a cell beside him. He had thought for long that he was alone wherever he was and that discovery was the best for him. Except the other person was not very interested in talking, instead crying and demanding an explanation to why they were there. Soon enough, their captor moved that other person somewhere or who knows.

 Voices were rarely heard. In their daily routine, not the captor or the captured would talk, even when one would pull the other by the hair or when the beating was especially brutal. No words were heard, as it was an unspoken rule to actually say something. It was better not to taunt danger, not more that was usual. So words were something inside their brains, wondering around and trying to get out in any way possible. He was afraid he would forget how to talk and behave.

 Many of his dreams and nightmares were an exercise on precisely that, trying not to forget every single thing about himself. He would sometimes remember, for example, the faces of his family. He knew who they were but not their names. It didn’t matter because “mother” was “mother” not matter what. So were “father” and “sister” and “brother”. He would normally wake up soaked in tears when he dreamt about all of them but, in a certain way, it was worth it. Because he still remembered, which meant he hadn’t been completely broken down.

 A day came in which his captor did not come. For an entire day, the poor man was locked in that cell with no water or anything that would indicate the presence of another human being. It felt pathetic and sick but he wanted the man to come and, at least, smack hard. At least that felt real, it felt as if it was happening. But having no one, deep in the dark, was very cruel, even more than the usual. That happened for what seemed like an eternity, but were actually five days.

 Then, someone did open the door. He would normally raise his head and wait for the captor to get close but he couldn’t do that anymore. He was too weak, feeling sick and preferring to sleep and dream about something less depressing. With his eyes tightly closed, he dreamt about an enormous bird carrying him to a magical land that was made of many colors and shapes. He hadn’t dreamt hat before and it was the happiest moment for him in a long time, as he felt loved, in way.

 He woke up several more days later. When he did, it was very dark, like in his room, but he realized he wasn’t there anymore. There was a machine besides him making a sound and he was lying on nice mattress, with clean covers and sheets. He saw the light from a corridor near him but, as his head felt too heavy to bear, he fell asleep again. The last thing he would hear were the steps of several people passing by his room. Or that was what he thought it was, he wasn’t sure.

 When he woke up again, it was day. A thick curtain diminished the light, which was a good thing because the sunlight felt like acid on his skin. He felt very tired but also dry and clumsy. A nurse came in and brought a drink in a bag with a straw. By the flavor, it was obvious it wasn’t water but it didn’t taste bad at all, so the formerly captured man drank it all. The nurse didn’t say a word the time she was there. And he wanted her to tell him something, anything at all.

 However, he would have words to share the following days as doctors and policemen visited him. The first group told him what his physical state was. To sum it up, it wasn’t good but he would be able to recuperate in the future, he just needed to be patient. Go figure.

 The second group, the enforcers of the law, explained to him his captor had been killed by one of his clients and that crime had led them to the cell. Apparently the client was mad because the captor hadn’t let him stay with the man in the cell when he wanted. He never understood that part.

miércoles, 17 de febrero de 2016

Ghosts of war

   Paul pulled the potato plant and some dirt feel into the ground, with a beautiful soft noise. The potatoes had grown decently big and so had the rest of the food he had grown in the back garden. From there, he could not see anyone else, only the shadow formed by the house and the hills that created several ups and downs that got to the sea itself. But the sea was very far and in this inland territory only the cold wind that remained from the past winter swept the land, as if washing away any impurities in this world.

 He pulled a basket, put the potatoes inside with other fresh products, and took it inside the house. There he washed them carefully, cut off the parts that didn’t have any use and then started cooking. Adam got there just in time with meat from the market on the other side of the valley. He seemed tired so Paul told him to sit down and relax as he finished preparing dinner. Outside, the sun had already left the sky and the night was dark and silent except for the snoring of Adam who had fallen asleep in the couch.

 Paul wasn’t in a hurry with dinner, especially because he had to prepare everything enough time to kill all the bacteria and because the meat was thick and took some time to cook. When he was finally done, Paul went to Adam and softly kissed his forehead. As if it had happened in a fairy tale, Adam opened his eyes and smiled because of the kiss and because of the fabulous smell invading the small house.

 They sat down to eat some delicious steamed vegetables with thick slices of fried meat and a side of mash potatoes that tasted different from the one they had known in their childhood but it was still good. As he always did, Adam grabbed one of Paul’s hands, his left one, and kept on eating like that all night. It was something he had started doing when they first moved there and it was just a way to ensure they would never be separated. Adam was extremely serious about it and once they had a fight over that, because Paul had told him that he couldn’t eat properly like that. That night, they didn’t sleep together.

 But this time it was different. When dinner was done, Adam helped Paul wash the dishes and went to bed at the same time. They took off their clothes; each one tired of their day, and just hugged to sleep. But differently than all other nights, a horrible sound woke them up in the middle of the night. It was a sound coming from a machine and there were not many machines in this region. They felt the ground shake, which was what woke them up, and the horrible sound of a plane going over the valley. They had heard planes before but this one different, much worse, as if the plane was a horrible beast of some kind. They held each other after the sound had finished, thinking of what it could mean.

 The next day in town, Adam talked to many villagers and even to some fisherman that travelled daily to the coast and the port to sell their products. Apparently most people had heard the same thing and everyone had been awaken by it.  The first thing they said was that the country was neutral, at least officially, and that they didn’t allow one of the factions to use their territory to do nothing. So either the plane came all the way from one of the continents or their government had just betrayed the neutrality that had been their main characteristic for so long.

 The truth was that no one really saw where the plane came from or where did it go but it was flying really low. The following days some more things happened: many witnesses saw red lights, balls of fire, over the ocean but very far at the same time. It was like a weird light show and there was a sound with it but because of he distance it was hard to say what it was. Then some farmers found tank tracks in their fields but they had never heard any of them passing around. Actually, the army didn’t even have tanks or planes or anything.

 Adam decided they should keep living their normal lives, not minding a lot about these events. Or at least that’s what he told Paul. But at nights he would often wake up sweating from nightmares involving tortures and lights like the ones over the ocean and Paul would ask what was wrong and Adam wouldn’t say. They fought over it a couple of times but mostly they just held each other and tried to be supportive and close, because anything could happen.

 The explanation to everything was written in pieces of paper that had been distributed all over the country. Their nation had accepted the use of several bases by one of the factions and they would use the country to fight a battle against the other faction, to finally crush them for good. Their land would not be caught under fire, only been use as a previous layover for every plane, boat and other war vehicle, even tanks that did target practice in a wasteland north of the valley. That explained the explosions many people had heard.

  So the war had never ended and it was apparently on an important stage, on a decisive point that made even change the face of the world. This secretly excited Adam because even after so many years away from the fight, he was still eager to fight for what he believed and for what he had done so much so many years ago. But Paul just didn’t address the subject. The only thing he said was that if they all wanted to keep on killing themselves, it was fine by him but he didn’t wanted nothing to do with any of that. He didn’t want the war to come to the village and that was it.

 Adam didn’t told Paul but he started to have meetings with many people from the region and they were already discussing if they should also join the fight and how would they do it and why. They had the tremendous chance that the authorities were so busy these days that a meeting in a farm wasn’t important enough for them to attend and tear apart. They would have done it but now the government was using all the resources it had to make their “guests” feel at home. Everyone knew the situation was a disguised invasion and that their country had kneeled without even the chance of fighting.

 Paul kept to himself. He started concentrating only in his garden and in fishing in the lake nearby and doing all these things to make his home the best part of the world. He would share with some villagers his discoveries about how diets could be better so to keep everyone strong during the winter and during the summer too. And what he started to do was to take long walks, always when Adam was about to come back from his meeting in town. He knew he would want to tell someone about it and he just didn’t want to hear about it. He’d rather have their neighbors or their dog help Adam with that.

 Their relationship became very tense and that was very strange for both of them as they had never been in such tension. They had been living together for over three years now, year in which they had build a home together and had found the other to be that person they wanted in their lives forever. They had been through hell and back to get to that valley and have everything that they enjoyed in their daily lives. They had fought together and suffered together and now it was supposed to be a time of peace for them, even if the world was falling apart.

 But the sense of responsibility in Adam was too strong. So one day he followed Paul to the lake, where he went to take a walk and get away from everything, and tried to talk to him. He told Paul, almost yelling, that he needed to go back to the fight because he felt he had to finish what he started, he had to make the west faction pay for what they had done back home, for what they had allowed to happen to them and to the world. They were destroying everything everyone held dear and the world would never be the same if someone didn’t stop them.

 Paul answered that he didn’t wanted the world to go back to what it was. He didn’t want the past because he hated it. He reminded Adam than in that glorious past they would have been hanged if they dared to live together, in that past people were also deprived of everything and lacked so much. Fighting for revenge wouldn’t change anything, no matter who won or how they won. Everything was always going to be the same, war or not.

 For a whole week they didn’t talk to each other and Adam even chose to sleep in the couch. But they loved each other. They couldn’t do that for long because it tore them apart slowly. The war raged on and they were trapped in the middle of the fire, not knowing what to do or where to go.

miércoles, 3 de febrero de 2016

Secrets & Nightmares

   I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night. I had no idea what time of night it was but I remember the first thing I felt was his breath on my hair. It was warm and soft. He never snored. I knew that because I was very sensitive to sounds and I would have woken up if he was. When I felt his breathing I was relieved, because I wasn’t in the world of the nightmare anymore but on the real one, the one that recently had been very nice to me in many aspects.

 Some people say that if you are successful or happy is because you deserve it or because you have worked hard for it. I think it’s a combination of the two., mainly because I don’t believe in the concept of fighting for everything in life. People who believe that are the type of people that are very competitive and that don’t stop at nothing to get what they want, they believe everything in life is a competition and that’s simply not the way it is or at least not my life.

 Anyhow, I was glad right then that I didn’t woke him up, because I knew he had problems sleeping and didn’t wanted to be the one to disrupt his night. I decided to try and close my eyes again and slip away into a deep slumber, hopefully without dreams. But, again, I fell right into a nightmare, a horrible world filled with the worst creatures I have ever seen, with all my fears parading around, rubbing past mistakes or their simple existence in my face. I had to wake up once again, this time really drenched in sweat.

 Thankfully, he had moved a bit away from me so I just separated my body from his slowly and went to the bathroom, to wash my face with cold water and try to relax a bit. I tried sitting on the toilet, pissing, even going to the kitchen and grab a bite. I also did some simple exercises in the living room and saw possibly five minutes of a TV show I didn’t even like. When I was back into bed, he woke up and asked me, between asleep and angry, where I had been?

 I kissed him in the lips, which made us both very happy and laid there with him. He fell asleep very fast and I stayed up for a long while, in fact not sleeping again for the rest of the morning. At that moment I did check my cellphone and saw it was five in the morning. We had to wake up in three hours and I couldn’t do one more of sleeping. I just used that time to think about it all, checking in my mind if everything was ready and found myself shaking a bit and my stomach growling.

 I grabbed his hand, which he had put over my chest, and squeezed it softly. He tightened his grip on me and I liked that. I felt safe and I guess that’s what I needed to feel.  If the alarm hadn’t gone off in that moment, I think I would’ve slept a bit. But I didn’t.

 The first thing he did when he woke up was kissing me, and then we showered together, hugging a lot and almost dancing beneath the water, When we were finished, we dressed up in silence and went to the kitchen to have breakfast. We both had cereal and talked a bit over it. He noticed I hadn’t sleep and I had to convince him I was ok, only a bit anxious about our day and that he shouldn’t worry. It was clear he was already worried but he didn’t go on with the subject, he just said he had to be at his sister’s in an hour.

 When he left, I cleaned up the place, changing the sheets of the bed to new ones I had bought secretly. I also pulled out some scented candles from a shopping bag I’d hidden beneath the sink, as well as other products that we would use for other purposes. When it was all ready I grabbed my kiss, gave the place one last look and went out the door. I had no car so I decided to walk to my mother’s house, which was an hour away by walking but I had the time.

 He had left before me because he said his sister could handle everything and that we shouldn’t do anything else than just show up at the right time. He was going to her place because that was the closest relative he had alive. His parents had died several years ago and since then his sister had been everything. She was a very organized person and had proposed to help us because she knew that the event needed a woman’s touch to be just perfect.

  As I walked to my former home, I thought about it all. I was nervous, obviously, but I knew the nightmares had been produced by something else. It wasn’t fear that had put them in my mind; it was something else that I didn’t quite understand. I mean, as everyone in the world, I have secrets and thing I wouldn’t like every single person to know, but that had never given me nightmares so what was this all about?

 I used my walk home to think about everything that would happen that day and I realized I was entitled to feel worried and maybe being a little bit scared. Marriage was not someone that I did everyday and it had been a question of “When?” for a long time and that time had finally come. I was sure about my affirmative response to it because I loved him dearly, beyond anything I had ever dreamed of. He was my prince charming and my bad boy, all in one. How corny does that sound?

 Thinking about him made me smile and many people on the street smiled me back. I didn’t noticed for a while but when I did I just laughed and thought that being in love was not as people described it but that it was good if you were ready for the long haul.

 In my mom’s house, my parents were dressing up, as well as my sister and her husband who had just arrived from abroad with their baby. She would have loved to have him carry the rings but he was still too young for that. Instead, my future husband’s youngest cousin was up for the job. She was a very nice girl and a bit mad for a seven year old, so she was right up our alley.  I also changed in a matter of minutes and decided to just wait in the living room for everyone to be ready.

 I dozed off and entered, once again, the dark territory of my nightmares. I recognized the feeling and the images and I could even feel my body sweat. I was in darkness, only able to see a light very far in the distance and the only thing I could do was walk towards it. Trying to grab it. But every single step I took was filled with pain, as if spines or small knives entered my every limb. Besides, and this was the most awful part, I felt hands in the darkness touching me, grabbing me to a place below that seemed liquid in nature. I knew that if I were pulled down there, I would die. And then, as always, I woke up before my head was submerged.

 My dad noticed when I woke up, because apparently I had let out a scream. He said that the best way not to dream bad things was either not to sleep or trying to make sense of whatever the dreams were about. I know my father wasn’t into Freud or anything, he just thought that if something was bothering it would translate into annoying nightmares and it was. I knew that was the case. Bu t it wasn’t just easy, it wasn’t just about letting the air out. It was harder than that.

 When everyone was finally ready, we jumped into the family car and drove towards the venue, a small banquet hall not far from there. When we arrived, every single guest was already there and I could notice he had already arrived too. So I was the one who had to go second, as per the rules. They started right away with the music. Then his sister escorted him to the altar, then me by my mother. I when I see him, my body let out one single tear. I say that because I had no control over it.

 The notary started talking about the law and citing many aspects of marriage that he found funny but also very important, so that the audience and us took it into account. He told us it was a very important thing to sign a paper and say “I choose to live my life with this person”, and that he personally admired those who did. We signed, me crying more and more, and finally kissed to the cheering and joy of our families and friends. As we kissed, I realized it was time, so covered by the wall of sound I whispered in his ear, took him by the hand and walk the carpet back into the main hall were food was being served.

 We didn’t discuss it until after the party, that went on for quite a while. He liked the candles in our room and the new sheets but he went straight to my confession as we sat down in the bed. I started crying and he held me, in love with me. He told me that he would do whatever I wanted, whatever made me happy. I smiled at him and then told him, clumsily, that I really needed to know where my only son was and what he was like. He grabbed my hand and kissed me.

viernes, 31 de julio de 2015


   I woke up breathing heavily but without screaming or doing any more noises. I had no clothes on but I could feel my body drenched in sweat, as if I had been running for quite a while. I grabbed my phone, which I had left by the bed, and checked the time: only a half hour had passed since I had fallen asleep. I was trembling and stayed there, sitting on my bed looking at the bedspread, not thinking at all. Then, I tried to remember what it was that I had dreamt off and I could just remember a few images, a few horrible images of creatures and scary situations. But the most awful thing was that I had felt paralyzed for a while. I mean, I had thought I was awake but I wasn’t and I felt and heard a sound coming at me from behind.

 I think I was paralyzed like that for at least three minutes but even such little time felt like an eternity. It felt like that being or that person behind me was going to be successful at attacking me, probably wanting to kill me for some reason. In that moment, I wanted to scream for help but I couldn’t, my mouth wouldn’t open and my eyes were frozen open. It was the worst kind of torture I could have thought of. I woke up just after that and thanked my body for helping me in that dire moment of need. As I stood up, walking to the kitchen for some water, I realized that the temperature outside had dropped even more in those thirty minutes I had been asleep. The cold was harsh so early in the morning so I decided to drink fast and put on some clothes to sleep.

 I didn’t fall asleep right away. To be honest, I was afraid I would keep dreaming those awful things so I just thought about other things. But the paralysis I had suffered earlier came back to me and I felt scared, more than before.  It had happened before and that was probably why I was so nervous about it. What was the reason of that? Why did it happen to me and why like that? It was a mystery I’d rather not explore but that’s how things were and I hated it. I didn’t want any more things in my mind right now, less of all a dream night were every single part looked like the perfect kind of torture. Was my mind just telling me that I was going insane?

 Hours later, at work, I didn’t mention my dreams to anyone. I tried to behave as I always did, crazy free. I even engaged in the typical lunch conversations, which was odd, as I preferred to listen and not to talk. That was because what I said was almost always perceived as “too much” or radical in some way, so I stopped talking at that time. But that day I must have forgotten my own rule because I talked and talked like a parrot and the fun thing was that some of the people agreed on why I said and other seemed to agree but didn’t want the rest to think they were as “radical” as me. That day in the office was good and, after lunch, I didn’t remember a single thing about my nightmares.

 They didn’t come back to me until late at night, when I was surprised to remember an especially gruesome part of my earlier nightmares. Apparently I had dreamt that I was some kind of murderer. I had never witnessed such things in real life and did not understand how my mind was able to replicate that situation, but there I was. It was clear to me now that I had walked amongst corpses, on a floor were every single centimeter was covered in blood. And that wasn’t the most shocking part. I was carrying a chainsaw in one hand and had my body covered in blood too, stepping on it as I walked through the room. I believe that was just a dream fragment, I don’t think there was more. But it had been enough to make me avoid sleeping at all that night? What was going on with me?

 The next day, more than one person asked me if I had slept at all. Apparently my eyes were pretty scary and my face looked horribly pale. I washed it at least twice but it didn’t make a change. I still looked like someone out of a horror movie. That day, I went back to not participating in conversations. I decided to skip lunch altogether, preferring to have some chocolate on a park bench nearby. The sugar made me feel alive and with enough energy to withstand the day. Maybe I had to do something special to avoid these dreams or at least to stop the memories of them coming in my head. I just wanted to go back to before, when I never had any kind of dreams, not even the typical ones people have.

 Suddenly, someone sat besides me on the bench and I realized it was this guy I liked from the office. He had arrived to work with us very recently and I felt he liked me back. I asked him what he was doing there and he told me that he had followed me. I must have opened my mouth very wide because he laughed and said that he had actually come out of a nearby restaurant and happened to se me alone so he just wanted to check on me. I asked why and he said I seemed distracted. He also mentioned the sleeping part. We stayed there for the remainder of lunchtime and when we went back, we had decided to meet in my house that night in order to watch a movie and have some take out.

 As it was Friday, many people were going dancing or drinking but we had decided to share a movie and we hadn’t done that ever before. It had been the first time we decided to meet outside of work so I was nervous about it. When I got home, I decided to check my computer for the best movies I had around. I chose three so we could see them all or he could chose his favorite. We could order anything and I changed my clothes to something less work related. I wanted everything to look good and on point, to look as if I worried about everything been clean and nice. Normally my place was a mess but I managed to make it presentable in short time.

 Then, the memories kicked in again. I wasn’t paralyzed or a butcher anymore. But I was tied to the floor with a metal chain and I was trying to release myself from it. I pulled with the little strength I still had but it was useless, the chain wouldn’t break. Then someone came in, someone whose face I never saw and he started to kick me and punch me and then… And then he did something I can’t even process, something… Something I didn’t understand when I realized I was remembering another part of that awful dream. Why was it happening now? Why did it keep coming back? This time I was drenched in sweat again but I had no time to change or to clean myself as the doorman called to tell me that my buddy from work had arrived. I wasn’t excited about it anymore.

 My legs shook as I got near the door and waited to open the door. I couldn’t just send him back to his house so I was just going to have a nice evening and tried to forget what I had just seen. I clean the sweat of my face with my sleeve and opened just as he had pressed the doorbell. He was surprised I opened that fast but he just laughed and we hugged as we greeted each other. I took him to my sofa and offered him a beverage but as I poured the two glasses of wine, my hands shook like crazy but he was talking about something so he didn’t really notice. We talked fro some minutes before I told him which movies I had picked and he said he liked them all so we could just try to watch them all that evening. I agreed so I asked him to put some popcorn in the microwave as I set up the movie.

 Minutes later, we had turned off the light, on his request, and were side by side eating popcorn and trying to concentrate on the movie. The truth was that I wanted to focus on him but couldn’t. I was still too shaken by what I had seen. I was been wondering if going to a shrink was the best idea. I needed someone else to know and to tell me I was just being crazy and that nothing from my nightmares could attack me, ever. I knew that maybe that was obvious but I needed to hear it from someone else. Then, I got scared and almost threw the popcorn bowl to the floor as he touched my hand. I was so ashamed I stopped the movie and just told him.

 I explained my nightmares, my fears and why I had been acting so weird. I told him because I needed someone to know, I needed to share those feeling with someone else. When I finished, he took my hands on his own and pressed them gently. He told me that I wasn’t a bad person for having nightmares and that maybe my imagination was too active or I had eaten before going to bed. It was common to have horrible nightmares sometimes and maybe I was just scared that what happened in them could actually happen some day. He assured me, with the confidence of a doctor, that I would never be that person in my dreams.

 I hugged him, we shared a kiss and, surprisingly, we watched two whole movies before we decided it was too late. He asked me to call him a taxi but I never dialed. I came in from behind and hugged him. I think I scared him. The thing is, he stayed the night and I never had those nightmares again. I’m not saying it was because of him but maybe my mind needed to focus on something else and what better than a nice, intelligent prospect? But sometimes I remember the nightmares and I wonder who I am and why I am.