I started to write that dream I had as a story. I don’t know if it’s going to stay in this format or not:
He woke with a start, his blankets down by his navel, wrapped around him like a boa constrictor. His face was wet. He didn’t remember going to bed. But he was awake now. He had had a dream, one that was fading away quicker than he could hold onto.
He pulled the rope of blankets off of himself and rose. He had things to do, a life to live.
His dark blue eyes darted open, tears drying closely around them. He had knocked down his blankets during his sleep and they were now tight against his midsection. He kicked them off, no longer needing them. He needed to get up, face the day, and the weird dream he had had was barely a glimmer in his mind already, fading away into nothingness.
The dreams were dark and fading. His eyes would hardly open, exhaustion taking him over. The blankets were wrapped around him, claustrophobic, tying him down to this bed that he didn’t remember entering. He pushed himself up with his arms, wanting to get up, but he fell back down, fell back into the comfort and warmth. He was so very tired. He just wanted to curl into a ball and sleep forever. There were things to do, but they could wait. Living could always wait.
Another pound. Where was all of this weight going? He stared at himself in the mirror, stepping off of the scale. He could see his skull, lightly pronounced, his ribs through his chest, his clavicle, too sharp. He ran his fingers through the stubble growing into a beard, the hair getting too long and ragged. He was a mess. He would have to clean himself up one of these days.
He left the bathroom to search for a shirt that was close enough to clean.
He was thin, wasting away. He stared at himself in the mirror, haggard and shaggy, his hair too long, his beard thickening. What would his mother have said if she saw him like this? Skeletal and sickly, his blue eyes hidden in the darkness of pronounced brows.
He glared at the scale in the corner of the bathroom. Five pounds. How had he lost that much? He kicked it as he walked past, reentering his bedroom, where he found and pulled on a thick, itchy sweater. It was too big for him and it was as ragged and healthy looking as the rest of him, but it was clean enough.
What was the point of the scale? He knew he had lost weight, he could see it every time looked in the mirror. He wouldn’t do that, not today. He didn’t need the stress of another pound lost, another glimpse of what he looked like now. He was a wreck.
He brushed his teeth and combed his hair without looking, then pulled on a gray blue sweater that was on his bedroom floor. It had once been the color of his eyes, but it was faded now and there were holes in the elbows and armpits. He didn’t care. He just needed something clean to cover himself with.
Eggs, toast, the necessities. Too much salt. Not enough butter. The coffee was bitter, burnt even, but he drank it down anyway. There wasn’t much else to eat. He would have to buy some groceries soon. But not yet.
He needed to make some money first.
His eggs were bitter and he had no explanation for that. His toast was dry and he drank his bitter coffee through it. There wouldn’t be enough food to last through the week. He’d really have to go to the grocery store. But not yet. That’s what he always said. Not yet. And then it would get to be too late and it would be three days since he’d eaten real food. Maybe that’s where the weight had gone.
He couldn’t taste. He felt like he’d had this day before, a hundred times, a thousand. He stared at his eggs, quickly cooling next to his dry toast and his burnt coffee. What would be the point in eating it? It all just tasted like ash. He would need money before he could go out, before he could buy something else to eat. But that meant working. That meant writing.