Chapter 2:

Interruption II


Grandma used to think about other people but she knew she was also important in her life and others and she thought about her many times, too. Sometimes, though, she forgot about anyone, she forgot about herself and she liked that feeling.

The few hours or minutes she didn’t think about anyone were the most light and fulfilling. That was the sense she wanted to let permeate her life forever. She also felt that when she was with someone who felt happy with the moment, she could tell when someone was. For example, when her daughter finished her college degree. She was in the moment, she wasn’t thinking about anything else, she didn’t even think about what her next step was going to be, how she would create a family (something that didn't usually leave her mind the easy way). Because she was happy she could do what she had committed herself to. And that’s what really mattered to Grandma.

But with Nemea, she never felt that. It was something that made her feel anxious deep down. When she recognized the feeling, she just tried to evade the thought, she tried to dissipate the clouds around Nemea’s happiness as if she was the wind that came from the ocean. Those cold, renovating currents. One day, she started to ask Nemea.

―Are you happy, grandson? -Grandma’s voice sounded a bit louder than usual, as if she was trying to reassure herself.

―I am. If i wasn’t happy, I probably wouldn’t be here. -Nemea answered quickly, Grandma didn’t like that feeling, as if it was an automatic answer.

―That hurts a little, your honesty is excessive sometimes, I believe I’ve already said that to you quite some times… anyway, I hope you are, and I hope you know you can come here when you’re not happy, too.

―I’ve never been truly sad so I can’t imagine what it would be like to come here being sad, I’ve always been happy here.

―That’s one way of seeing it, Nemea, that’s one way… but I’ve seen you sad in this little house of mine. I’ve seen you cry when your mother left for work and I’ve seen you angry when your Granduncle called your friends for help on the field.

―Because I knew we couldn’t have the time to play games after helping Granduncle.

―That’s right, and then I would go and lend a hand in order for you to come home sooner. But those memories, they are from your childhood. Have you always been happy ever since, my grandson?

―Always, Grandma. Nemea felt strange, he had been asked about happiness so he had to think about it but nothing came out of his head. No words, at least though he could imagine “Happiness” as a glowing ball in the depths of the ocean, giving light and oxygen to everything from deep down to up above. The ball seemed quiet but the pressure around it was stronger than in any other part of the world as if something was constantly battling its way to that ball. Would someone kick that ball sometime? what if the ball moved from its place to another?

Nemea didn’t think about this that day but he knew something was trying to say that maybe happiness wasn’t what he thought it was. Not for him.

―Alright, alright…

Nemea had a dream that night, it was a different scenery, no other dream had taken place there.

He knew dreams escaped from the mundane, plain feelings he wanted in his life. He had learnt to accept it, to let go from trying to control every dream. Although, he could do it with almost everyone. Sometimes, though, his legs wouldn’t move in the direction he wanted, he wouldn’t say what he wanted, it was frustrating and a pressure grew up in his chest whenever a dream like that took place but Nemea knew the futility of his feelings.

That night, however, Nemea dreamt about an empty street, he didn’t usually feel any heat or cold in dreams. Did temperature exist in the dream world? in that dream, he felt some kind of warmth around the street, but it came from somewhere, it was a hot path and he was walking through it. Sometimes, when the serpentine path made a curve, he unintentionally stepped out from it and sensed a much colder temperature outside. Nemea always preferred cold but, as a paradox,in that dream, the cold felt somewhat distressing. He didn’t also like that, why would he walk in a hot path? He was sweating but, still, he was walking that way.

This time, he was feeling more out-of-control than in other non-driven dreams, just as if someone or something had put him out there, mercilessly, would the responsible be at the end of the path? Suddenly, he was in a theater, there was no warm feeling anymore. Just a theater where an outnumbered crew was gathering.

He searched for someone he knew, there were some of his old college classmates but none of them were important in his life, just classmates, people he knew. Then he entered the bathrooms, there was just one bathroom, no distinctions, no more toilets. Just one toilet with a door and five sinks with mirrors in the wall around them.

He looked at his face, sometimes he saw him differently in dreams than he saw his reflections outside, in his own bathroom in his apartment. He thought about the “inside”, he realized about the word in his head, dreams were always inside. While he was thinking, he went through the mirror on the wall and arrived at his actual room. He saw his bed, it was empty. He looked out the window, it was dark, night.

He was sleeping but he was dreaming he wasn’t sleeping, Nemea felt strange, something was leaking from his thoughts onto the room, he felt himself heavy and tried to sit on the bed but his body fell and kept falling, to where? where would the void lead him? The sense of not knowing where, when or why was starting to push his chest away from him, he grabbed himself and tried to suspense on the air, but it was futile, the air was dense and dense and then a spasm woke him up. His leg landed on the mattress, it was warmer than the rest of the body. He touched it, it felt normal but inside, it felt warmer. He touched all his body, his feet, his eyelids, his mouth. It felt soft, moisty as usual but his lips were very cold as they had never been. He felt the same cold in his chest, just a tiny little point inside of it but clearly much colder tan the rest.

In the kitchen, the drop that kept falling from the tap reminded him to the cold feeling that had started to inhabit his body that night.