Ochre and Amber

I had woken often during the night, but had no anxiety about it. It’s just a thing that happens sometimes. I was more annoyed that I was likely to fall into a good sleep only five hot seconds before the alarm sounded.

The pattern of sleeping for five, wake for thirty, ended as I felt my body fully relax into deep and indulgent sleep. My body now warm and comfortable, I recognized my closed eye view of the entire room as a hallmark of hypnagogia. The four wood statues remained motionless and without light, yet my mind’s eye saw a shadow slip away from underneath them.

The fluid shadow flowed forward towards me across the top of the dresser, slipped off the dresser with ease, and moved quietly to the side of my bed where it rose and took on the form of a man who initially towered over my probe and sleeping body.

The black man’s hair was either very short or covered with a snug brimless cap. The low ambient light in the room allowed me to notice that he was significantly darker than me but not quite as dark as the stained wood statues. A patterned cloth in hues of ochre and dark amber was in constant motion around him. Small triangles elongated into thinning stripes that folded into tessellated triangles. He watched me sleep for a moment, glanced at the statues remaining quiet and still, looked back at me with aged kindness for a moment more before pulling the rippling cloth close to him and kneeling beside me.

Without preamble, he lowered his head close to mins and began to speak in ones low enough for me to hear and understand, but not loud enough to trigger a waking reaction. I heard his voice in my head as if they were my thoughts, but I had complete awareness that they were actually my understanding of the language he was speaking in. His actual voice felt like the comfort that comes with feeling sun-blessed loam in your hands as you tend to a satisfying garden. The consonants were thick clods that yielded to inspection. The vowels were the smoothing of rich mud over planted seeds and transplanted cuttings.

He spoke to me about self care and the necessity of auditing habits and coping methods. He pointed out how the spiritual deceits of the previous year was necessary at the time to give me the excuse to give a shit about myself until I was able to escape. He reviewed my online habits as well, including the direction I am allowing Noxporium to drag me and how those habits that helped and/or hindered me since my environment changed.

All his words were delivered without judgement, exasperation, or condescension. He was merely stating facts and presenting a report of the current situation. I found myself listening without guilt, self-reproach, or hostility.

He ended his monologue, bowed his head, and obviously waited for a response. I meant to ask him if he had any advice for me, since I was admittedly at a loss on what to do next. After all, I had the past two months to prove myself capable of adulting, and as far as I am concerned, I have severely failed.

I need help adapting to the environment I am in now.

I meant to ask him for that help, but my body remained just as asleep in the in the dream-vision as it was physically in bed.

He nodded and smiled just the same. I knew then he had heard me as clearly as I had heard him.

“They have watched you and offer these suggestions…” As he listed the suggestions, I noted that there was no explanation needed for who “they” are, and that through the suggestions were few in number, they were given with the expectation of compliance.

My rebellious streak did not show itself this time and I listened to the short but significant list with intent. Certain coping methods were backfiring now that the environment had changed. New ones were necessary to help me bridge the gap between captive and delivered.

I agreed to them all, even though it meant restricting certain “freedoms” I have recently gained.

He spoke the time and reminded me of my pattern of multiple morning alarms. “You begin now. You will be reminded as necessary and will be assisted the same.” He concluded by stating that he will remain with me to ensure the last few minutes of sleep were restful and invigorating.

After a short moment of infinity, he leaned over so close that I could hear the movement of the shifting fabric flowing around him. In a whisper so low that it was devoid of tone, he proclaimed, “The phrase ‘Wakanda Forever’ is more than just a marketing gimmick. There is meaning in the words that only those with ears to hear can perceive. Merchants will sell any shard of divinity or hope if it means profit for them, but myths root, live, and seed regardless of so-called ownership. Wakanda, forever.”

The alarm sounded and I opened my eyes with expectation of seeing him beside me. The empty room was unusually warm as if several people had been present for the night. I remembered my agreement and went on to immediately walk out the required changes. The dream demanded to be written, so here it is.

Make of that, what you may.