Every night I feel his cold skin on me. Laying under my bed whenever I try to sleep. This obsession is haunting me since I was a kid. He comes to me every night threatening me that he will catch me at the first attempt to leave my bed. His gray pale hands will grab my feet as soon as they touch the ground and take me “there”. I do not know if that “there” is a better or worse place than this world .. I do not care! Just thinking about leaving this earth scares me.
He is still under the bed waiting. I ignore him, or, in other words, convincing myself doing so, by remembering a scent of a woman I met before, I close my eyes, to find myself on a rocky beach.. I climb a mountain, I reach the top, to find an old man selling bread .. A friend told me once that bread in dreams doesn’t have a good meaning, she was silent after that, and so did I.. I did not ask her for details.. I continued sipping my coffee, avoiding looking at her face until she disappeared leaving me a piece of candy on the table.
I hit a kitten today while driving, do I have to pay a fine for this accident? He replied: “Of course!” I felt sad and made a feast for the cats in the neighborhood.
This is the second night with insomnia. .. Maybe the amounts “Nescafé” I drank are the reason. I used to fear darkness when I was a kid. I remember exactly how I used to hide my tiny body under the sheets, as if this act will save me, acting numb and not moving is viable solution to defeat all the dangers I might face as soon as my mother turn off the lights.. Perhaps its instinct.. I read once that animals play dead to save themselves from hunters. Was I playing dead to be saved from death?
He never leaves without taking something with him.. Yesterday he took a rose from a vase beside my bed.. Some time ago, he took a relative on a trip. He promised me to bring him back, but he did not! He may take several things with him.. I always give him some time from my weekend to take with. Once, I gave him some bad cells in the blood, he took me in a tour in a dark tunnel, I reached a spot light and the end of it, but he quickly brought me back after a plead from a friend and a cry from mother. It is worth mentioning that he was not able to take her perfume that is blended in my memory..
I do my usual activities as if nothing will fade. Whatever I do to avoid him, I find his hands approaching wrinkles of old people, I hear his mean laugh coming from the sound of IV drops in hospitals, I read his name written on weapons and bullets, also on bloodthirsty swords.. He is always sending me an invitation card whenever there is a threat from a coming earthquake …
He will remain laying under the bed.. He will not go, no matter how many times I say qur’anic verses and prayers my mother advised me to read everyday. He visits me in nightmares, carrying with him broken teeth. I read his articles in the daily newspapers.. And If I avoided the newspapers, he will attack me by cheap posters hanging on the walls.
He will remain laying under my bed waiting, I hear his laughs, I mix them with Nirvana gloomy music, I walk on dead autumn leaves, I see a kid on his way to school. I realize that I beat him this morning too… I laugh, and continue walking to work..
Translated from Arabic.