They awake to see the dream. Cars driving by the closed window at an hour that most would be asleep, and all he does is watch by the bedside. He can see the flames from the nearby warehouse trickle up towards the clouded sky, and the dozing behemoth of the city claws awkwardly at the clouds.
It has been a long night, but his dreams pursue doggedly, denying sleep. The neon blast of the clock by the bedside glows in the quiet as sirens serenade the more unsavoury character of the outer suburbs. But it’s Perth – and all is quiet, really. Why the gloom?
At least, that’s what he tells himself. Tries to convince himself of the safety, to defuse the fear of discovery and pursula by those tha would harm him.
His love, the one that he wants to spend the rest of his life with, is grumopy. She finishes cleaning the bedroom and asks, “What are you doing? Are you writing” leaning over the couch, “real writing?” But it’s not a question that she really cares for the answer.
“Yeah, I suppose, I mean, did it look like I was just tapping the keys or something?” he says.
“No, I just wanted to know.” No more elaboration, but a quick retreat to the kitchen in their one-bedroom unit to wash dishes and clean benches before bed.
Music wafts through speakers – wailing voices and staccato drums. He can’t take it anymore – already pushed to breaking point by what in reality is nothing at all. All day at the hospital, talking to crazies, empathising and channeling a sense of companionship and brotherhood. Not really what he’s suited for (empathy yes, compassion not so much), so the strain of the work is stretching him thinner, thinner.
She screeches from the kitchen, sad because her cupcakes are flat and unfinished. But life is fine. Dancing begins, up and down at the knees. They’ve always played with each other like this, retreating into childishness. He thinks that it provides them some comfort, to act like children in a world that will no longer accept them as such.