A flash of lightning, perhaps combined with a sensation of feeling cold and restless, woke me up between 3 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Before or after that, I dreamed that I was staying with an aunt (not an actual one) and that there was something uncomfortable about the situation, despite the appearance of a serene household. This was undone when a sheriff’s car, light flashing, raced up to the house. I was shocked because I could not imagine why. I saw my aunt then, who told me triumphantly that she had obtained a court order to remove “her” and her daughter from the house, “her” proving to be a sister-in-law. I did not know in what way the woman was offensive, but the angry face of a man appeared in my mind, and I thought, “He must be my uncle; he will be angry, and I don’t want to witness it.”
I was in the garden leaning over some ground cover when I spotted a chick that had soiled itself, with the down missing from the dirty area on the right side. It appeared to be ill. Not knowing what to do and being afraid of scaring it, I held up my finger. To my surprise, it readily hopped up onto it. It seemed to be preternaturally intelligent and to be trying to tell me something. I took it to a man, probably a gardener, who cleaned it. I returned it to the same spot in the ground cover. Later I found it soiled again in exactly the same way, like it was a sign.
This was to be my last day at my aunt’s house, and I found out that everyone had been looking for me urgently because my father had become sick and had been placed on hydrogen. I couldn’t find him anywhere, and I couldn’t think of what was wrong with him that hydrogen would treat. It sounded serious. I felt scared, both that something would happen to him and that the situation was so odd that I hadn’t known he was there and I couldn’t picture him.
I came to an area in the house that was like a nightclub. The Beatles and an Indian group with one of my former roommates were below me. He and I started to talk about another roommate, but the Beatles chided him for talking to the customers.
Their act involved what they said was a magical Eastern practice of placing people into bags, hanging the bags up, and setting them on fire. I didn’t want to watch. Despite myself, I could see a woman in a bag as clearly as if it were transparent, not opaque, and she appeared to be unharmed somehow. It was too surreal for me, and I had to leave.
I began to look for a bathroom and only then realized how large my aunt’s place was. I found jewelry and other shops, and a salon. Then I discovered my aunt and uncle’s private quarters, where I hoped I would not be caught because I was under the impression that I was not to know about the extent or nature of the property or where they lived. The quarters had portholes, and I began to wonder if this weren’t a cruise ship rather than the New England house I had thought. Now that I had an idea of its size and weirdness, I didn’t want to leave. I also worried vaguely about my father; I still had not seen him. I was afraid of what I might find.