Nathaniel and David

We were in Ruth’s house, all dressed up with no place to go. The sun was still high in the L.A. sky, and my little brother David was serving himself some orange juice, looking at me with disappointed eyes. The scene was blurred  and sun-washed, the edges as if the camera man had smeared vaseline over the lens. My brother and I were speaking, but I can’t recall what we discussed. All I can remember is feeling as if I did something wrong. Then I woke up.

Yesterday was a strange day. I woke up around 7:30pm with the first symptoms of a spring cold. I had almost forgotten it was my turn to buy lottery tickets for my coworkers, so I jumped out of bed threw on some jeans and drove to the nearest lottery ticket retailer. With ten minutes to spare the tickets were purchased, when I decided I should get something to eat. I wasn’t hungry, but I hadn’t eaten in many hours. Luckily, I had two graphic novels in my car, so I decided to head on up to my cousin’s cafe a few towns over, eat a sandwich, drink some coffee, and read my books. The Regulars were there, and every time we meet, we fall into a deep discussion over the most asinine of topics. For example, James thinks we (humans) are no different from squirrels, and that the human race is made up of subspecies divided into different “races”. I argued that I didn’t believe in the concept of race when our DNA can be traced back to the First Mother. We’re all East African. But I digress….

At the cafe, nothing was going on. The day was muggy and prematurely warm, and I blame the weather for everyone’s seemingly somber mood. I tried to start a discussion, but no one was up for it. I decided to sit, eat my spinach wrap, and delve into my books, but I couldn’t read. The cold that was blossoming within me blurred my vision and didn’t allow me to focus on the words and artwork. James left early and so did I. I made it into my apartment seconds before a brief yet violent rainstorm. I drank around three pots of tea with lemon and honey, and two single serving packs of Theraflu. By 1:30am, I was in bed.

My day was strange because it started with a Six Feet Under-inspired dream, although I haven’t seen the show since the series finale. And at the cafe, everyone had on the same face my little brother had in the dream. However, I’m sure I’ve forgotten no birthdays, nor missed any appointments. Why was everyone so disappointed and somber as “David”? Why do I feel as if it was all directed at me?

I think I’m going through one of my seasonal paranoid periods, or my fever has me in a delusional state as Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov once suffered.


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