The dream starts simply, from what I can remember at 5AM, sitting up in bed, pressing the flat of my hand into my chest, writing into the little notebook I keep at the bedside.

Darkness. Of course.

There's that weird brown-red darkness, from when I used to close my eyes against the sun and press my fists against my eyeballs. The pressure from my knuckles would create sparks and fire, circles bursting outward with each nerve touched, silent bangs and explosions of neural connection, synaesthetic translation of tactile pressure to visual light. If I sat still and rubbed at each eyelid hard and long enough, the fire would recede, and I'd get swarms of red and green (alternating washes) of geometric digital chaos. So weird, right, to get that sort of mathematical dance inside the lid of a human eye cavity? The wash of squares, set inside each other like a Russian nesting doll, coming forward and blooming, fading into that red-brown, washing away until I am left with my sore eyes, my grimy fists, the sun, the playground, my own thoughts and quiet. That's how the dream always starts. Tabula rasa, and all that. See, even now it's fading, as I write across the paper. The lines on the page are defying me to remember. You know how some dreams leave you with a wash of dream state the whole day, like a caul? Never can peel that stuff away - the mental and emotional residue is sometimes too powerful. Never can decide, either, if it's because I woke up in the middle of a REM cycle, or if I have issues yet to work out.

This dream, today's, it's fading already. It seemed so important, though, so urgent. A mission, a crusade, a feeling of do-or-die. She wants to walk through, he can't follow. The warmth of his hand in mine, the skin hyper-real, each whorl of fingerprint and lifeline detected, bas relief. No words are adequate, here. Just his fingers grasping mine, a feeling of following, something important. Probably just old fairy tales in my head. Maidens and castles and St. George and his dragon. I'm not getting any younger, after all. I can see my past for what it is, I know, and clear as it is, it's not any easier to process.

5:45 AM, and I've gotten nowhere with this. I'll try to sleep again.