I’m lying in bed when the property maintenance guy comes in to fix my air-conditioner.
“I’m sleeping,” I tell him.
“That’s okay,” he says.
My apartment has been reversed. He starts moving furniture and boxes, and pulls out a vacuum cleaner. What this will do to repair the cooling system, I do not know. Of course, the noise disturbs my sleep, so I escape into a deeper room my dream has invented to play a video game.
The sound of cleaning is replaced with ripping and tearing.
“Boy, you’re a loud maintenance guy,” I say.
He walks through the threshold, whose frame now looks as though it has been gnawed on by a colossal mouse. With a self-satisfied smile bigger than my face, he gestures for me to follow. I oblige.
Hanging from the ceiling on the other side of the door is a massive, sprawling, inorganic plant. The flowers are a dripping purple, and I can see the vines are composed of what appears to be wire-casing. The vines race across the ceiling and walls.
“I’ve found it!” he says. “And it’s 12 miles long. 12 miles long!”
I fall on my back, passing out, and when I open my eyes, the maintenance man and the inorganic plant are gone. All is quiet and clean. The carpet is furnitureless and bare. Still, I watch the door, waitng for something, someone.
A fur-lined coat is hanging by the door. In this breezeless room, the arm of the coat lifts and points in my direction. From inside my apartment comes child’s laughter and the padding of a dog’s feet on the floor. Suddenly, I am being licked in the face by the ghost of a dog I can’t see.
The licking stops and I stand up, using the counter for support.
A gun is in my hand and it is pointed at the ceiling. It fires, blasting a hole above. I am stricken with terror at what I have done, because the hole is where my neighbor always stands. Blood pours through the hole; it comes like a fountain, pooling on the floor and then covering it. The level of the blood is rising, rising.
“I cannot swim in blood,” I say.