I'm vacuuming the inside of the car at one of those coin-operated car wash places, and I only had enough quarters for one cycle, so I really have to be efficient if I want to get all the pet hair and crumbs out of the car before I go to pick up this person I want to impress, and it's a two-door car so the back seat is tricky; I'm banging my head in the door frame, and the suction is inconsistent so sometimes it adheres so tightly to the back seat that I have to throw my whole body backwards to rip it loose, and sometimes the hose tangles so that there's no suction at all, and I'm waving the nozzle ineffectively over a chunk of old...something, and the noise is awful, and I don't know how much time I have left, and I should have started with the passenger seat obviously, but now I'm wedged in the backseat so I feel like I should finish here first, the stress of how I should have planned this better is layering itself over the stress of running late, and the stress of knowing that the only way to get done is to focus on what I'm doing right now and not on what I should have done then or even much on what I will do next, and the noise is reverberating and deafening in the cramped space.
I'm running so hard and I'm faster than whatever is chasing me, I was running and their breath was on my neck and I was so scared but now I am arms and legs unified in a dance of escape and freedom and poetry, I am so nearly out of danger, I know they're behind me but I'm sure it's far, I'm a machine of nature, I'm power and flight, I'm not even out of breath, I'm past breath, I'm just running and running, my hair is spectacular ribbons in the wind, and I turn around to see how far behind me it is and I trip over the thing I forgot to see.
I'm so tired and I need to take a nap, but there's construction next door and I think I won't sleep through the banging hammers and the chalkboard scratch of the drill. Suddenly I realize that the noise has stopped. Are they taking a break or are they gone for the day? I give it fifteen minutes, twenty. It's still quiet. They must have stopped. I could have already been napping, what was I waiting for. I get into bed, I'm shivering with how tired I am, I'm asleep even before I get the blankets arranged perfectly around me, I need this so much. And suddenly the cat is crying outside the door, hungry even though I just fed her, and it wakes me up from my five minute nap and I don't like her in the room when I'm sleeping because she always knocks something over but the crying is so insistent and I can't think straight, so I get out of bed, the floor cold on my feet and it shocks me fully awake, I put more food in the bowl and I'm trying not to curse her because she's just a tiny old lady animal. I get back into bed but she's still crying so I get up and let her in and dive back into bed, the covers are a mess and I have to get up and straighten them so I can sleep, and I snuggle under the blankets which are still a little warm from my five minutes, I do the breathing that always helps me sleep, let go of the stress of the day, let go of the stress of the construction, the stress of the cat, let it go, let it go. The cat knocks the ukulele off the shelf and I want to get up and kick her out but I can see it's not broken and maybe that's her knocking things down and now I can sleep. Let the fear of her waking me up go. Part of my brain is waiting for my nap to be ruined by something but I'm really trying to just fall asleep, I'm so tired I can't think, I need to sleep. The hammering shatters through the shimmer of the dream that was starting.