I wake up from a dream. I’ve been told I have to repeat the last year of high school. There’s been some sort of mistake. There was a class I needed to take and I never took it. My degree is worthless. The last ten years don’t even count. In the dream there’s this overwhelming rush of relief like—oh, thank god. I have no idea what else I would have done. At least now there is something.
In the dream I bring boxes out to my car. The car hasn’t been moved in a very long time. A swarm of bees have built a nest in the spare tire. It’s one of those cars where the spare tire is at the back, on the outside. The bees aren’t happy I’m here. They know once I start driving, they’re done for. One of them buzzes me, stings my right ear. I wake up clawing at my hair, jerking away from the pillow. Two fingers on my left hand are numb and stiff. I’ve slept on them wrong.
It’s snowing in Edinburgh today and everything is dusted white. I go pick up my prescriptions, wear the thickest socks I own, the thickest sweater. Yesterday the sun did not come out once and today will be the same.
The other day I walked through two very old graveyards. In one, the tombs were open, the doors had rotted away. The roofs had caved in and all that was left were three walls forming some sort of lean-to. In one of the tombs, blankets and pillows and dirty stuffed animals and stuff for making a fire and tins of food and a sense of home.
The whole time we were there: singing. The inhabitant of the tomb—one of two inhabitants, I guess, but the only one still alive—sang. She sat on the grass and belted out a barrage of pop songs from the 1980s. She sang loudly and continuously. It was misting outside but the skies were still somehow almost blue and I wanted to get a picture of her but couldn’t bring myself to ask.
I thought: there are two kinds of people in this graveyard. The ones singing and the ones shying away.