Forgive me for my absence, I…suffered a bit of an embarrassment. The Tree Walker sent me that nightmare again, but with quite a bit more success on his part.
I was feeling somewhat nostalgic on Monday night and decided to sleep upstairs, in the bedroom Laura and I shared. As I said, I was visited again with that nightmare. The difference being that, this time, I crawled across the floor and pulled myself out the window. As you can imagine, slamming into the concrete patio outside my window was more than enough to wake me up from even one of the Tree Walker’s nightmares. I couldn’t feel it, obviously, but I could see that I had dislocated my right knee. I vaguely remember, in my pain, thinking something along the lines of “Oh, huzzah, I finally get the pay-off for losing mobility in my legs.”
Well, after the pain in my back subsided, it didn’t take long for me to discover that I was, as a more vulgar person than I might have phrased it, unambiguously fucked. I was wearing nothing but my pyjamas; my keys, my phone and anything else I could conceivably use to get help were inside my house and I was locked out of it. I didn’t even have one of those emergency medical alarm button devices on me, courtesy of my damned ego. No wonder the Greeks considered hubris the ultimate sin; I dared to laugh in the face of a god and ended up crippled and cut off from the rest of civilisation. Then I fell out my window.
At any rate, I was keenly aware that my house is an hour’s walk from the nearest road and that attempting to crawl there up my gravel driveway would have been suicide anyway, even without the threat of the trees, which I became even more keenly aware of when I was finished being keenly aware of my house’s distance from the rest of the world. I was utterly surrounded and without any shelter more meaningul than some wooden patio furniture. I could feel him watching me from the trees, but I couldn’t see him. He didn’t want me to. He’s very good at hiding among the trees. It’s only when it suits him that he becomes revealed.
I got lucky with the weather. It was largely sunny but there were enough intermittent rain showers to replenish a bird bath in my garden, so I was able to get some pale imitation of drinking water for those couple of days. Food, on the other hand, was not so forthcoming and, as a man who enjoys his food, I was depressed and distressed by the end of my first night.
I was even more distressed when I woke up almost half the way from my patio to the treeline, mere metres from the rim of thistle and weeds that separates my garden from the forest beyond. I hadn’t even been dreaming and the bastard still made me move.
I managed to drag myself back to the patio and somehow managed to retain my sanity by scratching a poem into my patio table with a stone from the driveway. I had Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space on my mind for some reason, so I ended up with some rambling sonnet about ash and plague, which is odd because I hate sonnets. There is truly no way of writing verse less natural and ugly than iambic pentameter. Hmmm, perhaps not so odd after all.
Predictably, I woke up in the middle of a journey to the treeline again and had to make my way back to the patio. At that point, a chill was starting to set in from staying in my wet clothes, so I decided to negotiate my way out of them (though, as a gentlemen, I did not remove my underwear), which, unfortunately, did not prevent me developing a cold. I’ve always handled colds badly, so when Hannah arrived several hours later, having returned from her father’s funeral in Ontario, she found me delirious and half-naked. She tells me that she considered taking me to a hospital but decided to respect my wishes to not leave my home and called a doctor.
As it turns out, I managed to net myself some lovely pneumonia in addition to the dislocated knee, so I’m stuck in my bed for the next three-to-four weeks with an IV drip filling me with sweet, sweet antibiotics. In other words, because I was too embarrassed to wear that emergency button device, I ended up being even more embarrassed when I was found outside my house, delirious and half-naked with my knee at an awkward angle. It reminds me of something Benjamin once said;
“On some occasions, life kindly reminds you to wear a cup. On other occasions, it just kicks you in the balls.”