Jonah considers himself the most boring person in existence. Even his dreams are boring; the most exciting dream he's ever had involved folding laundry. But then, in the middle of a dream about eating cereal, everything changes. A faint memory of an unseen visitor, impressions that vanish upon waking, become dreams that leave Jonah exhausted, afraid, and determined to figure out who is turning his boring dreams into a terrifying game of cat and mouse...
“Man, I had the craziest dream last night! Sarah and I were driving along the road in that beat up old Accord I used to drive in high school. Then, all of a sudden, it starts to rise and fall like a huge wave. Or like that video of the bridge in Washington that everybody watches in physics class when they learn about harmonic resonance.”
Jonah raised his eyebrows at his best friend as he grabbed a chocolate milk to add to his lunch tray. “The road’s waving up and down, you mean?”
“Yeah, like the asphalt just turned into a giant piece of string. We should be getting thrown off, but you know how the laws of nature don’t really apply in dreams.”
“They do in mine,” Jonah shrugged. Mike rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, your dreams are boring. Anyway, we’re driving on this undulating expressway to get somewhere or other. Except then I realize that it’s a giant Mobius strip and we’re stuck in an infinite loop, kind of like those paper strips we used to make in math class, only made out of expressway.”
“Hmm.” Jonah nodded sagely, as though he remembered what the hell a Mobius strip was or could recollect ever having done anything even vaguely crafty in any math class he ever took. But if Mike had done it in school, Jonah must have too. They’d been in all the same classes throughout middle school and high school. Instead of asking about the forgotten math moment, he pointed out, “Have you ever noticed that you have a deep fondness for similes, usually based on some random moment that happened about ten years ago?”
Mike grinned. “Yeah, Sarah complains about it all the time.” He tossed a sandwich carelessly onto Jonah’s tray and plopped another onto his own. “Anyway, as I’m driving along this M. C. Escher-style road, I look over to watch a giant Rob Lowe unhook the loop and start to jump rope. With the road. While we’re driving on it.”
Jonah just stared at him for a moment. “Seriously, man, do you drop acid before you go to sleep?”
“I know! Crazy, right?”
Jonah shook his head, laughing slightly as he dug his wallet out of his pocket and paid for lunch. “You want to know what I dreamed about last night?”
“Something boring, undoubtedly.” Mike flashed him a teasing grin before turning his charm on the cashier.
“Incredibly boring,” Jonah agreed. “I did laundry. Sorted out the colors and then ran a load of socks and underwear. I woke up shortly after transferring them to the dryer.”
Shaking his head and sighing in mock disappointment, Mike replied, “Damn, J. Your dreams suck. You’re supposed to be doing all this crazy stuff you never do in real life, like flying or dying or showing up to work naked.”
“Wait, you don’t think showing up to work naked is something I would ever do?” Jonah widened his eyes as innocently as he could and tried to look crushed. “But I’ve always been such a wild and crazy daredevil!”
Mike smirked. “Well, I know Darlene in accounting wouldn’t mind if you did, but I don’t think she’s quite your type.”
Jonah shuddered. “Don’t remind me. Little old ladies should not leer at impressionable young gay men.”
“Hey, you never know. She might have been hot back in the day,” Mike snickered.
“Yeah, maybe a million years ago. To a straight guy,” Jonah muttered, sliding into one of the cafeteria’s pea green plastic chairs. He tried to ignore the static electricity that instantly glued his shirt to his back and made him feel as if his hair was standing on end. The brown curls were unruly enough as it was; good thing there was no one around he was trying to impress. Struck with sudden inspiration, he carefully kept his eyes on the table as he surreptitiously snuck his hand over to brush Mike’s, laughing when the resultant shock made Mike curse and jerk his hand away.
With a glare in Jonah’s direction, Mike made a show of flapping the offended appendage around, trying to shake off the jolt. “That hurt, you bastard.”
“Such a baby,” Jonah grinned, reaching for his milk carton.
Mike opened his tuna sandwich, the distinctive odor cutting through the other smells already wafting through the room. “Seriously,” he said, taking a huge bite before continuing with his mouth full, “you need to spice up either your real life or your dream life. They can’t both consist of doing laundry, grocery shopping, and shit like that. You should be having fun and getting laid in at least one of them.”
Jonah rolled his eyes at Mike’s daily mantra. “I’ll be sure to work on that tonight while I’m asleep. I’ll just send off a quick memo to the dream gods that I’d like some sex thrown in with the laundry this time if it’s not too much trouble. Thanks for the advice.” A blob of egg salad oozed out of his sandwich to land on the tray with a wet plop, a drop of thick yellow sauce splattering up onto one lens of his glasses. Jonah wiped it off with a sigh.
Yeah, it was a freakin’ miracle nobody had snatched him up yet.