It didn't seem strange. I was there for a reason. Even though I barely knew his dad, it was right that I should be there for the funeral. It was a low-ceilinged house like those ones built in the 70s in Lusaka - complete with oatmeal and mustard tiles in the kitchen. You know those tiles, the kind that someone must have found beautiful once - a collage of several vomity looking surfaces that together sort of make up a set of mushrooms or roosters. Or wild horses running, their manes all stiff and jagged, like they've been coated in a lot of hairgel.
I remember thinking, huh - they still have the same decor.
But in reality, I have never been to this house. Nor did I ever meet his parents. This old flame of mine. Let's call him Gavin. But here, in this crisp and detailed world, I have come to mourn the passing of his father. His mother is distracted, her hair unraveled. But she says she is pleased to see me. There are ducks on the lawn and everything is tranquil.
And then, the weird thing. His girlfriend.
We hug, but there is nothing left of the old passion that used to lock our bodies together. Just a gentle warmth and that funny kind of ache you get for what could have been, but its ok that it didn't be.
She, though, is pissed off. She seems to actually hiss at me. I think,
huh, how weird. what's she worried about.
Then she turns into an octopus.
Seriously. A huge, pale, throbbing octopus with winding tentacles and a luminous, translucent head. Her eyes are terrifying but kind of seductive too. One of those restless milky tentacles wants to wrap around me. Wants to drag me down to where she is, this place of jealousy and rage.
I wake before she gets me.