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Hi everyone! This is a story about taking naps. What would you do if you could start your nap over again?

Day by day, she fought to stay awake. At night, facing the wall, she could see her breath come back, stirring her into place. Her gaze could only see an odd, black shadow.

The plague.

Napping feverishly on an ex-boyfriend’s mattress, my breath came to me, rousing my face. There was no odd black shadow, only the installation piece (University of Calgary, Faculty of Art, 2001) I completed about a red cross and red intersecting paint brushes. Over time, the red morphed into a black matte surface, replacing the glowing red symbols with something different…

The sound.

I gasped for air, clutching my heart staring into Kevin’s barren closet. I saw myself as a ‘doctor’, healing the world from every known pain of mankind. In that moment, my heart sung and I cried. I felt adorned, yet I was confused as to how this could have happened. How could this be a reality that I, Chona Fe, changed the world? Healed it, in fact. How could I be the charging force that put everything into place?

The only other time this happened, I was napping, this time at my aunt’s house in one of the empty rooms. (Note: Filipino homes always have empty rooms; they’re probably accommodating ghosts.) All of the 90s furniture, including a stark, reflective black master’s bedroom set, had no meaning or design in that place. That place where I slumbered and was suddenly awoken again. I think I was 13, sitting up abruptly on the right side of the bed, staring at myself. Yelling. Screaming at the top of my lungs.

Stop!

I wasn’t looking at a reflection of ours.

The reflection.

My brother (Alan Abad) and cousins (Ryan and Vanessa Skinner), ran home from the playground in the centre of the crescent (71 Maryvale Cr. N.E., Calgary, AB). They heard me scream. They were horrified to think something horrible had happened. But nothing did. I was alive. I wasn’t attacked or eaten by monsters. Vanessa grabbed my shoulders, shaking vigorously and I blinked slowly three times, “What. The. I…don’t know what just happened, but I think…I died and saw…a different person…in…” I couldn’t even continue. It was that bad.

Scared?

5 – The Train Ride

I had a semi heart attack when I realized I left my computer at work. Daisy folded her legs out of bed, throwing her white duvet toward her pillows in an act of defiance or something like that. For some reason, she could feel her forehead wrinkle as she quickly discerned, “Oh, just wonderful. I’m angry again.” She walked towards earth, sashaying in a banana yellow-toned gold.

Comma.

She entered. Now, walking criss-crossed down the tree-lined, brick-rung park pathway, she hated this part. She knew they tried to conceal the portal at the ‘end’ of the line, but you could always see it. The air around it was crinkly and wet. It was also technologically Prussian, giving off data to Whom (a.k.a. Google Analytics). They were still around, you know. In any case, she supposed most disconcerted artists would notice it.

Daisy proclaimed with both arms outstretched toward the new entrant, “Hop right in!” She was stretching really. He didn’t notice it. He was a mediocre-sized weasel carrying ‘today’s’ paper and sporting a rather smart trilby hat appropriately coloured rat. Hmm, I wonder if he’s just come in from the races? Daisy adjusted herself, pulling her navy blue rayon skirt down her legs.

Filburt squinted quintessentially. She has to think I’m coming here from the 50s, otherwise this proposition just won’t work. “Ahem!” Daisy stopped daydreaming of moment memories. She was playing with the ‘quaint daisy design’, imagining days of lorn, when she was just a wee little cartoon.

“Yes?”, “What is your girth? And are you in a state of dominant Manipura?” 

She didn’t even bother to reply. What a stupid statement. Of course she was. She always was. Especially in Free state. Daisy curtly ruffled her shiny snakeskin BCBG and answered him, “I am now going to roll my eyes and you are going to walk that way, in this direction.” Filburt trembled like a dandelion in new spring wind and promptly – disappeared. Goddamnit! Skirt?! Stomach?! For Christ’s sake!

I don’t have time for this patience. The Need paused. This is not something new. The Pause crossed long, lanky arms and turned his eyeballs in reverse. Training never ended, Daisy hated it. She had been through it a million and ten times. She was even beginning to seem like him. The father of all wrongdoing. Addictions created them. Where found them. Elevententeen was their only solace.

Please come, spring.

 

2 – The Hiatus

Our explorer has taken a hiatus, she is tired and as she peers across the street, he seems tired as well. She puts on her best coat and slips her feet into some cherry red rain boots. The moment she steps outside, she feels the cold tingle in her bones and her hair sashays as the wind hits her with a warm whisper asking again, “Hey. Are you there?” Flipping your hair in A Day can take you somewhere.

Don’t worry, just keep it as it is, she said. She says these types of things happen to her often, she must partially remain motivated to live and she must secondly rid herself from the despair of The Need. I need my comb, where is it? She reached into her purse, not the one from Vestiaire, but a second-hand Coach made of well-used garbage beige calfskin tin.

A desperate voice in her head urges, “These are the lines, the shapes, the colors, the values, the forms and the textures. There is no SPACE.” Repenting and refusing, Daisy shakes her head vigorously and steps into an oily pink puddle seeing only her reflection for a brief second in time.

Come to the spot, dabble in delight, peruse my space with wonder and might; question clients A, C and J. Find a way to see, see connections and see separations. Come from away, come from near, be the bearer of untimely cheer.” – The Pause and the solemn inquirer of Where

And with that, Alice from Wonderland appears, presenting Daisy with another conundrum, this time more real: “Where can you gather your answers from? Is it online, has it been written by another? When the answers come, make it right, make it right, make it right.” She takes off in a haste, not really caring about her hair and for some reason this time, she is riding an umbrella as if it were from Life Space.

Hmm. That was somehow puzzling. But onto the next block, still in the rain, the sky still bleak, wet, gray. Daisy just can’t seem to pull up her head. She envisions red and yellow amongst oily pink and purple.

“Why is this taking forever?”, “What has become of the perspective?”

It is all askew and small, but still very vast. Very vast? I used to dream in this perspective, really…well…I was awake, burning my eyeballs trying to fall asleep.

“Somehow, there has been someone toying with this section.”

Elevententeen was just that, a constant slideshow of places that required definition.

There was no consistency or realness.

There was so much dismay.

Her entourage had miniature plastic smiles plastered to their faces and there was still that nagging colour red pinned to each user like a little umbrella badge stitched with tiny banana-shaped thread.

Chona has nowhere to go, although her urge to run, to run uphill…is strong.