“Diluted” — Guest posting by Hunter

I dream of suffocating vision, binding tunnel vision strangling my eyes. I dream I am drunk and high and there are puzzle pieces strewn across my otherwise empty floor in my otherwise empty room. A former roommate looms over the pieces and stares at me with dark circles under his eyes. The majority of puzzle pieces form a picture of a lighthouse. I realize this should be in the bathroom down the hall, framed in ancient drift-wood and having 4 pieces misplaced at the bottom. Not that it matters, in this puzzle, there are merely two shapes. Every other piece is identical– in waking and dreaming states.

You can still fit in even if you don’t belong.

My diminished key-hole sight causes me to panic. I lose control of my body and drunkenly stumble out of the room. What the hell is wrong with me, I ask myself. I make it to the bathroom and begin urinating in the toilet. The toilet relays the news, “You’re piss is dirty. You’re going to fail.” A current roommate, Graham, apologizes, somewhere off in a distant nadir of my mind, for blowing smoke in my face.

The toilet grimaces and becomes the Great Pit of Carkoon. I fall and it consumes me. Darkness and exudate outline rigid spikes as I dangle from a giant tongue(I hope). Despair overwhelms me. Tinges of thought, prickles of suggestion, move my mind to believe I am in hell. And this, when this thing pukes me out, I’ll be in heaven.

Apparently that is a terrace outside of Versailles Palace, lit by barely pre-crepuscular light. Gold receding into silver blue into black. I sit in silence overlooking courtyards below much as I did in waking state, looking down at the end of Richmond, the bend in the James and a traveling commercial train.

I wake up shivering and drink several glasses of water. I have to go pee for the last time. I get there, wait for what, to my bladder, seems like forever and in the end it’s diluted.