A Stack of Post-its and Cats*

I woke up this morning with a feeling of dread. That’s because I had yet another weird dream.

I had been kidnapped in my dream. The kidnapper was a man. There are other people in the house where I have been taken but I get the feeling they are scared of him too. I certainly was scared. I was shown into a room which already had things in it -a bed, an almirah, a table: I realise it is someone’s home. Probably the kidnapper’s. The door to the room is never locked. I am so afraid that I don’t move from the room. He expected a ransom but none was forthcoming. (Seriously, who would pay ransom for me?) I looked around – there was a single bed with a filthy mattress. I was so scared I didn’t notice. No one spoke in the dream. Not the kidnapper or his women. At right angles to the bed is a long window.

A bit later, my mom joined me in the room. She too I think had been kidnapped but she adjusted quite easily. She touched the kidnapper’s feet which made him gloat. I was so zoned out I followed suit not knowing what was expected of me and I was scared.

Sometime later I find my brother too in the same room. He looks carefree like it’s a holiday. He walks in and sits down on a chair. I feel bad about this kidnapping situation so I try to find some reading material for my brother. I looked under the beds and tables and find cats! Yes cats which are stacked on top of each other like a brick wall or clothes in a closet. They look neat and like they are sleeping. I leave the cats alone. I do manage to find some comics for my brother to read.

I know I have to escape so I want to write a note. (When I think about this, I don’t know why I wanted paper. My post-dream analysis is that I wanted to drop it out of the window so that people can find it and read and rescue us.) So I look high and low in the same dark and dirty room. The next thing I know I am sitting on the grubby bed and a cork writing pad like the kind I used back in school for exams is in front of me and some comics too. But no paper. Suddenly I realise someone is peeping from the door held ajar. It’s a woman. She is silent and expressionless and wearing a grimy sari. She holds out a stack of opened post-its – a thin stack and narrow yellow post-its – like the ones I use to mark pages and quotes in books. I accept it gratefully. I was looking for a bigger piece of paper but this is still paper. So I take it and try to hide it under the cork writing pad. When I look up, she is shaking her head: no. It hits me that it will be found and I’d be in trouble. She is warning me. I take it out and tuck it into my bra. (In hindsight, so close to my heart.) She nods her head: yes, that is a safe place. I wonder how much I would sweat into the post-its and then wouldn’t be able to write on them.

That’s all I remember of the dream. I wake up full of dread.

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*Note for grammar Nazis: The title is not a misplaced modifier as you will know after reading the post.

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