I may not have been entirely naked but I think my shirt was off. In any case, I seemed to be sitting at the end of some table. My back hurt like hell, particularly my one shoulder. It felt tense to the point of agony and the involuntary twitching was fucking relentless. Then a woman walks over to me. I cower like a wounded animal at her approach, though once she puts her hand on my shoulder it instantly relaxes, the pain immediately disappears.
Fade to black…
I remembered walking into my bedroom and checking the digital alarm clock beside my bed, staring at the time and trying to make sense of it. I knew that this clock was set an hour and a half ahead, but the math still suggested it was far later at night — or earlier in the morning, actually — than it should have been. I check my cell phone and the clock on the computer and it still seems that too much time had passed. To boot, I feel certain that I had not been asleep, but I had absolutely no memory of what I had been doing beforehand.
I finally went to sleep, but I kept waking up every half hour, it seemed, to down a bottle of water from the fridge, walk back into the bedroom and then crash back onto the mattress. It was almost like I was caught in a loop. Eventually I just lay in bed feeling bloated, afraid to hiccup because I might vomit up water.
Shortly after I woke up I kept thinking about the shoulder memory, remembering a little bit more of it as the day at work progressed. I also suddenly remembered the confusion with the time and constantly waking up thirsty.
This evening as I drove home from work along a long, unplowed stretch of road during out first major snowfall of the season, the tension I typically have when driving in Winter returned. My back ached. It still hurts.
I wish I had her talent.