Lately I've been dreaming of funerals. Last night of dreamed of death itself.
I was death.
In the dream, I was walking alongside a would-be suicide bomber. We kept pace for about five minutes, me floating silently next to him as if I were riding an invisible hoverboard, and him walking swiflty, his long robes swishing against the desert floor.
Finally, he asked me why I was following him. We had reached a marketplace that was bustling with people; women with covered heads and faces, turbanned men carrying swords in sheaths.
I answered him without looking at him. Any minute now, I said.
Any minute, what?
Any minute that you find the truth.
He lowered his head and quickened his pace until he was almost running. I effortlessly kept up with him. As the marketplace thinned out until we were once again in the quiet of the desert, the man stopped at what appeared to be an oasis. Out of the oasis rose a bus, filled to capacity with women and children. The man boarded the bus when it stopped.
I stayed back, watching him pay his fare. He turned and looked at me.
Well, he said. Are you not my death shadow? Shouldn't you be boarding the bus with me?
I am not your death shasow, I said. I belong to them. And there I pointed to all the swaddled infants stacked high on the seats of the bus, all of them crying. Among them was a young girl in a wedding gown.
I could see through the window that the man had opened up his robes to reveal explosives that had been tied to his chest with a frayed rope. I ran to the front of the bus and lay down in front of it, hoping that the driver would stop.
He didn't. I felt the tread of the tires as they rolled over my head, I could feel the imprints they left on my face. The rubber of the tire seemed to melt into my skin. Yet I felt no pain, just the sensations.
I was under the bus now, I could smell oil and exhaust. I could hear the babies crying, I could hear the young bride shouting herself hoarse.
Unable to face what came next, I woke myself up.