Is This For Real?

April 7, 2008
Day 922

I went home because of my illness. Everyone in my family got together for a big party, and they were all sleeping in the house together. In the middle of the night, a huge storm came. I went outside to see a huge flash of lightning, fading away into dozens of bright spots all over the sky. The glow from the lightning was so intense, it was as if dawn were approaching.

Things started to get weird after that. My mom ran outside and told us we'd lost our phone and Internet connections. The whole house started shaking. The sky got real bright again and two kids dressed as cartoon characters rode past us on bicycles waving in unison like parade queens. Techno music started mysteriously playing upstairs, and when I asked my brother if it was his, he put out his hand as if to indicate that he wouldn't listen to that crap. My dad said it was probably just a ghost like it was the most normal thing in the world.

Suddenly, moaning voices filled the air as the storm rose up again. The whole house began violently shaking. Afraid the house would collapse, I yelled for everybody to get outside, but they didn't listen because they were under a spell. Once outside, I turned to see the two ghostly looking kids on bicycles pass me again, still waving away.

My whole knowledge of the universe was turned around. There was no way any of this could be happening, and suddenly I realized it must just be a dream. I pinched my arm as hard as I could, but nothing happened. I was stuck in this strange world. When the sun finally came up, I looked outside to see a huge government helicopter with Angel written on the back. My mom said it must have been them that did it. They disabled our communications so we couldn't call for help. Then people showed up from nowhere wearing Halloween costumes and started dancing and everything was back to normal. Another hellish night was over.

All of a sudden I woke up. I sat up but was disoriented. Finally I figured out that I was still in my tent in Guatemala and the whole thing about going home was all just a dream. Then I remembered the malaria pills. One of their side effects was bad dreams, but this was no ordinary dream. It felt exactly like reality. I remembered the cockroaches from last night and thought that might be a dream too. No such luck, the holes were still there. Still, what if I were still in a larger dream? Could the cockroaches be part of that dream? What about the last two and a half years of my life? Could they all have been a huge malaria-induced dream as well? I was expecting to wake up and find myself still in my office, looking at my watch to see how long until I turned sixty-five. I had no idea what was real and what wasn't anymore.

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