Porter woke up Friday morning early and much more stuck than normal, the tissue in his back and shoulders seized as you’d expect a corpse to be. He was in a dream but left it quickly, and for the moment all he knew was that a time had passed and that it wasn’t yesterday, that a vacuum was behind him but it quickly filled and soon it was his room again.
Butter spread across the pitted face of Porter’s toasted bread and filled the little pock-marks so they looked like pallid yellow ponds scattered through the desert. Coffee slurped and dribbled from the machine, filling the glass pot to where it always did. When it was through, the plastic gadget hissed for just a moment, as if exhausted from the work, then bleeped two times and stayed silent for the remainder of the day.
Porter’s bus was late again, or maybe he was early, but at any rate he chose to walk to work, the weather being dry and tepid and his joints needing the effort.
On his walk, Porter tried hard to recall the dream he’d had the night before, but all he thought was white. An eggy, stringy white that clung inside his eyes and gave the impression of translucence but none of the effect. A clammy white that oozed in viscous layers.
It was after a mile or so, Porter squinting as he walked as if the dream was just beyond his grasp and somehow he could will his memory more effective by putting tension in the muscles around his eyes, it was after just a mile perhaps that Porter saw an image in the gluey white. Unfolding up above him in the white was a round and woolly cloud, as white as all the sticky white around him, but of a texture not the same.
He reached up with his hand and felt another hand inside. And when he pulled it down another Porter stood there in the white. They stared at one another for a moment, then Porter spoke.
“Hello,” said Porter kindly.
“Hello,” said Porter kindly back.
Then Porter and his dream exchanged their leather attaches and all but Porter dripped away.
He opened his eyes to find himself a little past his office, whistling beneath the trees beside a quiet river. And Porter walked along its banks and knew it was today.