What are normal people doing at three a.m.? They’re sleeping. That is, unless they are working the night shift. That’s what I was doing, no I wasn’t working the night shift. I was in the deepest level of REM sleep, the kind of sleep that heals, renews, and when you wake in the morning you know it’s going to be a great day. Then my dreams shifted from the peaceful meadow with a clear creek running through, a few deer prancing in the distance, and the mountains smiling at me to the ground shaking, I was in an earthquake. I grabbed hold of a pine tree next to me. The earthquake grew stronger, I awoke from my nightmare holding my pillow tight to my chest. I opened my eyes to see La Flor and Little Carmen standing over me.
“Good morning, Ray,” said La Flor* a pleasant lilt to her voice.
“Was use having a nights mare? I hates night mares and day mares two (remember, LC says two for “too”).
I said, “What time is it? What are you doing in my room?”
“I wanted to talk and it couldn’t wait until you showered and had your coffee,” said La Flor.
I looked toward the covered windows, it was still dark, really, really dark. “Is it an emergency?” I asked.
La Flor tilted her head, “Not really. I didn’t want to think about it when I went back to bed. I probably wouldn’t fall asleep.”
I didn’t know what to say. Then I heard the gravel voice.
“I like omelets for breakfast,” said Little Carmen.
La Flor patted him on his head, and said, “Be a good boy and go lie on the couch, now go. You can have your omelet later.”
“I’m on my way beautiful, tough, and edgy to be determined,” said Little Carmen.
It was the last part of his sentence, there was something about it that might be important, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
From the living room, the gravel voice with a sense of urgency, “Can I watch cable?”
“If you don’t get off the couch,” said La Flor rolling her eyes.
A second later, the gravel voice again, “Can I get off the couch to get the remote?”
I wasn’t sure if the earthquake was the nightmare or if this is the nightmare. I lose either way.
“I’ll bring you a treat when I’m through talking with Ray if you’re quick about it,” said La Flor.
“I’ll be quicker than if you counts to four backward from too (that’s how he says two, confusing, right?).
I was sitting in bed trying to wrap my head around counting backward from two and somehow reaching four. I heard La Flor.
“I’m at two and a quarter are you back on the couch?”
“I’m almost there. Did I make it?”
“Good boy, LC.”
Is she treating Little Carmen like a large dog or a little child? I know I can mix metaphors with the best of the metaphor mixers. What La Flor is doing is new territory for me. She’s going where no alt ego has gone before. (Sorry StarTrek fans, I couldn’t help myself).
I checked my iPhone, it was 3:07 a.m. “Can we make this quick? I want to go back to my peaceful meadow.”
“I have three questions, Ray, that’s all. Easy squeezy. I love that expression. LC taught it to me. Sometimes I use sneezy instead of squeezy. And sometimes I use breezy instead of squeezy.”
“I get the point. Brilliant adaption of word usage,” I said, then wondered why I encourage her.
“Disappointed you didn’t think of it first? It was LC, then I took it a bit further,” said La Flor now sitting on the edge of my bed.
“Devastated. Now what are the three Questions,” I said, I was willing to make up any answer. I wanted to go back to sleep. I hope I can find that position again.
“Here you go, Ray. Q one. Q stands for questions; when I say Q it helps us to get to the point faster. Do you agree?”
I replied, “Oh yes, please use Q and use it frequently.”
“Q one, I’m changing careers. I want to be a shrink.”
My apologies to all psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors. If you have a problem, take it up with La Flor, por favor. I said, “Go for it.”
“Great, Q one is answered. Here’s Q too (I can see Little Carmen’s growing influence on La Flor, she used too instead of two. My world is spinning out of control). Can I use our living room for my group sessions?”
Group sessions? Our living room? Where was I? Is there a way out? Will they follow me if I find my way out? What the heck, I said, “Sure, why not. Can I go back to sleep?”
She waggled an index finger at me, “Ray, Ray, Ray we have one more Q. Q three and it rhymes with me.”
“You’re naturally poetic,” I said. It was now 3:22 a.m.
The sound from the living room threatened to make me deaf. “What’s he watching?”
“LC loves this show called Heavy Metal Rockers face off in a Death Cage Match with Violinists.”
“This is a show?”
“It’s really, really popular on cable.”
I need a support group. “What’s Q 3?” I said over the crash of a violin on the head of a Heavy Metal Rocker, then the profanity laced tirade of the Heavy Metal Rocker telling the violinist where he was going to insert the violinist’s bow if he caught him. Little Carmen was cheering for the rocker.
“He’s so cute when he gets excited,” said La Flor.
“Q 3, por favor.”
“I forgot. It couldn’t have been important. Ciao, Ray. I’m going to finish watching the show with LC.”
Sleep? Precious sleep? If you can’t beat them, join them. I wrapped my blankets around me and sat on the couch staring at something that shouldn’t be allowed on cable or to exist on the planet. I couldn’t take anymore. I got up and said, I’m going to get dressed and go to all night Starbucks.
“We’ll go with you. LC will record it so we can watch it later,” said La Flor, the beautiful, tough, and edgy shrink.
* La Flor is a fictional character and acts as my alt ego. Her character has evolved over the blog posts. She began with a single letter as her name. Her name gradually grew to two letters, then three before she settled on La Flor. She liked the name because it fit her idea of a beautiful, tough, and edgy feminine PI. It is my interaction with her persona that serves as the source of these blog posts. I have no notion how La Flor will continue to evolve. It is an adventure for me as well as the reader.