sleep cycle

THE NEXT THING I knew, I was back in Viljandi, riding through the winding back streets and tree-lined alleys with my youngest daughter and her mother in tow. The bicycle was absurdly large though, like something a clown might ride at the circus. I came terribly close to mowing down pedestrians and small children. “Watch where you’re going!” She shrieked. “Don’t you even know how to ride a bike?” “Hey, lady,” I said. “It’s a clown bicycle.” At last we got to the bus station. It was a dimly lit place, and there was an old Soviet-style cafeteria inside, with the steaming tins of cutlets and god knows what else. My daughter ran off to play in the playroom, and I went to get the tickets. But as soon as the bus to Pärnu arrived it drove away. I went back and informed the family. There would be no trip to Pärnu today. My daughter didn’t seem to mind, and her mother reconciled herself to the situation. Later, I went back to my apartment, which was on the top floor of a boarding house. Two little boys I knew came walking down the hallway searching for their mother. I told them I would help find her, and that I had just seen her downstairs in the lobby. Their mother appeared and pretended that all was well, and that she had known where they were the whole time. The boys looked worried, but went away with their mother. Then I went back into my small dingy room. Later, I found myself in the corner of one of the town’s many bistros. I couldn’t remember how I had wound up there, only that Gunna was with me, and I was giving her a foot massage right there on the spot. Gunna from the market, with her freckles and red bangs and weird humor. Gunna only smiled to me and said, “Oh my god, it’s so good, please don’t stop! Whatever you do, just don’t stop!” I kept on rubbing Gunna’s feet, but was really confused by the twist of events, or how any of this had happened.

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