My heart was racing. I attempted to count trees to slow the pounding. 50 – 51 – 52. I tried to imagine my aunt and uncle’s apartment but just kept seeing a full-sized house crammed into a tiny box. 77 – 78. I found myself paying attention to the yellows dotted lines blurring together into one and lost count. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4.
I am in the center of a field looking around. Lost. I have to keep counting. 98 – 117 – 7 – 10 – 143. I know the numbers are out of order but I can’t remember how they go together. I shake my head trying to shake out the numbers that don’t make sense. I’m just so tired. I keep falling asleep standing up. Behind the trees, through a layer of fog, lay more trees though these are more like city buildings. The branches are made out of plate glass. Count again. 66. Concentrate. 77. Think harder. 88. No no no. So tired. The tree buildings are gone. I blink and there they are again.
Okay. This feels familiar. We must be in New York again. But how did I get into this field? I don’t remember leaving the car. I’m looking for anything recognizable from the tourist guide but every time I try to focus reality seems to fade away. Panic is setting in.
I run around screaming though no one is there to help. And just like that, somehow, night settles in. I can only find the buildings with lights on, looking like stars on the horizon, in the blackest night I’ve ever experienced. 3 – 2 – 1.
I stand still for a second to look around once again. There’s a sign. Maybe there’s a map. I walk over calmly not wanting to be lost any longer. I’m also hoping that the sign will provide help but I have the near certain feeling that it is just another rouse. And, alas, the sign doesn’t make any sense. I can’t read it. There are words but I’ve never seen them before. My eyes hurt. I will the sign to say something, anything, other than this undecipherable language. It’s too late, the tears are already running down my face.