Some days I stare at the carpet. Examining it as if noticing the different colors that make up its weave for the first time, again, for the hundredth time: umber, ochre, cream, periwinkle, prussian, threading around each other in coarse coils and little knots that remind me of the brightly colored yarn wound around the Guatemalan worry dolls that I’ve kept in their little straw box by my bed for twenty years. Which is a lie because I actually lost them ten years ago, and refound them in a gift shop only five years ago. That’s five whole years I went without worry dolls, five years staring at a solid matte sand colored carpet in another house at another time, without my superstitious crude polly pockets sold a dime a dozen as kitsch to absorb my fears as I slept.
Once in Arizona I thought about buying a dream catcher. Somewhere off the 8 in an expansive gift shop I stared at a beautiful feathered thing and was sure that I needed this protection, needed the protection of my ancestors to safeguard my dormant mind. But I didn’t buy it because it was made in Taiwan, and I still have nightmares. I still wake up in panics and lie in the dark staring at a sound, straining for that din that would confirm I am indeed in danger. I still wake up certain everyone I love is dead and the world is going to swallow me and no one will know. In another house at another time maybe this is true. Maybe this is true for everyone who coils around their own tails and seeps downward, caught like dust between the carpet threads, sinking below the weaving, settling quietly against the foundation.