On Sunday I popped two Pro Plus pills to help me get through a half-marathon. That night, to rest my wearied body, I went to bed at 9.30pm.


As the light switched off, my body switched back on. An hour later I was still lying staring at the ceiling. I got up, went downstairs, and messed around on the laptop. An hour passed, then another. Next thing I knew it was 1.30am. The alarm was going off in four-and-a-half hours.

I went back to bed, feeling I should at least try to get some sleep. I lay down in the deep darkness, my wife’s gentle breaths the only sound. I imagined how my eyes would feel if I was tired, which seemed to do the trick.

And then I was in Spain. I didn’t recognise the location, but somehow I knew it was Spain. I followed a man in off-white khakis and a light-blue linen shirt up some steps. He turned right through an archway, and I followed. Only now, writing this, have I realised that the steps and arch are from a Call of Duty multiplayer map, set in an unnamed Middle Eastern country. Where the rest came from, and why it was Spanish, I’ve no idea.

We turned onto a cobbled boulevard. The sun blazed high overhead, the light exposing the fibre-pulls in the man’s shirt and killing the cobbles’ chance of casting shadows. Along the boulevard’s sides were black metal tables and chairs. Poked through the tables were green umbrellas. There were no people in the chairs, and no cafes to explain the furnitures’ existence.

The alarm went off, bringing me back to reality. Words raced through my head, I could kind of hear them and kind of see them. Even then it was clear then that the word combinations didn’t make sense. I considered writing them down, but as I thought of where I’d find a pen and paper, and how I’d get some light to see, the words stopped.


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