I am in my mother’s kitchen, the kitchen from my childhood, which, in the manner of dreams, is both different from how it was, and irrevocably the kitchen I knew. Here is the island unit, here the big wooden table. Here’s the rubbish bin.
The bin is over-spilling: the rubbish bag needs changing, and it leaves me with this creeping greasy feeling.
It’s so incredibly noisy in here. My mother speaks but I can’t hear a word she’s saying: it’s as if she’s been muted. I think the radio must be turned to some ungodly volume, so I turn off the radio, but I still can’t still hear my mother. Then I realise it must be the TV making all the noise, so I turn the TV off. I’m angry at my mother for having so much noise in here and expecting me to hear her, or perhaps she’s angry at me for not understanding her.
Then I am in my living room, the living room of the flat in which I live right now, though the family kitchen is still somehow next door. My laptop screen is flashing messages, and some are from my boyfriend, and some are from an editor. And the editor is typing in caps and says ‘ADDRESS!!’ And I think well, okay, she needs it for sending me a copy of her publication, though I didn’t know this was going to be a print thing, but this is a bit rude and unprofessional, and just weird, and why is she messaging me on gchat? And she says ‘HON, ADDRESS!’ and she just keeps messaging, like she’s drunk or ADD. And I get confused between the messages from her and the ones from my boyfriend.
And the kitchen’s still so noisy, and my sister’s trying to tell me something, and I wake confused and irritated, but I know I must have managed to hear something my mother said because I'm left with this lingering memory of her voice.