At night, I listen to the random conversations in my head before sleep. When I was forty-one, I began to record what I heard in a little leather-bound notebook I kept on my bedside table. At first, the sounds ran from me. Between the time of hearing and the rousing of my conscious mind, they would slip partially away and I’d grasp only a portion.
"No screamers...A knot of people...They are yours too...The hood of wolves...Say something would you?...Siempre (always)."
The speakers were both male and female, yet at some moments, it was difficult to judge and the sounds rolled with the tongue of all genders at once. With time and practice, a little more stayed with me and the words became more defined.
"For a full hour she didn't say anything...The heart-felt joy of the welcome-coming...What's going on in here?...Given the medical procedure, only…I just want to be comfortable in my cell…Is that me you are insulting?"
I thought the voices were my muse, or hypnagogic auditory hallucinations on the fringe of sleep. But what if they were something more? If they were real, what was their origin? By the age of forty-two, they were frustratingly familiar, yet equally unknown.
And then I heard Carter.