Every year, I have anxiety dreams.

Their content varies hugely. This year it was a glowering David Bowie disappointed in me for messing something up in our collaborative gallery show, and a panicked realization that it was Halloween, children were knocking on my door, and I had no candy and no costumes. In years past it has been zombie apocalypses, fights with my mother, horrific murder sprees, failed schoolwork. 

The waking varies too.

Previous years: Alone, in a panic, bolt upright in the 5am dark. In the afternoon sweat beside a poor decision. Stumbling my way to some school or work or meeting, only realizing hours later what the date was. 

This year, I found myself woken before my alarm, curled up around in a body full of warm blood and kindness, our skin covered in sunlight and cum and our foolish tattoos. I felt that silky kind of comfort, content to shift quietly from one position to another, finding different ways of fitting mostly-sleeping skins together until the day called us up out of bed. So why the stressful dreams? If I felt more relaxed than I had in … weeks, really, why was I a textbook case of nerves throughout the little movies in my head? 

And like I do every year, I eventually remembered the date. 

And so I imagine it will always be until I no longer know what time is: the early morning of September 11th gives me bad dreams. And yet I can at least hope that each year’s waking is as sweet.