The hollow sound of solid falling on a wood deck rippled through the air, into my open bedroom window, into my ear, and ripped me from my dream state. I don’t know if the dream was the one where I was an imposter in a foreign land, running from house to house dissolving spiderwebs with dilute bleach spray (this works by the way in real life, by the way) with my skeptical wife, who brazenly walked into rooms full of spiderwebs (this would be unlikely in real life), or the one where I was in line at the cafeteria trying to pay with cash but continually inadvertently cutting people in line, neither of which seem to happen to me in a real cafeteria line.
I laid there, warm and fetal under my covers. The screeches and chirps of the forest birds told me that it was the dark hours of a new day. I heard the sound again. “Intruder?” My mind invented the story of a lanky, faceless man walking on my deck peeking in my kitchen window and trying to open the door. My heart sped up a little bit. I imagined getting up, closing the door, and calling 911.
Another part of my brain began fact checking. “The pattern isn’t consistent with that of footfalls.”, it concluded. The sound happened again. The object was heavy, but bounced a little. A new story formed in my mind. Green, grapefruit-sized walnuts were dropping onto my deck and those of my neighbors. Memory and imagination conspired to close my eyes and return me to slumber.
I rolled out of bed eventually, put on my glasses, and peeked out the window. The walnut orbs were scattered everywhere. I am amazed at the chain reaction even an instantaneous sound can start. It is fun to watch the contortions of the mind, especially under the covers, unhurried.