When I finally crawled into bed at 6:25 a.m. this morning, I was exhausted and planned to sleep away the day. A little before noon, I got up, worked for a while, and then returned to the welcome arms of my bed for a nap. I repeated this process two more times.
During one of the periods when I was at my computer, I read Neil Gaiman's recent interview of Stephen King. Fairly late in that interview, King talks about stories as found things, and about how sometimes the idea you need just appears when you need it. I believe there's a lot of truth to that notion, because your subconscious is working on your stories more of the day than your consciousness.
Further, some ideas, some images, some plots bubble up during dreams and near-dreams, as if you'd drilled earlier and weakened the barrier between those ideas and your awareness.
The last time I rested in bed today, a short near-dreaming nap under a bright sky shining directly on my head through the skylight above me, an image burst fully formed into my mind.
A young man and a young woman were hiding in the vacant area between two industrial buildings. The asphalt under their feet was surrendering finally to nature, cracks running through it like scars, grass and dirt and weeds and even small yellow flowers thrusting defiantly into the light. As the two people crouched near a dumpster, their heads swiveling as they tried to watch every direction at once for signs of their attackers, a black car running in reverse screeched into the space and stopped less than a yard from them. A sleek, tapered sports car with a small fin over its trunk, it was black on every surface, windows and body and door handles and tires and rims, everything and everywhere black.
Except its license plate. The perfectly white license plate bore no state insignia or other identifier. Instead, on it in thick, strong, sans-serif type were these characters:
I woke up then.
I have no clue what that means. It probably means nothing at all.
I love it, though, and I wouldn't be surprised if one day I use it, at least those four characters, maybe the rest.