Rosemary

Matilda Cousins

I dreamt I had killed Sebastien.

Well, actually, was it murder? Was it murder if he deserved it in the dream? Or, possibly, was it really him, or somebody resembling him? Their mannerisms weren’t the same. They spoke differently, a different voice. The face was the same.

I ruminate on these questions as I drift towards the flowerbeds in the garden, listening to the hum of the bumble bees making their journeys from one flower to another, working away. The bees look bigger than usual, or maybe they’re always this big and I’m still dreaming; I reach out to stroke the rosemary with a bee still perched on its edge, checking to see if it’s real or not.

‘Yes’, I think, ‘of course it’s real’. But the texture is strange. Rough, almost, and papery, not like the soft feel of petals ready to disintegrate between your fingers, like candy floss. I sometimes wonder if I ever wake up from these dreams, or if they extend into my waking hours, stretching across time, only ever transforming into new dreams; frightful, unsettling, nostalgic, never resembling the last, but still being a part of the same realm.

 

With the petal still settled between my fingers, I gently pull it free from the rest of the flower, thinking how strange it is that I consider it to be only part of the flower, when it is clearly whole on its own. And the leaf is its own self, independent of the flower, but part of the flower as well. And the flower, its own individual flower, but part of the stem, which is part of the root. And so on. How funny. If my arm became detached from my body, I would never think of it as whole on its own at all; it’s a part of my body or its nothing.

A voice interrupts me, it’s Sebastien.

‘What are you doing out there? Come back inside, it’s freezing.’

The voice is different. The face is same. It wasn’t him in the dream, I conclude.