Ghosh woke up in a haste. He rushed to his right and turned on the lamp.
“Was that your stupid dream again?” Linda scowled. Ghosh was palpitating.
“Linda, I love you, but I have to go,” he said.
“Honey, I really don’t have time for this. Please go back to sleep,” Linda irritably muttered.
Ghosh looks at her with disappointment and turns off the lamp. He gets out of bed and leaves his blanket unkempt while Linda seems to be in deep sleep. Ghosh washes his face and sits to take a dump.
He googles to find out the price of flights to Peru and books a ticket for himself. His phone begins to act funny as concentric circles form. There’s a mysterious, husky voice calling out Ghosh’s name from the empty void of his phone. The omnipresent voice pauses and says, “You are not meant to be here.” Ghosh drops his phone out of fear. He is spooked but tries to contain his scream. He puts a brave face on, leaves his phone on the floor and goes back to the bedroom to find an Alpaca sitting in the center of his bed. He calls out Linda’s name, but she is nowhere to be seen. “Linda! Where did you go?” He is traumatized.
“Oh, come on, did you really think she is going to stick by you, you freak?” Alpaca spoke.
“Are you talking to me or am I imagining this?” Ghosh questions the speaking Alpaca.
His face turned white; his palpitation only increased every minute.
“I am talking to you idiot.”
“This is your dream; you are making me talk!” the Alpaca asserted.
“Are you serious? Oh, thank god!” Ghosh was relieved to be in his dreams. Moreover, he was relieved that he didn’t break his phone or leave skid marks for Linda to wash.
“Yeah buddy, you won’t thank the heavens when my master shows up,” the Alpaca smirks and breaks his moment of relief.
Ghosh is nervous, it all seems like a side-effect of his newly prescribed weed.
“Gosh! Mates at the bank were right about the weed,” he murmured to himself.
He feels a strong hand tapping on his shoulder. He turns around to find a Shaman standing there. He had a black leather-bound diary with golden embellishing on it.
“Who are you?” Ghosh is stunned.
“I am the Shaman you summoned from Peru,” the Shaman calmly replied.
“How? When?” Ghosh is unable to find the right words to form a sane sentence.
“You stole my Alpaca,” the Shaman accuses Ghosh.
“No, I didn’t. This creature just appeared out of nowhere!”
The Shaman interrupts Ghosh, “I may have the solution to your problem.”
“Linda and I will work it out,” Ghosh rolls his eyes and defends himself.
“Not that, your weed problem. You see after spending 150 years in the caves of Mt. Ampata, I finally discovered a unique recipe of Ayahuasca that helps new weed users to relax. You will get very healthy, I promise,” the Shaman winked as soon as he finished. “Then you won’t forget anything.”
Ghosh is visibly furious and frustrated; he just wants to go back to sleep.
“You know, this is very complicated, and you’ve lost me. Please take your Alpaca and leave,” he asserts.
The Shaman bows gracefully, “This diary has the solution. Store it in the racks of your brain, it will be useful whenever you are spiraling.”
“I don’t want it! Just fucking leave me alone,” Ghosh asserts. His words don’t shake Shaman’s composure. He is looking hypnotically in his eyes. “Okay, give it to me,” Ghosh gives and hesitantly accepts the heavy diary.
The Shaman signals his Alpaca and they both vanish without another word. Ghosh is relieved, he rushes to his bed and keeps the diary by the lamp. He snuggles into his blanket, and sleeps while facing Linda’s side of the bed.
“We are going to be late for the ball! It’s freaking 9 PM, Ghosh!” Linda is screaming at the top of her voice. She is on the verge of having a meltdown. “What is your problem, Linda?” Ghosh murmurs in his sleep. Linda fiercely wipes her tears off her sharp cheek and says, “I’m going to kill that hippie doctor of yours.”
“Yeah, sure,” Ghosh replies with his one eye half-open.
“It’s your work thing and I cancelled all my plans for your boring banker’s party! You ungrateful piece of shit, just wake up!” She looks at him one final time, a look of ultimatum clouds her face.
Infuriated, Linda opens the drawer of Ghosh’s bed cabinet. She takes out the black diary, opens it and gets Ghosh’s stash of leftover weed. She stares at it, noticing its details and then throws it out of the window by her bedside.
“Good night, motherfucker.”
Nishtha is a copywriter based in Bombay, India. She has authored a poetry collection, The Promenade (2020), and a romance novella, Almost Done With (2019). Through her absurdist stoner comedy “Dreaming of Peru” Nishtha aims to explore weed and the quality and texture of dreams under its influence.