The katydids lured me into sleep last night, jade cello legs, all suede-wrapped hammers, all velvet tongs. The dream that they led me to was an exact continuation of my waking day, as if I'd strolled into my unconscious only to punch a time clock. Everything spun itself with the predictability of the basic laws of physics. I craved surprise. The doorbell rang. I answered it. "Surprise!" said an angelic youth, cornflower-blue eyes and flaxen-haired, wetting his bee-stung (but of course you know the type) slightly parted lips with a pointed red-tongue tip prior to continuing: "You are going to be interrogated in the sub-basement of a Federal facility at an undisclosed location!" He brandished a beige canvas hood with brass buckles clacking from its straps. "Oh, goody!" I exclaimed, performing Ascot-worthy applause, my nerves in hummingbird buzz. "Is it a featureless squat cinderblock concretion of unimaginative stolid rectangularity ringed by twenty-foot high cyclone fencing and razor wire?" He nodded and reached toward me with the hood and the next thing that I could see was a wallaby strapped to a dentist's chair. "You must give it a manicure," a voice behind me growled. The creature's tail flopped, pathetically. I recoiled. Even in the dream, I know that this is merely my brain clearing its pipes, random scraps, scrubbing ephemera, that the wallaby is from a bout of academic pretension related to the novel Kangaroo; that manicures and pedicures represent my crippling insecurities regarding femininity, gender as construct and its limitations, and a failed promise to my dying grandmother. No one will ever love me because I have large flat feet, prehensile toes, and thickly-cuticled nails that gather dead skin cells and splinter easily. The katydids chirp with the numbed monotony of a Soviet string quartet on baby-blue barbiturates chased by vodka. I cannot help but believe that it's code. The doorbell rang, again, this time in the chamber. The wallaby's eyelashes fluttered with anxiety. They had gagged it with a bandana, banana-yellow. I opened the steel door. There stood a salesman. He said, "You need to get this, today. It's a special limited-time only offer. Immediately." The katydids chirped louder. "How do you stand this racket?" He shook his head. "Do you know what you've been charged with?" I eyed the selection of lacquers that he proffered from an oxblood attache, speculating that fuchsia is too wanton for marsupials but knowing that giving the wallaby a French-tip would be impossible. I replied, "I don't. They haven't let me see a lawyer. I haven't been allowed my phone call. I do believe that I haven't even been Mirandaed!" I placed my knuckles on the tips of my pelvis in indignation. The insects screamed in unison. "You are the dregs of society. You are scum," the salesman said, "because you will not be a good citizen and go shopping." "My darling!" I exclaimed. "Apparently you do not understand," he said. "I am insulting you." "Sweetness" I pleaded. "You aren't hearing me," he said. "To the contrary," I responded. "I'm hearing you clearly for the first time in my life." I extended both hands to his shoulders and shoved him out the door. The door slammed. I wanted to hang up, but sleep clenched me in its clutches, dragging me down to the bottom of the river. My nerves thrummed with the katydids. Each chirp, my nerves vibrated like piano wires. The messenger was going to return with a singing telegram about fixed-rate mortgages. I'd seen the script in his hand.