Pinch me.

I dreamed last night that a band of thieves tricked me. They tricked me into thinking they were street performers looking for a stage to premiere a new show.They were so convincing that I invited them inside to perform for my friends and me. We were all living together in a big old house — stately columns and whitewash, drafty windows and old doors, like the sorority house I lived in. The Knight lived there, too.

I stopped in the bathroom to freshen up before their performance. That's when they moved in on me. The Knight heard the commotion and came in to rescue me, but one of them had a gun and pushed him out of the way. He disappeared from the doorway, and I was alone. The ringleader, an effeminate black man in a shiny three-piece suit — I'm seriously not making this up — just kept walking toward me and eventually forced me into the bathtub. It all happened very slowly. I slackened against the cold, damp porcelain and stopped trying to fight.

The man sat on the edge of the tub and stroked my face, cooing at me, while the other thieves grinned and waved everything they were stealing in my face. A woman with slender, spidery fingers and deep-red lipstick slid a hand up my leg then behind me, where I'd tried to hide my heavy, oversized purse. Once they'd taken what they wanted, they left me alone there in the tub, shaking and sobbing.

The Knight had called the police but was nowhere to be found when I finally mustered the energy to get up and look for help on my own. I wandered alone through the big old house and found my purse abandoned in a dusty room. I can only guess that when the police arrived, the woman who had taken my purse dropped the bag and ran off with what she could carry: a few credit cards, my driver's license and my little laptop. My laptop, where I'd saved the file that held everything I'd written in my novel so far. It was all gone: my identity and my story.

At the end of the dream, the Knight had finally found his way back to my room, but he didn't find me. So he propped his guitar case against the wall and went looking. I had been looking for him, too, to no avail. So I sat down on my bed and stared blankly at the case until he came to me. Then I started to cry, there in his arms. Uncontrollable sobs. On loop until I woke up.

With puffy eyes and no inspiration to keep writing.