The story of a dream...

I have seen it a million times and in a million different forms,
All that has been forgotten and all that must be know,
All that has gone rotten and all that must grow old.
What must be told, I tell myself.

I am alone again. I am always alone. It has been days since I have been out of my apartment, since I have interacted with another human being, since I have seen the sun, but I miss none of it. I revel in my nothingness--or so I tell myself.

My surroundings are the same as they always have been, yet they feel somehow unrecognizable, as if I have been here before but only in a life long past. The room is drab but glows with an intangible vibrancy that is both ominous and enticing. 

All the aspect of the room, the faded beige linoleum floor, the institutional, cold stone walls, painted in a calming off-yellow, and the Spartan arrangement of furniture, a bed a desk and a small refrigerator, are as the always are by all conceivable measures, yet their nature-- their essence-- seems askew, as if they are merely reflections of a distant reality.

Aside from the furniture, there is a heavy wooden door and a window opposite the door. The only view from the window is of a brick wall, across a narrow alley. I can see from the window that the room is on the third or fourth floor.

The apartment could be considered more of a cell-- it is certainly decorated like one. The walls are bare, and the entire scene says nothing about the inhabitant who dwells within it-- nothing about who it is I am. Maybe I am an empty vessel ready to be filled?

I don't have amnesia. I know my past and where I come from, but I do not know who I am, at least in the metaphysical sense, and this fact seems most concerning to me at the moment. 

This is my room, but something is different. The air feels thicker, like I'm moving through water. At the same time, although I take deep breaths, it feels like there is no air in them--there is no air in the room at all--and yet somehow, I don't struggle for air, I don't suffocate. I can breathe, or maybe I don't even need to breathe anymore. The laws of nature seem to contradict each other here although nothing is noticeably amiss.

I feel the sleepy haze, which enshrouds my mind, begin to dissipate, and I grab for my phone as I would normally do upon waking up at an odd hour, but as I examine my phone, I notice the normal display has been replaced by a sequence of strange symbols, which are indecipherable to me yet inexplicably instill me with a great sense of curiosity. Is it the secret of fire? Is it the secret of my youth?

While I cannot decipher the symbols themselves, I feel as if I know their meaning intuitively, as if it was imparted to me by some kind of telepathy. I feel their meaning as an idea rather than a sequence of words meant to express that idea. It was just an idea in its unadulterated form, a form that would be diminished by the imperfection of words. I understand it, but I cannot articulate it. I need to know more.

I've always found it funny how sometimes a dream doesn't seem like a dream at first, despite the countless absurdities that occur within it. We accept these absurdities for a time but at some point, these inconsistencies can alert us to the fact that we are dreaming, allowing us to become either master of our own mind or a prisoner of our own psychoses.

As all these thoughts and more flow and circle through my mind, I hear a sound. Beneath my feet, I feel the ground, and then... Again... I awake.

* * * * *

I wander through empty corridors,
Searching for hidden rooms with unlocked doors.
What I'm looking for eludes me,
Like rotten apples with pristine cores.

I am deep in some of cave. It's almost pitch black, but I can just make out the outlines of stone walls around me. The cave is warm. It's heat is like that of a living being, and in fact, the walls of the cave around me seem to be rhythmically contracting and expanding as if he cave itself were breathing-- were alive. I feel as if I am being seduced to stay in the darkness. I don't want to leave at first-- but I know I must.

I move out of the cave. Although I can not see, I feel my way along, striding intuitively forward. I do not falter. I am free of doubt. 

As I come out of the cave, I am engulfed by a blinding light that streams through a canopy of trees. Slowly my eyes adjust and I am able to see the the forest around me. It is full of light. The air is still. Nothing moves but me.

I begin to wander the forest and soon notice a small pond at the bottom of a swooping downhill. I walk intently down to the edge of the pond. The water is a clear azure blue. I reach out my hands and drink from the waters. It nourishes my soul and refreshes my being and invigorates me with great sense of purpose. It endows me with acute intuitions. 

When I look up, I notice that across the water there is a woman, standing knee-deep in the water. She looks in my direction and waves to me. I wave back.

I am struck by her visage, which although far, is clear to me. Something about her me draws me to her, as if she has a gravitational pull which holds me. I was entranced by her beauty, and fell consumed by a desire to possess her, to possess something pure, wild, untamable. I needed to quench this lust, this appetite for her, the devastating loneliness that I feel without her. The feeling is sexual but has other dimensions, other facets that confuse and perplex me. I am only aware of the overwhelming desire growing within me.

I am so overcome with emotion and desire that I step into the pond and begin to trudge through the water, single-mindedly intent on reaching the girl on the other side. As I get deeper and deeper in the water, I can no longer stand and my pace starts to slow. 

As I look down the water is cloudy. I cannot see the bottom. I feel fear creep in, and I begin to struggle. I consider turning around and going back to shore, but I notice that I am much farther than I anticipated. In fact, the pond altogether seems much larger than it did before. I am not sure which way to go.

The water seems to be getting thicker, as if it's constricting me. I feel heavier. My desires seem to weigh me down. I carry them as a burden, a burden which I am unable to lay down. I want to let them go, but I am bound to them. Just as I am bound to this earth, I am feel the constant pull of the undeniable forces of gravity, of humanity. I must embrace them, but they begin to pull me under. Do I let go? Or do I drown?

So this is how it ends,
With no family, no friends. 
All alone wishing I was dead, 
My soul sinks to the bottom like lead

The tide keeps rising as I start to tire. 
My struggles do nothing except feed the fire.

I'm sinking too fast, can't keep up the pace.
Can't help wondering why I jumped in in the first place.

* * * * *

My mind trembles,
Don't know what's real anymore.
Lost my sense of feeling,
I hear the silence roar.

I am in a field. It is night. The field is surrounded by thick woods. Strange sounds emanate from within them. They call to me. They beckon me. The forest seem to be growing. It swells towards me, as if ready to engulf the entire field; yet it makes no actual progress. Am I in the eye of the storm?

Something about my senses and perceptions seem off. Certain parts of me, certain angles of sight feel numb or are obscured, but other details are piercingly clear.

Suddenly, I notice some kind of animal begin to emerge from the forest. It appears to be some kind of wolf or large dog with black fur. It's eyes are locked on me. The light from the moon reflects off them and appear as two small orbs moving slowly toward me. The animal is hunched over and moves slowly, as if it is stalking me. Although the night is still and warm, a thick steam streams from the animal's mouth, and I can see saliva dripping from its jowls.

Although I feel a great rush of fear, I am frozen in place and can only watch the animal as it moves closer toward me-- our gazes locked.

The animal stops about 20 feet in front of me and continues to stare at me intently. While I still feel an intense fear, the animal looks more like a large dog now and reminds me of a Great Dane I had in my youth. I still fear, however, that it may kill me at any second, and so I await the animal's decision with bated breath.

I look at the animal. It looks at me. It looks into me. We look into each other. I look into myself. My breath quickens and I notice as steam flows from my mouth with increased vigor. 

I then look up as my surroundings suddenly seem to darken, and I see that the moon is being covered by a passing cloud. What will I do without the light? Will this animal devour me? Will it finally consume me whole?

As the light disappears, the glow of the animals turned from white to red. The flow off steam from the animal's mouth stopped as if it was taking a deep breath. I see the animal's muscles tense up, as it propels itself forward. It is bounding toward me baring its teeth, eyes ablaze, yet still I am frozen in place, paralyzed by fear. 

But while I feel this fear, even as the animal approaches to within a few steps of me and prepares to pounce, I also feel another emotion. It is a feeling of acceptance but also of deep resolve. The feeling is growing within me. The fear slips away and is replaced.

Mid-charge I see the animal begin rise up ready to attack, but instead it stops. It seems like time has slowed down and my sense are functioning on a more acute level. I can see the animal's powerful physique as it stands poised just a few inches away. My fear, my hesitation, my doubt are gone. Instead I feel strength. I feel filled with a new energy that course through my body like lightning. 

The animal and I do nothing except look at each other.  Our eyes lock, but at this distance the animal's eyes reflect no light, I can see them clearly. Like my eyes they are a deep brown, and in them, I can see something familiar, something that I can also feel in myself.

As I have this realization, the animal's gaze changes. He no longer appears threatening and there is a calm silence to his posture, a strength, which he offers to me. The animal lowers his head as if nodding at me, then turns and darts gracefully back into the forest from whence he came. The the cloud has past and the field is again basked in full moonlight.

Chambers echo,
Are they empty?
Or are they filled with lies?
Or stories that we tell ourselves
to justify our lives.

Am I man or am I beast?
Or is it all as I surmised
That maybe I am both of these
When passion's realized.

Oh great god that was born of a rock,
Will I be granted salvation despite my ineptitude,
My lack of faith?

A specter of joy, 
A glimpse of peace,
Is all I need.

Animalistic urges that drive me cease.
Released from the spell, 
A spiral to hell.
Or is it elation?
My first revelation.

Born of pain,
Bound for bliss,
Saved by love,
And born anew.

* * * * *

Sometimes I feel like I'm living in a distant memory.
Not being, but seeing 
Inside of me.

Yet I move through the halls,
As if I've lived there all along.

I wake up, but I can't move. Can't open my eyes. I am only able to squirm helplessly like an earthworm that has been severed in two, dancing one last dance with its former partner. I struggle with my own body, but it does not respond to the commands I give it. Maybe it has forgotten me? Have I been gone that long? I feel distance from what is going on or what happened-- I'm not sure. I must still be dreaming. 

I am afraid. Afraid that I will be trapped in this state. I feel that my consciousness is unable to fully reconnect with my physical body. Maybe I have gone too deep within myself to come back.

I wish you knew me.
I wish I knew me. 
But no one ever can.
No one ever will.

World was spinning, almost threw me,
But forces drew me
Back down to earth.
Falling fast, the clouds disperse.

Plummeting through the sky, 
I try to fly, 
But I have no wings.
It's time to die.

I am struggling to sit up, and then suddenly, I do, as if awoken from a deep sleep-- perhaps it was a deep sleep. I was back in my room. As I look out the window, I notice it seems to be twilight, rather than late night or morning as I surmise it should be by now, but otherwise, things feel normal. The air feels lighter, full of life.

But no sooner do I have a minute of peace, then do I feel a splitting pain shoot through my skull. I writhe in pain but it does not subside. I feel like I'm dying. The pressure keeps building.

I must be dreaming. I know I am dreaming. I try to wake myself up but I can't. What if I am trapped here? What if I can never go back?

In dreams, lucidity gives you power. Power over the world you have created. The very laws of nature bend to your will, but this was not like that. Here I felt helpless, lost, scared. 

I feel prisoner to some part of my own psyche, which had to this point had remained hidden, unknown even to me. It won't let me go. It feels as if I am being dragged deeper and deeper into the dark recesses of my own being.

"I need to sleep. I need a drink," I think to myself, reserving some hope that changing my state of mind within the reality of the dream might allow me to escape it, to get back to the real world. But do I even know what's real anymore?

I walk over to the small refrigerator that I keep in the corner of my room and search for something, something that could change this, that could change me. The refrigerator is empty with the exception of two, equal-sized, glass bottles. They are both filled with strangely-colored liquids that shimmer under the glow of the incandescent refrigerator light. 

The bottle on the left is rectangular and has hard edges. The glass is tinted green, and inside the bottle is a dark-colored liquid that appears purple behind the green glass. There is a black, rectangular label on the front of the bottle, decorated with golden-colored text in some strange and foreign language. I cannot read the text, but I feel as if it is the last remnants of a great and ancient civilizations. At the center of the label encircled by text is a crest featuring a snakes in front of two swords crossed in the form of an X. My mind is filled with an ominous feeling as I examine the details of the bottle. Something about it seems dangerous, but I feel that the danger is meant to protect something that is truly valuable, but what? I do not know.

The bottle on the right has more of an ovular and has no hard edges like the other bottles, but rather is made up of gentle curves, which come together at a small spout at the top. The glass is completely transparent, and the bottle is filled with a clear, sky-blue colored liquid. The label on the front is circular and also contains symbols that I do recognize. Unlike the text on the other bottle, these symbols appear more like pictograms, and I feel that their origin is even older than the text on the other bottle. At the center of this label is the image of what appears to be an eagle with its wings spread, although as I study the image I become less certain that it s in fact an eagle. The image itself seems to be shifting, changing shape, at times appearing almost like an inkblot, endowed only with whatever form the subject can recognize within it.

I feel that I must choose one. I stare blankly into the refrigerator struggling to decide. I fear that I will choose the wrong one, but I am compelled none the less to try. Initially I am attracted to the bottle on the right with its clear blue liquid, but as I reach for it, it seems as if the other bottle is calling to me. I cannot discern any words but I feel the ford of the intention. It whispers warning that put doubt in my mind. I do not know which one to pick, nor do I know what the substances will do to me. Will they make me larger? Will they make me small?

Despite my uncertainty, I grab the bottle on the right, unhinge the cap and take a swig of the clear, blue liquid. I feel the cool sensation of the liquid as it flows through my mouth down into my throat. It tastes sweet, yet it's flavor is unfamiliar to me and resembles nothing that I have ever tasted before.

As I take a few sips of the liquid, I feel the pain in my head begin to subside. I begin to feel a calm pass over me but also a numbness that alarms me. 

I feel as if my consciousness is controlling my body from outside itself. It is a balloon on a string floating over my shoulder. I am afraid it will float away. I do not want to lose myself, and so I try to pull myself back in-- I cling to my consciousness.

I attempt to hold on, but as I hold tighter And tighter and pull harder and harder, I feel the intense pain in my head begin to return. The pain continues to crescendo until it intensifies to a point where it is almost unbearable.

In my frenzy I grab for the other bottle. I unscrew the lid and choke down some of the viscous liquid.  Again the pain begins to subside, but as soon as I begin to feel a moment of relief, the pain suddenly returns. In a flash the pain is twice as intense as it had been before. It incapacitates me.

As much as I try
To free my mind,
I'm trapped within myself

In a cage of rage, regret and pain, 
Can't seem to see what's inside of me.

Chaos swirling all around,
I feel dizzy.
I feel the ground.

I'm losing it.
I'm losing my grip.
This reality's a trip,
A bad one.

The fog is closing in
It's hard to see,
Hard to think.
I'm right at the brink.

I try not to lose myself
But everything's spinning all around.
I grab for a rail, 
But there's nothing there,
And I fall.

The pain is now truly unbearable. I must do whatever I can to make the pain go away. I crawl over to the door and try to open it. I must find help or at least escape this room. I feel that if I can just get out of this room, I will be okay. I will be able to go back. I struggle with the knob but I am unable to open the door-- it is locked.

As I search the room for some kind of remedy or solution to my problem, my eyes fall on the lone window across the room. The answer becomes clear and crystallizes in my mind-- I have to jump.

Thee feeling of falling into a deep chasm is very common in dreams, but In a dream you always wake up just as you are about to hit the bottom. Some say you can't die in a dream. Others say if you die in a dream, you die in real life. I think they're both right. 

I am afraid. I do not want to jump, but I see no other option. I know this is a dream, but I cannot wake up, and the pain feels all too real. The pain is so intense now I can barely move. I drag myself to the window and struggle to open it, but it is also locked. I feel death creeping in on me and I feel that if I don't wake up I will die-- If I can die?

With resolve I gather my strength and stand up. I know what I must do. I charge at the window and dive headlong through the pane of glass. It shatters as I am propelled out over the alley in free fall. At first, it feels as if I am falling in slow-motion. I can see the glimmer off the shards of window glass as they cascade around me. 

The pull of gravity takes hold and I can feel my stomach in my throat. I see the ground coming up at me. My speed is increasing. My heart pumps with terror as my body flails in a futile attempt to fight the descent. 

I am feet from the ground and brace my body for the force of impact when all of a sudden I feel a strong pull upward, as if some invisible being had reached into me, grabbed my center of gravity and pulled it upward out of its free fall. 

Suddenly I am flying. I soar upward past the window I had jumped from. I ascend upward above the buildings and continue on into the sky. It is dawn now, and as I gaze below, I see the world below becoming smaller and smaller as my pace upward increases. 

Something is propelling me, and at first it feels as if I am being pulled upward, but as I continue, I realize that the propulsion is coming from within me. I can feel the effort coming from within myself, but it was as if I was using some previously undiscovered muscle that had always been there but of which I had just become aware. 

I keep going higher and higher, my speed ever increasing, the world gets smaller and smaller until the building from whence I came appears as a mere speck littered among a landscape of a million equally insignificant specks. I turn my gaze from the earth below me and fix it on the heavens above. My attention is immediately drawn to a large glowing orb directly at my zenith. I must reach it. I must unite with it.

The orb glows with all the brilliance of the sun but seems small enough to hold in my arms, and unlike the sun it glows with a deep red light. The orb seems to be pulsating like a beating heart. It seems as if it is alive.  Most importantly, it is close. It is almost attainable.

I fly toward the orb, but as I do, I feel it getting harder and harder to continue. I need to expend more effort to keep myself going, and it feels as if I will soon lose the strength to go on. If I do, I will fall, but I am too far to go back. I am getting closer and closer to the orb. I used my last bit of strength to propel myself upward and extend my arms toward the orb. Will I reach it? Will I fall?

Blind eyes can't see
Picture me flying free.
Deaf ears can't hear
Make fear disappear.

Because it's clear, when it's near,
But when it's far, it's hard.
So put your hand to your heart
And feel the pulse of God.

Submitted: September 25, 2015

© Copyright 2023 Marty d. All rights reserved.

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