Friday, January 9, 2009

Don't Shake, I'd Hate To See You Tremble.

I don't dream. I just don't. It's one of the things you have to give up when insomnia becomes your nightly bed-fellow. The thing about dreaming is that it can only happen under certain conditions, mainly that you enter or be near something called R.E.M. sleep. No, this has nothing to do with the band, I'm sure you're not losing your religion. R.E.M. sleep, which simply stands for rapid eye movement sleep, takes about 90 minutes to occur and lasts for roughly 15 to 20 minutes. During this period, your brain activity is on the same level as it would be while awake, but on the subconscious level. Originally, it was called paradoxical sleep.

Now, on most nights, I don't sleep at all. On the rare instances where I succumb to micro-sleeping (a common occurrence with insomniacs, falling asleep with your eyes open or sleeping while maintaining consciousness.) , it never lasts longer than periods from a minute to half an hour at a time. Certainly not enough time to enter REM sleep! Now, as any insomniac can tell you, there are also "crashing" periods, where the body can no longer sustain itself and you simply pass out from the exhaustion. Because of the strain on the body, a person who merely knocks out will not enter the depth of sleep required to hit R.E.M. levels and thus, will not dream.

All this to drive home my opening statement: I don't dream. So, you can imagine my surprise when, last night, I had my first dream in a long time. It was absolutely bizarre and strangely vivid.

The dream begins sometime in the future, at a friend's 23rd birthday party, which would be taking place next September. We were sitting around the table of what I can only assume was his apartment as the cake was brought to the table. The girl holding the cake seemed terribly familiar to me, though I could not recall how I knew her. Events blur and now I'm standing outside, in the cold. I'm speaking to someone on the phone, who is in a frenzy. She is crying and sobbing hysterically, struggling to get her words out but cannot, for her weeping, form complete sentences. I try my best to calm her down, still unsure of even who she might be, but to no avail. Finally, she hangs up and I go back inside. Except now the apartment has changed. It is dark, and old friends are sitting around a coffee table looking grim. Joey looks up at me, frowns, and asks "Have you heard about Jav?". Confused by his statement, I reply that I haven't heard anything. Nathaniel looks up at me and asks "Are you holding up alright?" Now confused, I respond by telling him that I'm fine and have no idea why I wouldn't be. Everyone around me gives me strange looks. At this moment, I notice that everyone is dressed up formally and in rather somber attire.

Here is where things -really- get strange. An ex-girlfriend enters the room, walks directly towards me and hugs me, but then whispers in my ear, "Where the fuck is my sister?" Again, I'm absolutely confounded by her question. She takes a step back, places a hand on my cheek and asks the question again, this time louder. "Where the fuck is my sister?" I take a step back, think on the question but realize that, as I originally suspected, I have no idea what she's talking about. Telling her as much, her expression becomes harsh and she slaps me clean across the face. A man I do not recognize and who I can only assume is her boyfriend, grabs me by the collar and lifts me up slightly. "You had better not be fucking lying to her, man." Suddenly, I'm angry. I brush off his grip, shove him back and grip firmly on my ex's chin. When I speak, my voice is now not my own, but someone familiar's. "Whatever happened to her, it's not my problem. I don't know. I don't want to know. If you couldn't keep your shit together, that's your thing but I've got my own issues. Take care of your own shit on your own time, sweetheart. Don't fuck around."

Here, Adam stands up, puts his hand on my shoulder and pulls my hand away from her chin. He looks me in the eye and says "Let it go, man. He wouldn't want this." Even more confused, I finally outright ask him. "Who wouldn't want this? What's going on?"
He shakes his head and steps aside. Behind him, there was a mirror and, much to my horror, the face that I see is not my own. I'm my brother, dressed up the same as the others but with rings around my eyes as if I have not slept in some time. Then, everything blurs and I'm standing in front of a casket. Already, I'm in shock but I somehow know what to expect. Lifting the top of it, I find myself looking upon myself, resting peacefully and very much dead. I touch my own cheek, still very much in shock of what is happening and turn away from the casket. All my friends and family are behind me, though they all are wearing masquerade masks so that I cannot tell who each person actually is, just the vague awareness that these are, in fact, my friends and family. Suddenly, music begins to play, similar to a waltz but slightly quicker. Everyone begins to dance in pairs, passing by me one at a time. As they do, they laugh and say something to my fallen form.

"Good riddance" "We'll miss you" "Take care." "See you in hell." "I wish we never had met." "You should have been more careful." "I loved you then, I love you now." "You were a waste of time." "I couldn't have been more proud." "We'll meet again." "Good-bye."

The music begins to die down and the room begins to empty out until no one remains and all is silent. No longer in my brother's skin, I begin to feel cold and am uncertain of where I might be. Everything is dark. Then, a voice that I can't even now recognize speaks and says "Now comes the mystery, for all comedy is done and tragedy has no place here. To adventure, for nothing else now remains undiscovered."

It was then I woke up, shaking, covered in cold sweat and completely and utterly confused.

If this is my subconscious, I think I prefer not dreaming.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

reading the details of that actually gave me the shivers. you remembered every detail and it made me feel uneasy.
i haven't had a dream in a while that i remembered; supposedly everyone dreams but we do not always remember them.