Wednesday 22nd April 2020
So there was a knocking on the door, and somehow or other I was through it in a blink and into a darkened hall. On the stairs a woman, draped in well, drapey things. All operatically b&w, lightning flashing, then I recognised her from the film I saw last night (the magnetic, bitchy love interest from the party, the one who got vommed on), and suddenly she was no longer The Grey Lady, more goth chick having a chat.
And of course I went through the usual BS imminent victims do in any Hollywood cliché, that of wandering blindly from room to room and trying to ignore the skittering sounds.
Kept seeing reflections that didn’t marry with reality. Till finally it was the long mirror by the bed, in which I caught a glimpse of a figure passing.
The more I looked, approaching, the more it materialised in the image -that of an armchair, and in it seated a figure. When I turned to the seat in real life it only had the same cape-like drapes over it, but in the reflection however, a man staring back.
I think a dream is like the nth dimension, where we know without really seeing. As if inhabiting with black fingers the space, projecting the happening in real time, being each whoever speaks. A black hole between planes.
That is of course the essence of a night terror, culminating in the knowing of abject fear -actually being that fear as if falling from height yet never reaching bottom.
I managed to shout ‘holp’, aka HELP -one’s attempt to get woken but numbed by drugged limbs and an implausible paralysis, lying there and just taking it. When I did finally come to, my eyes already open, and staring at the long mirror opposite.
Just as bad: the door open a crack, holding a seething black and emanating another’s presence, even with the light on.
OMG needed to pee so bad, but the corridor lined with antique mirrors thanks to J’s silver dealership. There’s so much mythology associated with one’s reflection, from urban myths /movies such as Candyman (say his name seven times while looking and he’ll appear), to the old tale that if you look into the mirror at night you’ll see the Devil, notably yourself looking back.
Now, I’m not the superstitious type, and neither am I a small child needing a teddy. But dearie me, that place in the brain after dreams, sending out raw feelers to the darkest of memories and weird fears -it makes you believe in all manner of shit. Forget the sleep paralysis/ disorder, the apnea, the hypnea, that perhaps your subconscious is in terror to wake you from the fact you’ve stopped breathing, manifested as a nightmare. And that the paralysis is normal, to stop you acting out as you dream -sleepwalkers aside. Just now everything dark holds a shape within.
In the end matter overcame mind and just did it, prancing down the hall like a jittery Pan. So that was me done till daylight, and the setting up of my day.
-To become painfully lazified for the rest and pooling into shadow. I promised to just go with the flow. And not to beat myself up about it either. So no writing (just see yesterday’s entry), no cooking, no shopping, or walks, or bike rides, or emails, or worrying about no cooking, no shopping, or walks, or bike rides, or emails. Just lying in bed scrolling, watching TV. I barely made it out the bedroom, the day settling like a miasma, fitting for the time period.
And felt just as shit at the end of the day. I hope that that’s it now, got it out the system.
As night falls I count my worries, as if checking for wounds -26 of them, assigned to tabs that must be closed down slowly in order to sleep. Many of them chasing refunds from the 3 holidays canceled, the furloughing that work will likely instate tomorrow, the family, the flat. These threads of bureaucracy becoming binding, that slowly make you sink. Oh the fucking horror.
Small weights add up, the curtains never open, nor close. And something is always behind, beyond. And festering. I sometimes think there is a certain pitch between reality and imagination, sleep and awake, looking and not looking that makes everything possible, and what you put into it changes that path on the multiverse.
I feel if I stare into that reflection, at that certain time, at that certain pitch, and recognise that kernel as truth… the nightmare will become real, that this insanity will become sanity. They say if you don’t wake up in time you go mad.
-What is it that we fear then? That it is real? Or that it isn’t? The darkest part of the mind may not be so black and hidden, but grey and inconsistent, as any ghost.
There is a horror in realising you are mad, or unreal. In realising that reality has betrayed you, and become surreal. And always had been thus -this new here and now.
The world projects all too often that we are to be warm and safe, we have set up entire societies to be of that ilk, and to never reveal what lies beneath. But when that vast masking does crack, or fall entirely we find ourselves lost as to be falling.
Perhaps we need not fear the unknown -unless we know what’s really out there lurking in our collective subconscious – and that what we find within, in our privated moments and dream selves, can manifest darkly in everyone else.
This is why so many share the shadow, the selfsame one sitting on our chest, or standing by the bed and glowering a presence. This same dream since time immemorial that is merely us, the demon looking back.
In the same ways numbers become meaningless, and stories ever more distant (so long as we are not experiencing it ourselves), lies the same fear of abandonment by an impervious people who do nothing but watch.
Thus the monstrosity may not be what we do but what we don’t. And through the glass darkly each night, the mollycoddling binds fall away to reveal a truer truth. When we allow ourselves to look at The Presence, that Face and drink it in.