Okay, so this is a pretty fucked up thing right here. I'm up at 1:35 this morning for the worst reason after having gone to bed three hours ago. A disturbing dream or waking dream or hallucination or mind-body flippy-do has seriously mindfucked me, and I want to write it down before I forget. Apologies if it doesn't sound pretty or polished or anything -- eye-boogers are still adhering my eyelids together and I'm tired and scared and all that at once.
So I'm having this dream that I'm an impossibly old man, laying in bed, waiting to die. My body's not responding to my will very much; I can twitch here or there, but for the most part I can feel my muscles straining (god, I can still feel my muscles straining), but the limbs just aren't moving. But then, something happens -- I don't know what -- and I realize that death is finally happening. My mind knows it and accepts that it's inevitable, but some deeper reptilian sense refuses; my body rebels and desperately tries to hold on to life, like a man doomed to fall into a chasm grasps on to a tree root, though all sense tells him it will not hold. Somehow, I regain enough movement to roll myself over so I'm laying on my left side, facing my wife. Somehow, this is vitally important. Somehow, I know I'm not dreaming anymore, that I'm not an old man, and that I'm standing on the knife edge between awake and asleep.
But then I feel myself falling. Not from the bed, but that strange sense of falling you get when lying down, as though you're "falling" asleep. I know with some strange certainty that it is finally happening; I'm either dying or falling asleep or waking up. Panic hits me then. I must wake up! I can't feel most of my body. My brain is sending out pings, but only my right leg, left hand, and lips are responding -- everywhere else is getting 90 to 100% packet loss. I somehow perceive the world around me, and it's desolate and broken. Everything is falling, and everyone is dead. I'd like to say that I could somehow read every being's life force and saw it was drained or something, but really I experienced it as if I was a character in a video game. Everything and everyone's life bar was at zero percent.
I couldn't say if my wife is there anymore, but I have to believe she is. My greater whole-me-sense still functions, and tells me that my body is tumbling through the same chasm as everything else. I realize that I'm not actually dying, but that the whole world is, and I and all the carcasses around me will fall forever. I perceive that this may be what death is like; forever falling, barely able to detect other dead-things around you, never able to match your velocity with another, never able to catch them and connect with them so you know for certain what's happening to you. I'm supremely frightened by this, and know that I must get out of this place or give myself to madness.
But then my body starts to respond a little. Parts of my body since deemed dead weight are starting to feel there again; I begin to think I might move my left arm or right leg; I detect that I've got my head propped up somehow in my left fist; I can feel the slightest sense of saliva pooling between my lips, enough to be felt, but not enough to fall to the bed. Somehow, it is very important that I not drool on the sheets. But then I think, the bed? the sheets? The man in my mind is shocked and staring agape at the revelation of such mundane things; the atrocious, insane falling-world evaporates, and I am lying on my bed, in the dark of my own room, facing my wife. I can't see her, though I know my eyes are open. I can feel her breath on my face; she is facing me. I can barely hear her breathing. I feel the comforter bunched up rather uncomfortably under me. I can't smell a thing. My skin is exposed, but I can't tell if it's very cold.
Almost there. If I can only move my body a little, I can wake up fully and escape this hell I've slipped into. If only the dog would jump up onto the bed, or if my wife would shake me awake; if only I could have some input, that would prime the pump for the rest of my senses to come online so I can wake up. I must wake up! I remember then that I have a voice, and that maybe it works. I try to call out, but my lips are sealed shut. I can hear myself call out with a closed mouth, and it sounds terrible. Nerves aren't firing correctly; the muffled moan is choppy, staccato, like how my cat sounds when she's chattering at a squirrel. I don't know if my sense of hearing wasn't picking up the sound correctly, or if my voice was just malfunctioning. But I sense my wife stirring at the noise. I hope that it will wake her up and she will see me staring sightlessly at her, frightened and broken, and that it will startle her enough to shake me awake.
Most of my body is still non-responsive, except to report that those parts are there. I strain and push, but the limbs that are more there still don't move. It's as if I'm doing isometric exercises pushing against nothing at all. But the dam breaks. It was probably just a matter of time. If I had only relaxed and let the sense of the "real world" come to me in small doses, I would have eventually woken up, or realized there was no need to do so and just fall back asleep. But I finally come awake; the limbs long surpressed come to life and jerk briefly; I inhale sharply and detect elevated heart rate; my mouth opens and my tongue becomes unglued from the roof of my mouth; sight returns to me, and I see my wife there, undisturbed, asleep, alive, and snoring softly, her eyes twitching in some dream she's having; cold sweat breaks out on my skin, but it's not terribly cold.
I sit up and run my hands through my hair, my waking-brain barely perceiving the world around me and faintly flashing a wtf? at whatever higher functions are available; I realize with relief that that is entirely consistent with me waking up in the morning, and that everything's going to be okay. I learn with dismay that it's nowhere near time to wake up. For some reason, it seems like a good idea to write about what kind of fucked up thing I just experienced.
Now that I'm done writing it down and feel myself come more and more awake, I realize that I've failed to accurately describe exactly what happened. I've failed to describe the enormous sense of hopelessness and madness I felt for that brief moment. I feel like I've made it less than what it was by writing it down. While I have brief and infrequent moments of brilliance when I write, I understand that between my own shortcomings as a writer and the inadequacy of language to describe things like love and madness, I could never fully document my experience tonight. But that's fine. Better to have an imperfect record, if only for myself, than to forget by lunchtime that it ever happened.
It's taken me an hour now to write this down and to look it over for any glaring spelling or grammar mistakes. There are still some there, I'm sure. It'll likely take me another 10 or 15 minutes to drop this in my journal and in Everything2. I've lost some sleep tonight between that fucked up waking-dream thing and me writing it down, but somehow it's worth it.
Addendum: Though I might receive feedback that this belongs in the Dream Log rather than the Day Log, I'm not entirely sure what happened was a dream, if you catch me.