Dreaming to Dream
My grandmother and I are attempting to climb onto a terrace roof. She is 80 years old, but we have done this several times before with great agility because I am dreaming. I know the place very well because, even in a dream, I recognize it as the very same roof from whence my sister once tossed me off in an attempt to kill me. The problem in this oneiric effort is that, tired of running away from that amorphous thing that hounds us, I no longer have any strength to lift my leg high enough to secure our safety. As much as I try, my body simply does not respond. I tell my grandma that everything will be fine, that all I need to do is shift my position in order to grasp a better hold on the edge of the roof and that after this miraculous move I will be able to pull her into safety. My grandma believes me and as I try to move again nothing happens. Intermittently, I become aware that I am dreaming, but I never seem to discard the fear that fills my distorted consciousness, as I have done in other dreams. Seeking redemption, I try to fly, like I have done very well before, but the attempt is laughable. My grandmother is not aware of what I am doing; she simply sees me with my eyes tightly closed as I flap my imaginary wings to no avail. I sense that, rather than pitying me, she loves me. I look at her and corroborate the thought. She then says that there is no time left and, shifting the roles, she heroically pushes me onto safety as she tells me that everything will be fine. After her rescue, I grab her hand and try to pull her, but my muscles fail. I try with unimaginable force to move, but nothing happens. She gives me an endearing look and says that she is OK, that everything will be fine; that all I have to do is release her hand so that she can have more freedom to climb, but I do not believe her. An insidious foreknowledge of her impending fall assails me, one even more terrible because I feel that such is the result that she desires. I try to think that I am only dreaming, but the terror that invades me feels so real that I can no longer discern between dream and reality. And so, as my grandmother smiles just as her hand is slipping from mine, I open my eyes.
Under normal circumstances, I should have felt relieved. On many occasions, I have tried to force myself out of a nightmare without any success and now, half sleep, I think I should be grateful for this providential awakening. However, I convince myself that things cannot be normal after this dream. I look at the clock: . I immediately try to go back to sleep, convinced that if I continue having the same dream I would be able to save my grandma. As waking minutes accumulate, a sinister sense of anxiety stirs my entrails and, at , I have to accept the reality that I will not be able to fall sleep again.
My head is filled with discrepant homunculi whose orders I always defy even though I greatly value their opinion. Exceptionally, however, they all assent this morning and collude against me, unanimously suggesting what I should think. I yield for a second, but the house is a mess and I finally chose to do the cleaning and organizing I have procrastinated for weeks. Water stains on a mirror or dust on a shelf never seemed to be the revelations that now appear before me as I render their essence, in my current state of consciousness, out of existence. In fact, all annihilation of filth throughout the house relieves me. As the house progressively becomes and unrecognizable place, I develop plans to maintain it clean forever. Minimalism, out of necessity because I lack the money to furnish the place, is on my side. This austerity, however, also seems to be my enemy, for it is in the morning and, unless I grab a toothbrush to scrub every observable crevice, the place is practically spotless.
I walk into the kitchen precisely when Homunculus 5.7 begins to mock me. Its twin, the evil one, remains silent, but I know it too well to realize its tacit agreement with the good twin. I pay no attention to them and ignore the rest just as well. I had planned to call in sick today, but, under the circumstances, that would amount to mental suicide. I prepare a very strong carafe of coffee hoping to overdose all these stupid thoughts into oblivion. Four cups and 12 minutes into the homicidal exercise, nothing seems to have changed. Ungrateful and stubborn homunculi viciously drill my head, but they seem to forget that it is because of me that they posses those qualities. As such, I win—finding unpaid bills, unreturned messages, unwashed clothes, unexplored reasons and excuses that keep me occupied until the time for work comes and a new sense of relief arrives.
The minutia of work, however intellectual it may be, is a dubious palliative to my waking nightmare that deserves no effort in mentioning it at all. Let us say that for ten prolonged hours, which seemed rather short as I experienced them, I basically did not think about the dream. For a moment I thought I should have written it down, as I always intend to record every lucid dream just in case I forget it, but it was in the afternoon and I still could smell the fear that caused my premature awakening.
I have not done much since I returned home from work, other than constantly think about today’s events, if that is anything at all. It must be 3 or in the morning. I am not afraid to go back to sleep. To be honest, I would not mind going to sleep at all. The problem is that, whether in dreams or in actuality, I never cease to be the coward unable to confront his reality, for which I only have myself to blame.