I awake, complacent in my bed. Turning my head sideways, I see that the patterned blinds and curtains had been drawn to allow slivers of morning light to enter my room. It appears that the aurora has arrived. I decide to lie there for a few minutes and soak up the auric atmosphere, the sight of the sun as it ascends to the topmost echelon of the heavens from the eastern horizon. At some point I become attuned to the fact that the glass panelled doors of my balcony face westward, not eastward. Why would the sun be rising from the west? Very strange indeed. Instinctively, I glance around the room to see if the arrangement of my personal items–computers, tables, stools, synthesizer and drawers–are out of place or if foreign ones have spontaneously appeared out of nowhere but I can’t seem to put a finger on anything that would betray subsistence in an altered state of consciousness. Everything looks exactly the same!
I remember that the previous night I’d gone to sleep naked. If the deductive logic of wakefulness was anything to go by then my current attire should illuminate if my psyche is still loitering about in some dark corner of the dream world or not. I fumble around the covers, running my hands across my bare chest and abdomen. My hand then slides a bit lower, to my manhood. It appears that everything is an Adamic, unobstructed state. Yes, I am awake!
Closing my eyes, I begin to daydream about the pleasures and delights of sleeping naked. Who do people enjoy sleeping naked I ask myself? It must have something to do with the primal condition of being born into the world from the wombs of our mothers. We emerge into this world without the garments which herald our conditioning. The aurora, mortal birth, and nakedness are all qualitatively connected and go hand in hand so it makes sense that the best state to be aroused in from sleep is one in which we are curled into a foetal position without any apparel on.
Snapping out of that imaginal space, I throw the covers off me in a nonchalant way and jump out of bed. Time to rise, shine, and warm the room with some positive vibrations! I check my figure out in front of the full length closet mirror, admiring the hours of strenuous work in the gym that its size and contours clearly denote, and then I slide it over across to the other side to reveal a wide range of shirts, pants, and shoes on the shelves within. I take note of my cheerful and frivolous morning disposition, picking out a sea blue Hawaiian shirt gifted to me by my friend’s mother, a pair of white khaki shorts with a combat design, white socks, and dark blue sneakers. For a few seconds, I peruse the images on the shirt, admiring the palm trees, the bright coloured tropical flowers, and an attractive slender couple sharing a loving moment beneath a straw umbrella stereotypical to the art, topography, and promotional ventures of tropical island destinations. The shirt is a sentimental piece of clothing, reminding me of my magical ventures in Maui and the Big Island in Hawaii. I stare at it for a few seconds, grinning like a child who has just won a holiday package to Walt Disney World in Florida.
Something makes me glance towards the radio clock on my dresser. Its nine am already. How did it get from six to nine so quickly? Three hours have already elapsed and if I don’t make haste I’m going to be late for work again. I get dressed quickly, snatch up my keys from the marble bench in the adjoining kitchen, and then scoot out of the front door towards the garage to collect my car. But no sooner have I left the house do I realize that something isn’t quite right. There’s no sign of life anywhere. The screeching of car tiles grinding against bitumen, the audible squabbles of the rowdy neighbours, and the habitual ruffling of palm fronds in the front and backyards are all non-existent. Everything is void of the vitality and motion intrinsic to the principle of life. Everything is preternaturally silent. I can’t seem shake the feeling that what I’m seeing is a phantasm, an illusion. Am I still asleep? No, I’m quite certain that I’ve awoken from my slumber.
I continue my examination of the phenomenal world by peering upwards. The sun seems to have departed from its diurnal linear pathway, coursing along a serrated trajectory quite foreign to its usual inclination. There’s something quite unusual about its appearance as well. It looks more like a black hole with spokes spinning across the sky rather than the typical golden star of illuminating golden rays with which all of humanity is familiar. Suddenly I become seized by the feeling that this is some rare cosmic phenomenon that human beings are not supposed to witness. The intense heat emanating from the menacing black hole evokes queasiness and giddiness on my behalf. I can feel the shirt clinging to my dampened skin. A brief glance downwards awakens me to the notion that something sinister and uncanny is transpiring right before my very eyes; the beautiful coloured prints of tropical vegetation on my shirt have deteriorated into a vivid portrayal of a putrefying mess of plant matter and the enamoured couple are no longer there. How can something like this happen? Before I can formulate any explanations to account for this anomaly a sonic boom comes from directly overhead, a cacophonous blast that jolts me into dropping my keys and cupping my ears to prevent damage to my auditory faculty. Radioactive dust, rocks, and ash begin raining down around me like black pellets. Knowing how precarious my position is, I cover my head and bolt back into the house. “The world is ending!” I scream, diving haphazardly into the small pocket formed by the bottom of my queen-sized bed and the parquetry. For a while I just sit there, listening to the interlacing rhythms formed by the pitter-patter of the black rain and the thudding of my heart as it slams against my ribcage. “Oh God, please let none of this be true,” I whisper to myself. “None of this is true. The world isn’t ending.”
“Paul?” murmurs a womanly voice to my right.
I jerk my head in the direction of the sound but I can’t seem to make out a physical presence. “Who’s there?”
“You’re lying. I know the sound of my mother’s voice. That’s not it.”
“I’m your spiritual mother.” Her voice has a genteel, tender, and sincere quality to it.
“I can’t see you.”
“I’m invisible,” she enlightens. “What are you doing down here child?”
“Something weird is going on outside,” I blurt out. “The world is falling apart.”
After a few seconds she replies, “How do you know that? You’re supposed to be sleeping! You didn’t go outside, did you?”
Her ominous tone causes a tight knot to materialize in the pit of my stomach. “Why not?”
“It’s forbidden for anyone to go outside today Paul.”
“Because changes are happening,” she says. “When these changes are effected everybody is put to sleep. Everybody must be asleep. You were told to stay inside today.”
“No I wasn’t.”
“You naughty boy,” she scolds. “Why don’t you ever listen?”
“Because I wasn’t told about it!” I exclaim, obviously exasperated by her lack of empathy.
“You were told Paul,” she insists. “You just can’t remember.”
“I don’t remember it.”
“You didn’t let the sun see you I hope,” she says.
“Because that’s not really the sun,” she reveals. “At least not the one you recognize as the solitary source of power in our solar system. That’s actually something else that nobody knows about. Humans are forbidden to caste their eyes upon it.”
“I saw it.”
“You’re in big trouble now.”
Even before she’s finished her sentence, I know that something deplorable is about to befall me. I can feel it in the fluid within my cell membranes and the marrow of my bones. An attempt to close my eyes and teleport myself elsewhere proves unsuccessful. Within a few seconds something deep within my psyche changes. Something visceral has materialized and taken control of my body. In my mind’s eye, I can see exactly what the demonic entity looks like–it’s a reddish-purple being with deformed facial features, furrowed skin, and the limbs of a baboon. Its ugliness is such that it inspires a kind of enchantment. The image forming in my mind is so grotesque, nauseating, and psychologically perturbing that I do my best to block it from perception. Rolling out from under the bed I proceed to thrust a few fingers into my mouth; perhaps I can expel it through induced vomiting. The reaction is fast and violent; strands of bright yellow bile and amber red phlegm explode from my mouth and collect into a enormous pool on the floor that ends up covering half the room. No doubt the thick, brightly coloured mucus pouring forth from me is hard evidence that I have been touched by the darkness.
Oh God, how can I rid myself of an entity battling for control of my body? How? Soon, I realize that I’ve lost control of my own kinaesthesia and movement. Like a passenger of an out-of-control merry-go-round, I watch passively as my body starts to perform outrageous deeds. I dance around the room, screaming the worst kind of profanities imaginable and other incomprehensible prattle in foreign languages until my voice becomes dry, rusty, and coarse. Then I yelp out in surprise as an invisible hand curls its fingers around the back of my neck and smashes my head against the wall, drawing blood. Soon, my clear, unblemished skin is covered over in bruises and abrasions. I’m completely terrified of what is unravelling; is this what it’s like to be psychotic, or to have no control over your own functions? I seem to be spiralling out of control, spinning faster and faster like the propeller blades of a jet and I’m completely powerless to stop it. My limbs all seem have a mind of their own. The only thing that the entity hasn’t managed to usurp is my mind. Thankfully, my mind and my thoughts are still mine. I haven’t the slightest if the entity can somehow work its way into my brain and pinch me out of the throne of my own being completely. I guess only time will tell.
At some point I realize that I’ve internalized my speech. “I can’t go on like this!” I shriek. “Help me! Somebody help me!”
“What’s going on in here Paul?” asks a familiar voice from the doorway.
I stop dead in my tracks and look towards the doorway. My friend Sara is standing there, hands folded across her bosom. “How did you hear me?”
“Never mind,” she says. “What’s wrong?”
“I need help. There’s something inside me.”
She looks straight into my eyes pensively. “Oh, I can see what it is.”
“Get it out of me.”
“I’m not allowed to bend the laws,” she says. “There’s absolutely nothing I can do about it Paul.”
I’m flabbergasted by her icy detachment. “Am I supposed to live like this forever?”
“Yes it’s necessary that you endure it,” she says. “That’s how you’ll produce gems and diamonds.”
“What gems and diamonds? You’re not making any sense.”
“Think about it for a second,” she says. “You know exactly what they are.”
“But I don’t want gems and diamonds,” I argue. “I just want things to be as they were before. I’m really losing my grip on reality. How can anybody live with a chronic condition like this? It’s impossible.”
“I don’t know what’s real anymore. I can’t differentiate fantasy from what’s real.”
“Don’t fight it Paul,” she says. “It’s a mistake to fight it. It was meant to happen so embrace it. You’ll be glad you did!”
“A privileged condition,” she says, smiling. “Very privileged.”
(The specific dream sequence ends here.)