Terror in Resting
I awoke on the couch, lights on, movie credits rolling, and terror oozing through me like a dull, fatal agony.
Nightmares make heavy appearances in my life, usually for weeks or months at a time, but last night's trumped them all.
In the dream, my death was imminent...
The end of earthly life worked differently in this plain: scientists and doctors had achieved the technology to pronounce you dead before your body knew to stop working. It couldn't be determined, yet, how many hours or days you had left, you just knew your time was up. They said you would feel the moments before it happened, that you would know.
My dad and I were speeding in his truck, racing the clock trying to save everyone from some evil before I could no longer lead our mission. I began wondering if it were really true that I would feel my last moments approaching, and then my subconscious took this as instruction.
I felt a dramatic deflation of my energy, time slowing to almost a halt. My brain felt scrambled but slowed as I tried to stay calm, but it was no use. I crawled my upper body into my dad's lap, right into the driver's seat, and laid my head in the crook of his shoulder. I looked up at him, devastated, broken, the saddest I have ever felt.
His eyes asked me, is it time?! My loved ones knew I had already been pronounced, as they called it. I tried to shake my head in denial, but the tears flowing from my eyes told him I was lying, and so afraid.
As he pulled the truck over, as everything began to feel so heavy, so slow, so grayed out, and so full of fear of the Grand Unexpected, my mind finally allowed me to awake.
Irrationally, I woke up believing I had received a real warning from my subconscious, one that foretold I might not wake up next time, or the time after that.
Frantically I looked around, stood up, hysterically shook my head, trying to make sure I could still feel in this life, trying to remind myself the dream wasn't real.
But we don't know anything of the afterlife. We merely guess.
Religious folk think we are headed to Hell or Paradise, Atheists are satisfied that we become worm food, and there's a whole mess of billions of minds in between that have come up with other conclusions for our fate.
How unfair it suddenly seems, that we should have this gift of sentience, and yet have no idea what our existence entails beyond this tiny 75-year drop in the bucket.
I feel like my mind offered me a solution to this ultimate question, and in the aftermath of living out my own death I refused to believe it wasn't Truth. I think odds are it's completely possible for someone's mind to have worked out "the afterlife" by now, especially if you believe in a connected, or collected consciousness. We could be passing this wisdom down through the ages during times of lowered control, like during a dream...
But it's still too difficult to analyze fully, still floating through the dimensions of nightmares and waking life, too unsure of which one is more real. My heart is still bruising my chest with its pounding, searing terror. My throat is still closed up, and anxious heat floods my insides.
At least I know the burning around my sternum means my heart is still beating. I know the tightness in my chest and in my throat means some breath is still passing in, and out, and in again...but for how long?
After spending some extra time with the lights on, I made my way to bed and forced sleep upon my brain again.
Though darkness visited me once more, it was much more manageable, more adventurous, albeit dangerous and violent. I awoke to my cat meowing her little hangry meows, remembered The One Nightmare, and thought, Oh my God, I woke up.
The fear of death never relents, always reminding me of the deepest sorrow and inevitable pain of every one of us. I struggle more and more to find light between the darkness, to draw lines for moments of worthiness among the realest terror and truth.
I don't know how others live each moment fulfilled and cheerful. I don't know how I let my days be so consumed by dread and fear. I don't know how to break this cycle. I don't know how to accept our fate.
It's been so long since I believed in anything.