"Best to keep things in the shallow end because I never quite learned how to swim. I just didn't want to know...Close my eyes just to look at you; taken by the seamless vision. I close my eyes, ignore the smoke...Mistook their nods for an approval; just ignore the smoke and smile."
~A Perfect Circle 'Blue'
It's 5:00 A.M. and I'm wide awake. This isn't new for me. Not at all. But, for once, I know what's keeping me awake. I'm scared to sleep. Bizarre, yes?
It's kind of confusing; sleep is the naturally occurring state to which we go to restore and revitalize the beautiful machine that is our body. For some reason, my body doesn't dig it much. That's all right. I've dealt with it for a while and I'm surviving. What I am struggling with is this dreaming business.
I've had reoccurring dreams ever since I can remember. The most significant one (and one that is extremely reoccurring) begins with me entering a small restroom. The walls are grey, floors are black. Flourescent light on the ceiling, no toilet. Feels musty and dank. I walk to the sink and look up into a faded yet still reflective mirror. I see myself, except it's not quite me. Subtle differences; my eyes are more angular, features more sharpened. My hair is long (no surprise to anyone I'm sure) in both images, but this is where it gets creepy. I grab my chin and pull upwards, like I'm removing a mask. My reflection changes again, sharpening the edges. My eyes darken, and suddenly I have Jack Sparrow eyebrows. Again, I remove a mask. Same result (sharpened features, dark shades overtaking the light). Again, another mask. Then another. Then another. After a few moments of shedding my skin, I turn the sink on and rinse my face, then look into the mirror. I'm staring back at the same image I began with. Then my reflection puts his hands on the wall and starts screaming, but the real me stays silent. Eventually, the real me walks out of the mirror room.
Trust me. I have dream dictionary-ed the crap out of this sucker. I have heard a lot of theories, and they make sense. It's not the dream itself that frightens me though. It's more the unanswered questions that always come up after I have it. Why do I keep having it? What do I need to change in my subconscious? Blah, blah, blah. What it comes down to is that I think I am a stranger to myself. A subtle knockoff of the original. Close enough to recognize, but everchanging based on circumstance.
The worst part of this particular dream is something that caught me off guard recently. Is it really me who walks in to the mirror room or is it my reflection? And which of us is in control?
Go ahead. You try and sleep wondering who it is in your reflection, or if you are the Stranger yourself.