Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Interloper - Chapter One

There he is again, creeping through my subconscious.  Shadowy, filmy, lying opposite me in my bed.  Why is it he instead of Sweetie?  I reach, but he is gone.  I get up to find her at the computer, weary, but wide awake.  I wander back to bed to find it empty.  I crawl in and slip away from awareness.  Later, turning, I sense warmth beside me.  Startled, I strain to see in the ambient light, and relax; it is she, not he.  I close my eyes and it seems I see better than before.  There in the semi-darkness I see his shadow slip down the hall, or do I?.  Up, I search the house.  Nothing is amiss.  I have to pee and waking, I climb out of bed with a feeling of dread.  I can't go back to sleep so I read in hopes drowsiness will return before dawn.

I fall asleep in the recliner, covered, cozy.  Later, my back stiff, I move to my bed and find him lying beside her.  I reach for the bat I keep behind the bedroom door but turning back he is gone.  It has happened so many times before, I shake it off and climb beneath the covers and warm my cold feet near her warm ones.  Arising, I find the dishes done and suppose Sweetie has done them in the night.  

The church bells are ringing, it is seven o'clock, better get up.  I am surprised to find myself in the recliner, though I remember coming down to read.  My heart is sick and my muscles ache.  I walk to the kitchen.  Somehow, I am surprised the dishes need washing.  Something's not right?  Of course they're not done, we left them that way when we went to bed.  I wish I could go back to bed.


I've had this recurring dream.  Not quite a nightmare, but very nearly.  For years, I only remembered having had it previously, while dreaming it again.  I would awaken disturbed and out of sorts, but with no conscious recollection of what had strummed the discordant string I felt still vibrating in my soul.  I only know it reoccurred over time because when I finally awoke amid the dream, I knew what was going to transpire next; and it did.

Over time I have learned to observe my dreams from a vantage point near consciousness, but shy of wakefulness.  I don't know what to call this state.  It is rather like watching a movie.  I can observe the dream and be an outside observer of the action and still remain in the darkened theater of sleep.  I don't always get this privilege, but it happens often in my Interloper dream.

Sometimes I can even observe things in the wakeful world without waking myself.  In the case of the Interloper, this ability only enhances the agony and wonder of it.


I've named the Interloper.  I call him Echo.  Echo, because it's as if I never really see him, just the echo of him.  I know echo refers to sound, but in my dream he is an echo of light.  Its as though he's vanished just before I see him, but the vision is still somehow bouncing off the walls.  Sometimes it is not the walls; but the faces of loved ones.  It's as if there is a flash of delight in their eyes, that suddenly disappears at seeing me.  I can't tell if I really saw it, or just hoped I did.  Somehow, I sense a flicker of shock in them, like sucking a straw expecting soda and getting water.  Shock, and disappointment.  In my dream, it seems Echo precedes me everywhere I go.  And disappointment follows.

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