Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Violated Subconscience

It was a normal-blended day, one in which no specific incident, that would trigger a slight anamoly of senses to butterfly its effect into subconscience, happened. The day was equally hot as the rest of the mid-year summer, it was only a matter of minutes before the heat waves crawled into the cornea of any crackpot who dared to venture out, causing flourescent circles of crimson and yellow and green, intersecting like a pattern of multiple olympic rings. He dared the sun only once for lunch and was back, as fast as he went, to the copious comfort of his airconditioner. Earlier, he had finished 'The Summons' by John Grisham and had started with 'The Lost World' by Michael Crichton. It wiped out the rest of his day, and when darkness had swelled like a pregnant cow all over the coast, he saw his parents sleeping just beneath the bed on the cool floor, and tired circles swirled in front of his eyes as he fell asleep ...

... and that is when it began!

It more or less started in a fashionable way, quite contrary to what lies ahead - he heard the radio somewhere very near him. Infact he heard the music beats as they slowly inched their way up his consciousness, but he was clinging to his dear sleep like a baby that was determined not to leave its mother's hold. As persuasive as only a father can be, the music won in the end. He listened to the music for a while hoping it would stop, but it did not. He wondered where the music was coming from and for a moment, pondedred if it could be his imagination, but then dropped the idea as soon as it occured because the music was crystal clear, it was almost calling out to him. He gave up on his attempts to salvage some sleep, determined to find out what was the source of the disturbance.

He was wandering in the region of lost sleepers who are reluctant to wake up, where reality handshakes with the bizarre, where the control of consciousness is handed over to the subconscious. He woke up and on sheer instinct, tried to open his eyes only to find he couldn't - atleast not as a normal man would. He felt a cemented layer of flashing screen in front of his eyes, a heavyweight pressing on his eyelids and he could not determine if his eyes were open. But images popped up in the flashing screen and in that moment, he knew he had opened his eyes. But in some strange way, it wasn't full - the perception of images in front of him was aberrant and lacked details, and almost artificial, but almost is still only almost. In a moment, it settled and he was able to see his bedroom, but the artificiality and heavyweight lingered. It was like a projection screen dropped suddenly in front of a theatre, and what was projected was not from your back, but from its front.

He immediately recognized the wrong details - but no attempt was made to hide the mistake. His mother was not sleeping where he saw her last, but a well six foot ahead. And he could not see his father. He made an attempt and then realized his head was not turning to the side but he managed to realize his father's presence - the voluntary nerves were only partially working, like they were commanded by some source other than his brain. The commands they carried were freely intercepted, the wavelengths read at an astonishing speed and freely contaminated. He managed to call out to his mother and ask if she could hear the music. She mumbled a "No, go to sleep". He was surprised to see the voice coming from where he now saw his mother in the artificial facade, though he knew the reality was different. This was when fear struck first! He wasn't sure anymore. The picture of his father now became a bit clearer. It was like a system had initialized, the dimensions of its co-ordinates were fed with a few known clear boundary values and then, the system was slowly self-adjusting to the ground reality. He wished it would come to normalcy soon. But then, there was the unexplained music! So who was waking him up? The music kept coming and so did the confusion and fear! And as abruptly as it started, the music stopped. The fear did not.

He wasn't thinking clearly. He realized something had taken control over him. He realized what was fed into his senses was not reality. But then, the system made no adjustments this time. It wanted to intimidate him, it wanted to make him understand that he was being intimidated. He somehow had to get through, but did not know how. He submitted to the intimidation. He was truly afraid and plainly irritated at the heavy-set eyelids, but he was the victim. And as with all victims, he hoped he doesnt have to endure the adversities for long. He was wrong.

Murphy's rule says "If something can go wrong, it will". It was almost important that he should feel the necessity to wash his face now. He stood from his bed, and the facade moved with him. He was not sure where to keep his legs for the fear of stamping on his parents. He was not clear anymore who was where. He was definitely certain what he was seeing was not right, his instincts told him that. He managed to scramble past his mother, and came out of the bedroom. The bathroom door was just there, where it was installed. He made a gutsy attempt to cross the empty space between the bedroom and the bath. He stood and poured mugs after mugs of water on his face, but they fell a few feet ahead. After a sufficient number of futile attempts, he was terrified and shivering and gave up. He rocketed back to the bedroom, sat on his bed and suddenly felt cold. The water had after all wet his face. He wasnt sure if it was really the water or if the system was feeding in the feeling.

Time passed and he did not clearly comprehend what was happening. But the forces were kept in full throttle and he was terrified. It stifled him. He woke up his mother and asked her if she could see his father. She said yes and fell asleep again. He felt miserable. He wanted a human touch, he wanted to feel the warmth of another human being closeby. He crawled out of his bed and lied down next to his mother, where he saw her in the facade. And he was bolted when he found her there. He hugged her tight and cried out loud. He knew this couldn't be real. He confessed to his mother, who said it was nothing and asked him to sleep. He kept crying, all his attempts to understand, ending futile. The images were a blur of the war between conscience and perception, constantly reminding him of the dread he was going through.

After sometime, he found himself in the bed, but did not realize how he came to be there. He was still shaking, still terrified, still crying. And this time, Murphy came in the form of urinary bladder. He went to the toilet, found the door half-open. He tried to push it open, but it wouldn't budge beyond one point. He managed to squeeze in. He had the audacity to look behind the door. He almost peed his pants when he saw another one behind, just like the one he squeezed through. Clothes were hanging on the doors and he dared not touch anything. He relieved himself as fast as possible, but not as clean. He had a flashing reminder, a snapshot of some email that he had received a few days back, but it had nothing to do with the blasphemy happening now. He fled from the toilet, made futile attempts to wash his hands and feet and ventured back into the bedroom.

He was praying desperately as he was about to enter the bedroom. He hoped for the umpteenth time for things to come to normal, the past hour making no sense. It had driven him to the point of being terrified with himself, inspite of the narcissist that he is. He slowly rolled the door open ...

... and the facade lifted! At exactly the same moment, he walked over the border of consciousness, his eyes opened, he woke up and sat on the bed.

The continuity was apalling and the after-effects were terrifying. For a couple of minutes, he almost cried. He saw his father and mother where he saw them sleeping earlier. But he had to call out to his father, hear his words to be sure. He had to see they were where they were. He did not blink for a long time, and relived his dream. The hands were trembling and the face was cold. Most of the details were still very clear and the fear he felt lived through. He wished he had the magical cookie that he usually dreams of, to shake him out of his reverie and make him smile. The sooner, the better.

The strangest part of this dream was that it was in close touch with reality. The most chilling part of the experience was that it was almost real. The end was hand in hand with the remedy. The dream would end only when the facade lifted. The facade would lift only when his senses came back. And the senses would come back only when he woke up. This was not a dream where you wake up after it ended, but you have to wake up for it to end. In addition to the horrifying events, it was the nature of the dream itself that rendered its full effect.

He had no choice but to write it, to come over it.