halloween and heads and men in white coats
It’s been a while since I’ve had a hallucination (I hate that word, but it simplifies things). Since I’ve had to explain “No, I’m not on drugs. Never have been.” Since I’ve had some people believe me and some people refuse to. Since I’ve sat and wondered: should I even be telling you this.
Should I even be telling you this?
It’s the way my brain works. When I’m hooked up to nodes and electrodes they can even see it happening. Apparently. They are the doctors who study such things. Who make you feel like you’re in a science fiction film even when you’re not. Even when, of course you’re not. I played guinea pig once. Twice. Didn’t do it again. Still, part of me is curious. Would like to go back. To find out. Because they just want to help. Really. And even if they don’t, I’m nosey.
Those are actually real coffins behind me. The photo’s been desaturated. Tis all.
I have a vague recollection of episodes at three and five. They called them night terrors even though there was nothing night about them. During first grade I spent a lot of time in my closet – pushing against the walls to keep them from pushing back. I was seven when I realised sometimes…something happens that I don’t understand; that I can’t explain because I don’t have the words.
I remember sliding on my stomach. Pulling myself along the carpet. Jacquard and paisley. Keeping my eyes on the floor so I couldn’t see the things above my head. Through the kitchen. Through the living room. Trying to breathe. Until I could get to my mother’s bed…
I was fifteen before I was able to verbalise any of this to a doctor. Before I could say: Sometimes the walls come alive. The room becomes animated and personified. In ways it shouldn’t. In ways I know it couldn’t. But it does just the same. It’s just as terrifying. Just as heart stopping. As it would be for you. If in your waking moments you saw – and knew it really was. Not just a dream. But a truth. Even though it wasn’t.
It’s all good and well to know something isn’t real. But when you see it – you believe it. If only for a moment.