Tuesday, 7 October 2008

In Dreams

Once I set my laundry upon a clothes horse to dry next to the radiator in my room. From time to time I caught it with the corner of my eye and I imagined that someone was stood in the room with me, watching me, waiting for me to write something of worth. Since then I often I wake up in the middle of the night with the sense that someone is observing me. It only takes a few seconds for this apparition to vanish into the dark, or to resolve itself into a jumper on the back of the chair, but these few seconds are time enough for me to recognise the non-existent entity. Over the years I have come to be familiar with this vision, to the point now where I don't even have to look up to know that it is there, watching me, ready to dissolve should I lift my head from the pillow. And so, because I no longer need to look up, the entity remains for longer, it has begun to take on a reality - a reality of its own which is paradoxically dependent upon my not looking at it. I believe that it is grateful for my choosing not to stare it into nothingness. I have allowed it to form a rudimentary consciousness of its own. This consciousness is a reversal of the awareness that you or I experience (one in which recognition of the other is enough to formulate self-awareness). I want to talk to this creature, to ask it how it feels, ask what it is like to exist so precariously. Once I did voice a question. I asked for its name. It did not reply of course. I did not expect it to. Vocal chords are made of flesh and blood. I worry sometimes that if it were to answer me then I would be struck with the awful realisation that I am not the human in the equation, merely the phantom of a waking person and that to be noticed would be my undoing. Perhaps this is why I no longer look up at the apparition. Perhaps I avoid eye contact so that I may go on existing.

No comments: