True Story


This actually happened once upon a time. To this day I am not sure if it was a particularly vivid dream, one so real as to have taken on the properties of actual memory as the years have passed, or an actual waking hallucination. Whatever the case, it’s something that has haunted me ever since it happened, a scene that has played out over and over again behind my eyes.
I was twelve or thirteen and was walking home from school. One if the reasons I think of this as a memory is just how vivid this one mundane event was. Everything was exactly as it would have been if I were walking home, every detail, all the streets the same, the houses all in the right spots and order, all of the right landmarks. Normally in my dreams even the every day events don’t match up that exactly with reality. I dream of regular stuff all the time, you know, office stuff, being at school, whatever, but the geography and inhabitants of this slumber world are all off in ways sometimes subtle, sometimes glaringly obvious but the fact is always that dream world and waking world never mirror each other so exactly.
It was a sunny day, warm and the sky was a perfectly clear blue. I was just at the entrance to this wooded, overgrown alleyway that I used as a short cut when I happened to turn slightly and look back, eyes up to the sky. Then, out of nowhere, everything was fire. The sky itself seemed to ignite, not like sooty red orange Hollywood bullshit explosion but white hot liquid flames rolling over the sky in waves like I was being shown the gates of hell opening over my head. There was a vast, gulping sucking noise, I swear I could hear it, my hair was moved by the hot wind of this giant inhalation and I couldn’t breath. My chest constricted and my heart clenched, it was painful, like I was just stopped, a finger pressed to some gear in my body that jammed the machinery but the pistons still wanted to fire and the pressure was building. I saw the whole world just consumed, eaten up in this blast, everything just gone and my vision blinked out, going to black the same way a tv screen does when you shut it off.
All of this happened in an instant, it couldn’t have been more than a few seconds. I remember gasping, like I’d been holding my breath and my head was clanging, purple and green shadows exploding off and on in front of my eyes, dizziness nearly dropping me to my knees. This is the other weird thing, these very clear remembrances of sensation. On the rare occasions when I remember dreams I remember the pictures and the words but there are no sensations, no smells, no touches or tastes and most certainly no pain. I was shaken, afraid and disoriented, just standing there. I don’t clearly remember the rest of the walk home (which does lend the “it was all just a dream” theory some more credibility) but the fact remains that this has stuck with me from that day to this.
In my life I’ve had some dreams that have lingered in my head, for days, sometimes even weeks, the details so clear that the echoes remain and my mind keeps replaying them over and over even during my waking hours. This one is different though. Firstly, I’ve remembered these events now for approximately twenty three years which is far longer than it have held on to any dream and it also beats out some actual memories that have faded or become in distinct or completely forgotten only to be recalled when someone else brings them up. Secondly, in any case where I remember a dream it’s more of a haunting, an inability to think of anything else, almost an obsession that gradually fades away depending on how vivid and personal the details of the dream where. This vision is different. Like a memory it lies dormant, sometimes being recalled because of similar events or feelings, sometimes just popping up out if the blue but it comes and goes. To this day I’m not sure what this was but it lingers in me. It was the first time I tasted death I think, the precise moment in time that my mortality was made completely, painfully and unmistakably a fact of existence. From that day, everything has been coloured by this vision, the flames, the heat, all crackling around the edges of every other moment the way reels if film are burnt up as they pass through the projector.
I think in the end this is where I started having a problem with reality. From then on I could never distinguish between the two.

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3 Responses to “True Story”

  1. so what if i am? Says:

    Some say dreaming can be controlled. If so, the boundary blurs even more. This may encourage us to rise up in the flow of events. From that vantage point, control allows for the chance to direct action as opposed declaring ourselves powerless reactors.

    As proof, reflect on just how this new piece came to your readers’ eyes.

  2. or
    With the faintest rwist of a kaleidoscope, the story reveals the destruction of family that should have flourished. A young person reacting to that unhappy chapter of life under once blue skies. Death seen in the blackness of love gone toxic.

    A familiar dream to others close to you. One that sadly pops up frequently – too often. Minor changes in shade yet still a familiar resonant composition. Art speaks; we are moved.

  3. czfinkter Says:

    ain’t it time fer a pome ’bout money-sucking rusty old crappers we ride around in?

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