Do you know this feeling? Maybe you do. You stand at the edge of a cliff. You wonder whether you should jump or not. If you chose to jump, you fall for an eternity. It feels as if this feeling would never end. While you glide through the air like an airplane coming down to safe grounds, your whole life is motioned like in a movie before your eyes. When your life, the pictures, is at that point where you left off before jumping, you can see through your own eyes again. You can see that there are a few meters left before your body will smash against the hard stone. You close your eyes because that’s what you do whenever you’re afraid of what’s going to happen. But your body won’t tear into pieces. You never land. You realise it was only a dream.
There is this feeling. You are lying in your bed. You are lying there, awake maybe even with your eyes open. You are staring at the ceiling above your bed. You wonder how long it is going to take. How long will it go until you fall asleep? You start asking yourself questions: Since when am I trying to sleep? How long will I still lie here? When can I get up again? Why won’t my eyes close? And why won’t my thoughts rest? You wonder whether a reason for not falling asleep might be that you don’t want to sleep. Don’t you want to enter that other world? Is your subconsciousness telling you that you experienced things in that world that you don’t want to go back to? Of course there were dreams that weren’t pleasant. But you’re not one that has regular nightmares. Maybe you just don’t remember them. The dreams you remember are not spectacular. There are pictures appearing: people without faces, forests without endings, falling off a cliff without landing, walking through a street that has no crossroads. At some point you don’t wonder anymore. It is that moment: you are so close to sleep. Either your mind will be able to relax completely or something will happen in your brain and you’ll flinch. If you really flinch, you have to start all over again.
Everyone knows Rosemary’s Baby, don’t they? You do too. When you wake up in the middle of the night it is dark. You think you hear something. You open your eyes immediately as if that would help. As if opening your eyes would stop the devil from raping you. But maybe it is a good thing you open your eyes. You realise there is no one in your room. But the picture of the devil raping Rosemary pops up in front of your eyes. You tell yourself that there is no devil. You tell yourself that it is a movie. But when you think of the movie you remember that something terrible happened to Polanski’s wife. You are reminded that life can be a horror movie. But now you shouldn’t think about that stuff, you know that. You go to the bathroom and turn on all the lights. While you take a sip from the tab, you hear something. You look around. It must have been the wind, it must have!
You wake up. It’s not the middle of the night. You can see that it gets bright outside. Maybe the sun is shining. You get out of your bed to go to the bathroom. The moment you get on your feet, you see nothing for a moment. You don’t know why. When you’re back from the bathroom, you lie down again and you close your eyes. A dark picture appears- you have to open your eyes again! You try to remember what you dreamt this night, just the moment before you woke up. You try really hard. Fragments, colours, shapes are the things you remember. But what is so terrifying about those colours? They’re just colours, aren’t they? You try to remember other things. It doesn’t work. You try not to think about it. It is still early; you could still sleep for a while. You concentrate on the nice things in life. It doesn’t work, no it most certainly doesn’t. To escape there is only one possibility: get up and start the day.
It is fall. There is that tree. It looks cosy. You are tired; you want to lie down under this tree- just for a second. You walked the whole day; of course you are tired. You slowly sit onto the grass. It is still wet. You don’t care. You just have to sit down. You are relieved: your body feels exactly as you expected it to feel. Your body feels relaxed. You have to lie down. You look at the brown leaves that look heavy. Your eyelids suddenly close. Now you feel it, they’re heavy. You know you mustn’t fall asleep now. People are waiting for you. But you can’t help it; your body is stronger than your mind. You fall asleep. In the doze you know that soon people will be looking for you. They have no idea where to find you. But you can’t help it. You’re sorry.
This time you’re awake. It doesn’t feel that way. You wonder what separates sleeping from being awake. For you it doesn’t matter. Sometimes it feels the same. When you sleep, you lie; when you’re awake you do things. But you are not one that does a lot of things, are you? You’re not able to. You are in your dream world anyway. Those red dots make you feel this way. Sometimes they make you want to go back to sleep again. Sometimes they make you stand in front of a wall, just staring at it. For hours. In books you read about sadness. Do you know sadness? You know confusion. You know fury. And you certainly know anxiety. How does sadness feel? Books make it sound painful. Maybe you’re lucky you never felt it before.
A meadow. It is beautiful. It makes you want to jump. But first you have to get into the vertical. You do so. You start walking. First you see nothing but flowers and grass. You start counting the flowers. At some point you stop, there are just too many. You dance around. Oh! There is a door! You run towards it and it opens. You walk through it. On the other side there is haste. You don’t like it there. You want to go back to the flowers. But the door has gone. You wander around in this chaos. You don’t see what makes this place so hysteric; it just makes you crazy. You want to scream. Your mouth won’t open. A hand. A hand grabs your arm and pulls you with the person that belongs to the hand. You cannot go with strangers! Too late. The person brings you to a quiet place. Other people hold you on your arms and legs. You see white and then nothing. In the morning you won’t remember any of this.
You're fully conscious. At least you guess that this is how it feels being totally aware of everything. You look around. The colours are so strong, you're not used to that powerful glow. It hurts. You see people standing around you. Some faces seem familiar. They think you don't hear them. They talk about you, as if you weren't standing right next to them. They seem to be worried. You can get parts of their conversation: they don't know how to heal you, the doctors tried so much, they don't like the way the medicine makes you act. They say it's not you anymore. You wonder who you actually are. Who were you before? Who were you before the men in the white coats started talking to you, changing you? A man in a white gown walks towards you. He asks you how you're feeling. Yes, how are you feeling? You would like to know that yourself. You scream, as loud as you can. Everyone is surprised; they didn't know that you could be so furious. The man in the white coat calls a good-looking lady. She brings in a needle. You know what that means. They don't have to tell you anymore that you should lie down and relax. You do it on your own. You let it happen to you - like everything.
(in Hidden Memories)