Pupa

de Mario Șerban

This is a narration of my self-induced dreaming experiment.

Over the past few days, I have been experiencing several episodes of lucid dreaming. As if there is another accessible reality where I can jump whenever I desire. For my sanity and own literary interest, I have decided to keep a record of these strange dreams by writing them down. Each number before the paragraphs will signify the days passed since this very moment.

1

What it’s more intriguing is that I can remain for a longer period experiencing a similar flow of time to the real world during the meantime of a night sleeping.

Here is, however, a bizarre aspect of this escapade. It is not possible to fall asleep in my dreams to create an infinite loop because every time I try to something sickening happens.

It’s been almost one day at that time since I hadn’t slept. Let’s call that world Tsukuyomi.

Whenever I try to fall asleep or do it accidentally, some greasy itchy hairy sticks grow from my mandible. My jaw cracks, widening and shortening at the same time. It’s hard to remember because of my cloudy memory. Once I was in bed waiting for my alarm to “wake me up” to go at work but the slumber stole my brooding eyes. I was still there, in my dream drenched in a brown-green watery mattress and it was nothing like my eye colour. I remember being scared about what if the landlord doesn’t give me the deposit back? I felt released knowing that, at least nobody else is living with me, so they wouldn’t suffer. Tried to rush to the bathroom but as my body approached the hall something dragged me back, as if it was a part of me that didn’t fit through the door. Before fainting, all I can remember is an acute prickle.

Whilst still in my dream, I woke up with the worst back pain and realized it was already 7 A.M. and not ready for work. Worst part was that I stained my favourite white chemise. What a catastrophe that was for me! Not realizing both of my shoulder blades were bleeding. I only had seven white chemises like that left!

That day, in my dream, I lost my job. The manager called me a psychotic liar and told me to “wake the fuck up.” Though I was aware that was not real, it still made me sad. What a mediocre disappointment I felt. They say you need to be quiet to live in quiet, they say you need rest, but even in slumber, they still punish us.

It was in that moment when I decided to wake up in the actual real world. Could it be that slumber is just domesticated death or merely another way of clinging to existence?

My room was neat, but only in the sense of clean. Nonetheless, it was and felt blank as well to stay in the real world. I’m not sure if it’s not toxic to frequent this habit of evading the seemingly soothing reality, but what attracts me is elsewhere and I don’t know where elsewhere could be.

2

As my dullness continues, I would like to return once again. Living in an unsightly manner never seemed more appealing.

My flatmates keep annoying me with their boring requests of going to a pub and meet people. Humans – such weaklings, solitary creatures, in desperate need of company. I am usually friendly but in the recent weeks, I have been feeling a depressing repulsion towards social activities. I don’t want to say the same jokes all over again to girls whose names I will not remember, I don’t want to shake hands with new friends and feel their false grip to mine. I would rather feel despair than boredom.

So it’s been decided.

3

To my surprise and delight, when I returned to Tsukuyomi, time seemed to have passed there as well. My room was visibly deteriorating. Could it be that my subconscious made me idle or maybe put me on autopilot in this world while being actually awake in real life? There are too many metaphysical confusions to expand the subject, but one thing it’s certain: time is real in Tsukuyomi as much as it is in real life.

Now, my walls have become so tender that I can even write with my nail on them. It could be due to the blood and odd miasma. Either way, I will note on it the dates and times I come and leave.

I must investigate everything related to my existence in this alternate reality and assimilate every speck of memory.

4

One lucky odd thing about this world is that I have no smell and taste. I don’t even feel hunger or thirst. Also, after my calculations one hour of sleep in real life is the equivalent of four hours in Tsukuyomi.

5

As I got some answers to my questions, my situation became even more questionable. This imaginary realm resembling earth functions similarly but I was shocked to find out that my family was unrecognisable here. In addition, I am much older than I thought here. It’s like living another life.

I even found the awful truth about myself that my subconscious didn’t show me.

I would become a disgusting abominable cockroach in the meantime I’m not asleep in this dubious universe. What am I now? A Kafkesque gospel? A sacrifice? A host? My deepest desire was to disappear from my fake parent’s life, so that I wouldn’t be a burden. It’s interesting and such a pity at the same time how easily we develop feelings for imaginary figures. I must stop for a while.

20

Initially, I was worried that my vermin form would cause the house to crumble. However, the crusty turds seem like a decent foundation to protect the base of the walls. Let’s only hope that nothing else other than insects or small snakes comes in my room. They are probably late snacks for my other self.

I used to dream of swallowing humanity, just to puke it.

Who’s the bigger vermin? Who’s the greatest parasite ever existed? Each of us only has to look into the mirror. Polymorphic creatures that we are. All jokes aside, I want to keep my sanity, though I feel like a Nietzschean madman or better said lunatic, ironically.

For a short period, everything was fine and my situation was supportable. I don’t mind when nobody cares about me.

But when the sister I literally never had, casually visited me to ask for some cash, she discovered my miserable shelter. The terror on her face was real, or actually maybe not at all. It was such a drag to explain everything, yet somewhat almost soothing. I felt understood for something I haven’t done. She was unnaturally calm and understanding, even proposed to come with father and see what’s happening since I cannot remember anything after waking up from my noxious state.

Next day, they tried to kill me. Of course, only because father found me already asleep. It was a nightmare to wake up to his blow before I could completely return to my human form and regain consciousness.

Everything for our parent’s inheritance… – she motivated. That was the only thing I found tilting about Tsukuyomi. Human greed has no boundaries.

21

My imaginary mother said I should go to a doctor and but she cannot come with me. She is too ill so she gave me money. I am completely astonished of how my brain is able to replicate so many feelings.

In my dream, I questioned myself: Why knowing one of the possible causes of my near end is objectively good. We’ll all perish and doesn’t matter who’s the first or the last. Till then, we should aim for the overall betterment. Though a deeply philosophical utilitarian dilemma, I just gave the money to my niece. She was very timorous when I went to pick her from school. I really like children, but not in that way. I used to dream of having a child, but he or she would be too embarrassed to have me as a parent. Besides, children imply human relations and interactions, things I only encounter when I get the receipt and change.

There, every night, I wander in darkness and think, no, actually not. No thinking, I just listen… NO! Don’t even listen. I stop crawling and merely stay and do nothing. Just wait in obscurity, clinging to another ordinary existence. As a child, my mother always told me not to go outside at night because “There are weird and dangerous men roaming around” Who would have guessed I would end being one of them.

Last thing I remember from my previous transformation are my legs getting thinner and thinner, lusciously dark and glistening with chunky pieces of raw flesh dropping. Some weird dry skin seems to grow very fast on my body but then it’s covered with very stiff hair almost like spikes. Some ferruginous legs usually erupt from my ribs; It seems that I lose a shit-ton of blood and crude body tissue and I can’t tell how my body realistically would heal so fast.

I even have memories that are not mine. Like when I was sitting on the smutty dark brown bed… or when I hit the wall with my head, so bad my head was stuck in it. The moldy sheets turned into a motley with burgundy twirls, but melded so prismatic, iridescently as a pearl, and still kaleidoscopic, everything disturbingly matching the submerged nasty maroon like the amber and crimson of a flourished autumn or sadly as a pair of Siamese twins. I assume that was yesterday. Soaked in my own juices, dowsed in mud, my body was just past memory. Since then, my perception of that world burned in a glaring daze. At least, I can claim that I am sober in real life.

“All I have are letters. All I am is literature.” Why don’t I simply end that agony? “Because writing is a deeper sleep than death. Just as one wouldn’t pull a corpse from its grave, I can’t be dragged from my desk at night” – As if somebody needed me? This is what I previously thought before seeing the wall.

YOU WERE ONCE A PERSON.

YOU WERE ONCE A PERSON!

YOU WERE ONCE A PERSON…?

I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anybody understand what’s happening inside me. I cannot even to myself.

I have no mouth but I must scream.

After I saw the latter sentences written on that wall, I decided to stop lucid dreaming for good. But not before I do what must be done. I shall release this imaginary projection of myself and kill myself not to feel bounded by that world anymore. Could be fear, could be the bygone fact that I actually have another life, but what cause my decision was that I find no more literary use. Writers would suck like vampires the life from what they love only to put it on paper. As I do not even consider myself a writer anymore, there is not much reason for my alter ego to exist.

22

            From this experience, I concluded that monsters can be real and they live in ourselves. “If you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you”.

People live their lives bound by what they accept as correct and true. That is how they define “Reality”. Nevertheless, what does it mean to be “correct” or “true”? They are merely vague concepts. Their “Reality” may all be a mirage. Can we consider them to be simply living in their own world, shaped by their beliefs? The very fact that, even when lucid dreaming, I have maintained, arguably, a moral compass, proves me that there still hope, loads of hope but not for everybody.

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