“A Series of Cathartic Dreams”
The following three dreams were had sometime in the late spring of 2012.
The First Dream
I dreamt that I was working on a film set in a very lavish home, for a bizarrely rich foreign family, making some kind of fantasy story for them in which they were the stars of their own movie. We were set dressing the bedroom and master bathroom for a scene in which the heroine first dreams of/meets her prince, and picking out what paintings of him were going to appear in the shot with her on the walls. So many to choose from, they were overflowing with good art, pulling it from other places within the house. There wasn't room on the walls for everything, and try as we might it was just too much to fit in. As we were trying the pieces here and there their riches were falling off -- since some were mixed media pieces with feathers and jewels, etc…
Then, a portal to the underworld opened within the house and a troupe of strange people came to greet us. The women were lovely and tall, but something was wrong with their eyes -- they had been utterly disfigured. Their eyelids had been sewn open it seemed, their iris were gone, and over the whites of their eyes were cat like pupils that had been crudely sewn with black embroidery thread. They announced that they had come for some of us, and it was evident there was no question but to abide. I was afraid of them as they made their choices carefully. The first man they picked, a short, older, set hand (a stool pigeon type), was beyond complacent at the notion of being chosen. He serenely walked into their arms and one woman stroked him like a cat that had returned to its mistress.
They chose two other women, the tall beautiful location manager with red hair and her young assistant, Jody.
As an observer in the dream I travelled with them as we entered this other dimension, which resembled something like an airport or an underground hive. It was bustling with people (most of which had the same strange eyes), traveling to and fro through long corridors, attending to matters of business it seemed. It wasn't long before they separated the two women, and left Jody to wait while they took the red-head to a semi-private waiting area and left her there.
Soon the strange women came back.
The leader said to the red-head, "you don't recognize me do you?"
The red-head admitted that she didn't.
The leader said, "You don't remember the car accident you caused?"
The red-head might have said "no," but if she really didn't remember it was clear she was trying to forget.
What happened next is a bit of a blur. The strange women took hold of the red-head in a most vicious way, holding her down while she struggled with flailing arms and legs as the leader proceeded to forcibly roll the red-head's eyeballs back behind her eyelids, working them like she might work a wad of clay. The whole time the leader spoke calmly and resolutely to the struggling woman, bestowing some lesson of remembrance or revenge upon her.
As an observer within the dream, it was horrifying to witness all this and I wanted to look away; but I was captivated. I was overcome by the feeling that whatever was happening to the red head was irreversible the longer it went on, and mortified by the disfigurement of her great beauty.
Then, much as I expected, the leader took out a needle and thread, and began to carefully sew the red-head's eyes into the same configuration as her own, sewing a crude, black threaded pupil into the tender white flesh that was left of her eye. There was no blood in any of this, and it was more technical than gory. At this point I felt like I was watching a movie.
I even marveled to myself at how real and life like the delicate quivering eye and the needle appeared, baffled by the mastery of the visual effects. Then I realized I was no longer an observer, I was a participant. The needle was in my hand. I was now the woman sewing the new eye onto my initiate, who had finally surrendered to the experience. I carefully finished one last loop, tied a knot and cut the thread. In my mind it didn't matter that the eye looked perfect or real, all that mattered was that I had reached an acceptable stopping point and my task was done.
Whatever revenge or contention that might have begun the transaction was utterly dissolved. We had been unified.
I stood up, put the needle and thread in my pocket, and swallowed down the woman's eyes that had been sitting in my mouth, though I have no idea how they got there. Then I went to find my assistant Jody who was waiting for me. I was now none other than the red-head, walking away from the woman who I had just initiated. In the midst of my own initiation, I had transmogrified into the initiator. As I walked away, I was surprised by how well my new eyes could see -- I could see everything. My eyes had this light sort of feeling of being very "open" without any effort. In this underworld, no one viewed me as disfigured, because they were all looking with the same kind of eyes; but more importantly, no one was looking at me, and I was settling into the feeling of being lost in a crowd, and of how pointless it was to care about what I looked like anymore. My mind was flush with the immediate purpose of finding Jody, and I felt very powerful.
When I found Jody, she was shocked by who I had become, even terrified a bit. She said, "You're eyes! They're so open!" and she took her own hands to her face in surprise, giving herself a sort of mock face-lift.
I looked into her eyes then, perfect, whole and complete, and the beautiful crystalline structure of her hazel iris, and saw it like I was seeing it for the first time.
Then I woke up.
The Second Dream
I dreamt I was on the run with a bad group of people. We had been getting into mischief all night long and now the authorities were after us. We were driving through a heavily wooded area, with little cabins here and there along a dirt road. We found a cabin that looked empty and parked our stolen truck in the garage. We broke into the house to hide out. I could tell just by looking around the place that this was the home of a “good person,” and I was aware that at that moment no one would ever use that label to describe me.
I was nervous because earlier in the night I had swallowed some razor blades. I was terrified that if I moved to much, as I was now required to run from the law, the running would cause them to cut me up from the inside. I felt certain that I was about to spill open and die any moment, so I found myself taking account of my choices and the actions that had led me to this point.
Why had I swallowed the razors? It was a combination of peer pressure and attraction — I wanted to impress one of the men in the group. I was astonished that I had gone to the length of mindless self-injury for sake of someone else’s amusement, who was not worth impressing under any circumstances. Why did I not value my self?
The authorities closed in around the house, and we had to make a quick escape. We ran over the road, the dirt and gravel coarse under my boots. We managed to get some distance between us and the search party, and climbed down into a ditch. There was no where else to hide in the woods.
We dug ourselves into the ground and covered ourselves with dirt and the leaves. I was afraid one of the policemen would walk over my belly, with his heavy boots, and drive the razors through me with the weight of their body. I told the others that I needed to pee and left the ditch. I decided to turn myself in, hoping that if I cooperated I could get the medical attention I needed. Was there still time to save myself? I didn’t know. All I knew was that the further away I got from the ditch the better I felt.
As I was walking towards the search party, I woke up.
The Third Dream
I was in an underground tunnel packed full of people for a semi-annual culling ritual. It was a random selection process, and whoever was selected within the crowd would be utterly changed. Their skin and hair would turn a pale, albino sort of golden color, and so would their clothes. These Golden Albinos became like shepherds amongst the herd. We feared them. We loved them. We listened to what they told us. We didn’t want to be them, but we needed them. They lived unnaturally long lives in a state of hegemonic servitude to the governance of the rest of us.
They always walked among us, these Golden Albinos, but we avoided looking at them. We knew what they looked like, no one could avoid catching sight of them — after all, they were people we once knew. No one wanted to see them, because to see them was to feel a sense of loss, and that loss was too sad and uncomfortable for any of us to want to look in the eye. After all, they had been bled dry of the colors of their individuality. They had been disfigured by a role that consumed their entire being.
The Golden Albinos encouraged us to keep moving forward down the tunnel. We did what we were told, because the ritual we were participating in was as familiar and necessary as any other holiday. As they walked among us, they each carried a metal rod. The rod was a special tool they utilized to select others to become like them, and it was long and thin and flexible. Charged and powerful, this rod could be used as a weapon, but that was not its purpose.
Everyone walked forward together, unsure where our next step would take us. No wanted to win the prize on this doomed cakewalk. The air was full of dread and the excitement of anticipation. We all wanted to get it over with. With so many people in the tunnel, the odds were always good that someone else would be selected. We walked in anticipation of a sound. When the sound arrived, the Golden Albinos would stick their rod forward into the crowd, and it would snake its way through the packed bodies until it connected with someone…
And then that person became a new Golden Albino.
No one wanted to be selected, least of all me. It was a lonely fate, an honor and a curse. Whoever was selected would depart from society — their lives would not follow the typical pattern. Families and ordinary jobs were no longer for them. They were now forever in service to an order that maintained the fabric of community, and their function was to live apart from the rest of us. As I stumbled forward through the tunnel, I recalled lovers destroyed by this selection process.
And when the sound finally arrived, I felt the electric kiss of the rod in my back.
“Of course.” I thought.
Resignation settle into my pores along with an all consuming pointlessness at the thought of looking in the mirror — a stoic realization that my appearance was now irrelevant. I knew without seeing that I was utterly changed because I had watched it happen to so many others over the years at other “culling” rituals. I had no choice. I was a representative of the system now, and would be expected to play my role — a role not for myself but for others.
Something inside me wanted to run, to rebel, to challenge the order. To escape! Flights of fancy flew through my brain. And yet, I also knew there was no escape, because you can’t escape the inevitable, and the inevitable had arrived. I was at a moment I was always supposed to come to.