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Do you know that we forget most of our dreams?
Psychologists have long since proven that we actually dream every time we fall asleep, though most of these dreams are forgotten as soon as we wake up. So the question here is: what's the point of having dreams if you can't remember them?
Psychologists explained that this seemingly unreasonable forgetfulness is caused by the inactivity of some parts of the brain during sleep, but that is not the truth. The real reason is that we see and hear things in our dreams that are forbidden to the human perception---in other words, things that are simply too much to bear for our mind and soul, and if we don't forget about them, they'd drive us insane.
However, should you wake someone up in the midst of a dream, he will remember every bit of the dream he is having. Never, ever do this, because it may kill him.
To illustrate my point, let me tell you about a strange experience I had three years ago. I was living in an apartment in downtown Sydney at the time. My roommate was a man named David. When we first met each other, he told me that many people had refused to share a suite with him because of his especially loud sleep talking; but I didn't mind. You see, I had served in the navy for five years, and after over 1800 nights of sleeping in a cabin right next to our ship's engine room, there was literally nothing loud enough to disturb me in my sleep. I told David so, and he was so pleased that he offered to pay 60% of the rent, which I gladly accepted.
Our first three months together went extremely well. David was a great company. Not only was he a master cook, but a man of great compassion and humor as well. He wore the most friendly smile at all times, and was always ready to engage in a pleasant conversation. As for his sleep talking--well, frankly, I had to say that I heard none of it, because I am in the habit of going to bed before 11:00 pm, while David usually stayed up until 1:00 am.
Sometimes David would warn me never to wake him up while he was sleep talking. I asked him why.
“I don't know. Instincts, I guess.” He only shrugged.
I agreed, with my usual schedule it's not likely that I'll ever get to hear him sleep talking anyway.
However, after a few more months, the World Cup began. Now, as I've already told you, I'm usually accustomed to going to bed early, but I'm also one of your typical soccer fans who are always willing to stay up late for a game. That night, I bought a bag of snacks and some beer, and invited David to join me in cheering for the Australian team. He seemed quite disturbed by this.
“Mark, I think I might as well skip the game. After all, I'm not too much of a soccer fan.” He said hesitantly. “But the problem is, should you stay up tonight, you're bound to hear me sleep talking."
“Don't worry man. I'll just ignore you."
That seemed to reassure him. “Alright. Just remember, do not wake me up whatever you hear.”
“Sure. Good night.”
The game that night was awesome--so awesome that it made me forget all about David and his sleep talking. However, at exactly 3:00 am in the morning, a horrible moan from his room almost sent me bouncing off the sofa.
It was the groan of souls trapped in hell: guttural, deep, and filled with despair. David's voice was pleasant and somewhat chirpy, but this was something else entirely.
Keeping David's words in mind, I tuned up the volume of the TV and tried to ignore the creepy groans coming out of his bedroom. It didn't work. The groans just grew louder and louder until they eventually merged into a steady, choked scream.
Now you may wonder how come I could stay asleep with David making that much noise every night? But then again that's because you've never been aboard a navy warship. Have you ever heard the noise of a cruiser's engine? That was the loudest buzz anyone could ever imagine, booming like gunshots been fired right next to your ears. Now just think: as a navy soldier, I'd spent five years living under that kind of noise. Now do you understand?
After a while, when the groans had not stopped, I began to grow worried. What if David was having a heart attack and struggling for his life in that bedroom RIGHT NOW? I had to go in there and check on him.
So I put down my beer and ran towards his room. After knocking on the door for several times without getting any response, I turned the knob carefully and walked in. There lied David with his face towards the door, and his expression was unspeakable. His bloodshot eyes seemed to be bulging out of their sockets, and his lips were upturned like that of an wild animal, revealing gritted teeth. His tongue lolled out of his mouth, dangling like the tongue of a man who had hanged himself with a rope.
Seeing this sight of horror confirmed my suspicion that there had to be something wrong with my roommate, and that I must rush him to the hospital ASAP. That's when I made the mistake of trying to wake him.
“Hey buddy! Wake up! What the hell is wrong with you?”
The change on his face was almost instant. The eyes narrowed, and the bloodshot was gone. His tongue retracted into his mouth, and for a moment there was my friend again, staring blankly up at me as if dumbfounded. Then, all of a sudden, he leaped from his bed and started screaming. “My God! I saw! What the fuck did I see! Oh God, Oh God!” He screamed as he banged his head against the wall so hard that it drew blood. I tried in vain to get hold of him, but he was astonishingly strong.
“I saw them, Mark! Oh, I saw them in my dreams! These things... they talk to me in my dreams, and I can see them so clearly... They tortured me and, oh fuck! These damn eyes! These hands!” He collapsed into fetal position on the floor and began to weep like a boy. In the end, I called the hospital and they send someone to pick him up. Two weeks later, I read in the local newspaper that David had committed suicide in a mental institution. He had been staying awake for over 80 hours when he died, banging himself in the head or biting down hard on his arms whenever he felt sleepy.
He was afraid of them--the beings that haunted him in his dreams. Now, because of me, he could REMEMBER.
Now do you see? If you caught your friend having a bad dream, never wake him up, or his blood will be on your hands.
I had moved out of that apartment now, and rented a smaller suite on the opposite side of the street. It's a humble place, and the facilities are generally unagreeable, but at least it's a suite that I can afford to rent by myself.
You see, the problem is that I had began to dream talk as well. Last week, my new roommate complained that I'd sometimes groan horribly in my sleep, and even beg and weep as if I was been tortured.
Maybe--just maybe--they are now coming after me as well.