Earlier this week, on Sunday night, I had a dream in which I knew I was asleep. I was standing outside of my house in torrential rain at night and thought I needed to get inside in order to wake up. I approached the front door and placed my knuckles onto the door-window ready to knock. I knew that my next action would bring me one step closer to consciousness. The moment I knocked on the door, the thudding sound of the knock was so loud, so frightening and so real that it woke me from my sleep.
BANG, BANG, BANG.
I jumped up immediately and listened out for a further knock at the door. I was roasting hot, sweating profusely and my heart was beating so hard, I don’t think I would have been able to tell the difference between a knock at the door and my thudding heartbeat. After I came to my senses and realised that the possibility of the door knocking at the exact moment of dreaming it is incredibly low, I fell back to sleep.
Monday, the following night, I had the same dream. Right back outside the front of the house in the pouring rain again, intensely staring at the house. I slowly walked to the front door, this time it was open. I walked in and went straight into the kitchen. I opened the cutlery drawer and pulled out the largest meat knife I have. I looked into my reflection through the blade of the knife.
If you stare directly into the reflection of your eyes for long enough, eventually it will hit you that someone is looking at you. You know it’s your reflection, but for just a second, you forget and become self-conscious, as if it’s somebody else behind your reflection’s eyes. It didn’t take a second of looking at my reflection through the blade to realise that somebody else was looking back. The moment I realised it was somebody else wearing my grin in the reflection, I slammed the cutlery drawer shut.
Again, I shot up out of bed. The sound of the metal clanging in the drawer as it abruptly closed was so defined and so crystal clear, it couldn’t have been a dream. Really spooked this time, I went downstairs into the kitchen. I was half asleep and had to check. I opened the cutlery drawer. I was relieved to find the knife still in the drawer. I closed it and went back to bed. It took a little longer this time, but I fell asleep.
Tuesday night, my dream started with that grin in the reflection. From the look in his eyes, I could tell that the man in the reflection knew he was looking back at someone confused and scared. I found myself looking into the reflection of the knife, already in my hand, while I stood outside of my house in the rain. The front door was open again. I walked into the house, directly up the stairs and into my bedroom. I looked at the bed and saw someone sleeping in it. It was me.
I knew what I was going to do, but also knew that I couldn’t stop myself. Instead, I kept thinking over and over again, “Wake up!" My emotions were both in two extremes at once. I was terrified, but at the same time I was thrilled and excited to kill.
I shot right out of bed and stood up. I was absolutely drenched in sweat, roasting hot, but relieved to find nobody stood in front of me with a knife. It took a few seconds to realise that I was gripping something tight in my hand. I knew what it was even before I looked down at it and saw my reflection in it. It was the meat knife, and this time the reflection in it looked terrified.
I don’t sleep anymore.