I don’t post often about myself here. I do on occasion, but I guess I feel that there are so many other things more interesting in the world. HOWEVER, very early this morning, I had a terrifying dream and I felt compelled to share it here.
As I mentioned recently, I’ve just relocated for a new job. Consequently, I’m living alone for the first time in over 20 years. It’s very different thing for me.
I’m staying in a lovely little bungalow on the east side of Austin, Texas. It’s a bright place and perfect for my needs. I’ve been thrilled to be here. That bungalow was the setting for my nightmare.
In the dream, I was aware that a malevolent force was trying to get into the house. The knob on the front door shook violently, dark hands rapped at all of the windows on the building, feeling for a way in. I even heard scuttling and scratching over the roof and looked up to see an indistinct face peering in at me, silhouetted against the stars through the blackened skylight.
Then, heavy footfalls on the wood of the balcony. I approached the curtain covering the large glass sliders hesitantly, stopping and just listening to the movement out on the deck. I put my hand on the fabric hiding what stood out beyond the glass doors and paused. Then, suddenly threw it back, showing my tormenter.
The person that stood facing me, laughing maniacally, was ME. At least it looked exactly like me, but I was aware that it wasn’t me, but rather some dark version of myself. One that I knew meant me nothing but harm.
I screamed in the nightmare and I am quite sure I did in the night here in real life as well. Just terrifying.
I was instantly reminded as I sat up in bed of the climactic finale of the disorienting and disarming 60’s Brit series, “The Prisoner.” The moment when Number 6 unmasks Number 1 is an absolutely iconic scene. The mask comes off to see a man with Number 6’s features roaring with the laughter of the mad. Unnerving.
Here’s a clip from the series that gives a glimpse of that unnerving disorientation. Added bonus: It features a Beatles track in a very rare example of a TV series licensing a real song for the time. Check it out ::
After I was fully awake and thinking about the nightmare (with the lights on), I thought of the classic “Twilight Zone” episode, “Mirror Image.” It tells the story of a woman who finds her doppelganger in a bus station only to realize that her double has come to steal her life away from her. The subtle creepiness of the look she gets when her double faintly smiles down at her from a bus, knowing that she will succeed in taking away a woman’s life still gives me a chill ::
Here’s a short clip from the episode ::
I have been thinking about the dream all day. There’s no question that it’s pregnant with meaning. I will, however, leave that analysis to the stars and the darkness. Here’s to better sleep tonight.