The nightmares...again. Non stop, brutal and persistent. I wake up to slap water on my face making sure I am still here and even then, not believing it. I have always felt like a misfit in this world, someone no one understands or afraid to get too close to. It is a punishment, not gift, although I do find comfort in the place within myself that holds the truest form of optimism.
My eyes are almost swollen shut, most likely from crying I do not remember and I find myself wanting to scream out, "Cut me, Mick!" like Rocky.
I relentlessly go back to bed and try to close my eyes but there is a figure in the doorway again, this time lurking, staring, holding a glass in one hand and a dagger in the other.
His eyes are piercing and wanting, filled with round pills of colors I've never seen before and therefore would not be able to describe. He has a foulness in his smell, a body sweat that permeates my lungs and seeps through the finest of my linens, sitting there like mud thrown from a child. He looks like a willowy shadow tree, with arms sharp and hard, scratching my walls and laughing at me in a low toned voice that makes the hairs on my arms stand at attention.
I don't understand why he would want to hurt me or why I seem so ugly to him. Maybe he is more afraid of me than I am of him. Even so, Coco barks and he is gone; Coco, my protector, my best fuzzy friend. I sit up to look around the emptiness of the room and almost wish he would return. I have become unafraid and ready to take him on.
When I wake up, Coco is nestled like a big white fluffy love hat on top of my head. I am still unsure if this shadow was real or a dream.
With one final slap of cold water on my pillowy eyes, I make breakfast, sluggishly dragging my feet across the wooden floor, looking down and thinking to myself, "I do have the cutest toes"; a compliment I hear quite often and one I choose to keep.
It makes me feel good, those little words, the smallest of things, vainly finding peace within me, like coffee that settles my nerves, enveloping my mouth and reminding me of those cold nights in Brooklyn, oh how I miss Brooklyn.
I watch the beaded curtains sway like a chorus line of dancing wooden legs, and another party I was not invited to. Were they laughing at me as well?
Did I hear someone say, “Who is she?”
I have no recollection anymore of things that matter. My brain has somehow managed to work without me and no longer asks permission for its intrusive thoughts. It barges in like an old friend you used to like that knocks without an invitation, the one you can't get rid of that keeps coming back but you try not to be rude, so you keep allowing them in until one day, you snap.
The dreams and the nightmares continue no matter what I do to stop them. They slip into my world as innocently as a handshake, a hug from a long lost love or a glance from the corner table. Yet underneath it all, nefarious and untrustworthy.
As I put my coffee down, with one swallow gone, my brain clears its cache and another morning is deleted from this pool of crap I have accumulated in such a small space for all this imagination and stories no one understands or wants to hear.
Coco looks up behind the curtain and there standing is he; that figure with glass in hand and piercing eyes, a gentle wicked soul needs me...again.
Then a whisper in my ear breaks the static noise, “You should write this down.”
And so I shall.