[The following was written awhile back and entails a recurring dream that I’ve had since I was a small child. This disclaimer is because I did not correct the verbose style that makes it read like a scholarly article. In other words, I suggest this piece of prose only to those with a veteran reading comprehension. Enjoy the scenery!]
Merkel cell synapses.
A single recurring memory somewhere between episodic and implicit; triggered by something as common as a grain of dirt. Reminding the self that its inner treasures were a reality at one time or another. Reassurance that pain, love, excitement, fear, and the general yearning to understand these fundamental occurrences are all part of the algorithm that creates who I am today.
I’ve had the same dream for longer than I can consciously recall…
Blinding white endlessness; the architecture of a corridor that lacks any obvious branches to attempt an escape. It meets its beginning where it ends and like the mystery to existence itself, has no finality. It’s impossible to discern if walls are present and if they are there’s no use for them. Though you perceive yourself as walking in a giant circle there’s no true direction. Objects are a blur, completely drowned out by the brilliance of the seemingly angelic whiteness that immerses everything; creating the feeling of purgatory.
Far from heavenly.
Head hanging low, eyes focused only just ahead of where steps are taken; steps comparable to that of a tired child shuffling their way to bed. The atmosphere is lacking exactly the amount of warmth it takes to be comfortable. Tantamount to wearing a hospital gown and sitting on a leather examination table. All of the hairs your body anchors are standing as if statically charged, and ready to float away… Peripherally another person can be noticed but not fully analyzed, because averting your gaze from the floor means blinding light pierces your retinas. The figure walking almost mirrored your every action, so close that you can brush shoulders every few steps. This phantom feels familiar. Comfortable in a way despite having virtually no face, or definitive features.
Strange that you haven’t the slightest urge to attempt conversation.
A sound… Whispering… Coming from the doppelganger so quietly you can’t decipher words from the mumbling at all. It’s gibberish at best, but it’s comforting to hear anything in this place. The whisper is commandeered by a Doppler effect and like a nearing freight train in the distance, it becomes louder… Louder… LOUDER. Until you’re certain that the figure next to you must be flailing with enough force to easily snap their limbs. Yet they are filled with empty determination and moving as slowly as you are; as far as you can tell. Tripping over syllables, salivating, screaming, and gurgling until the mumbling starts to calm until it returns to a soft utterance. Oddly enough this feels like a very heartfelt discussion. One that would be had between say.. a delinquent child, and his mentor. The incoherent babble mindlessly continues in the same manner; quietly progressing into violent levels of vocal projection, then falling to a barely noticeable volume. Reverb has no effect, as there is a distinct lack of echoing from the noise.
This walk continues without awareness of time; without a desire to stop at all. Time suspends in a moment of “never” thereby rendering the mind’s perception of duration useless. It simply has always been this way and has no sign of an end. It happens all at once without a start, or without any moment of new information to be observed. Only one sensory feature is noticeably out of place. Between the index finger and thumb of your right hand is an object so small, it can barely be rolled between the fingers. A grain of sand? A piece of lint? A crumb from some food that never existed here? Your fingers are fond of the way it feels as you roll it between them…
So why stop?
Like a fleeting moment of DejaVu, I never have found the truth behind that tiny object that I continued to roll between my fingers compulsively. Yet somehow it remains the only detail about that place that connects it neurally with the waking world; somatosensory input/output of non-connected long-term memories. Some may hear a specific tone that isn’t of an unusual or significant value and get a familiar sensation, which is rarely attained. It may surface the feeling of maternal comfort that a baby would receive; a feeling most of us completely lose touch with. The same way that otherwise regular scents can trigger deeply ingrained memories or a taste can thrust the emotional mind into chaos; this tiny non-specific, insignificant piece of whatever is a reminder of some trauma experienced likely as an infant. To feel a granule of sugar between those fingers is to feel that time is nothing. A drive to the store can mean a tiny piece of the weathered steering wheel crumbles between those fingers; where I am there reminiscing next to the only lifelong friend I have ever known.