I’ve been working on this lengthy letter for days now, weeks even. And as the great procrastinator I can become at times, I hadn’t exactly given it my entire undivided attention, hence my delay and absence. So without further ado, and continuing still with my rambles about dreams and dreaming, I had quite the arresting one some nights ago. Not the familiar sunshine and unicorns kind, but one shrouded in unassuming mystery while concurrently teaming with gore. It would have actually been befitting for an enthralling dystopian read, and I would have delved into it as a possible writing subject, had I not proceeded to Google the exact meaning behind some of the more substantial and distinguished aspects. It was those very definitions of these highlighted events at play that had me reeling. Not just for its uncanny resemblance to my own lackadaisical situation, but for the mere fact that my mind is virtually insinuating approaching doom via this portal now.
A portal where it’s true intentions are never as clear as day.
So let us begin with the dream itself, which was of a society displaced by an equivocal someone or something. Our homes were no longer a place of protection so they were marooned and left to the mercy of the elements. People chose to meander about the Earth instead, and through tree spotted lands and dust ridden towns, they scavenged what they could while expertly ensconcing themselves when danger tinged the air. They wandered in solitude and wandered for one objective alone, to find some semblance of permanent shelter much like that of which they had once known. But a new movement was prevailing, one that would see the rescinding of the lone-wolf traveler. People were initiating cliques or clans as way of overhauling and empowering themselves against the callous few who behaved as though they’d displaced their humanity once the world shut down. But these cliques were still a rare find in most parts, sequestered away since the majority of civilisation had lost confidence in one another.
I was roaming around too, and as disoriented as the next but I had company, a female, my age perhaps. I was terribly unwell, and though this affliction was far from contagious, it also appeared as though this was not an uncommon sickness spreading through the masses of new planet Earth. I was badly weakened by this condition, but worst of all I was plagued with an uncontrollable effluence, exclusive to my facial orifices. Predicaments such as the indomitable need to hurl up the empty contents of my stomach and my eyes which would water away and stain my ghostly face as gravity slowly tugged them down towards the dry earth my feet stood planted on. My nose also endured the same ailment, reminiscent of a vexatious faulty faucet.
That doesn’t exactly sound sinister, except that the leakage was blood.
My companion and I both donned matching androgynous pieces in various shades of grey, in hopes of remaining inconspicuous from superfluous attention. We ventured far and wide, my ally yearning to locate a place of rest for the two of us, more out of pressing need than burning desire. So we marched thorough desolate towns where the rusty hued sands caked our decrepit boots and lined the bottoms of our denims. The sullen dance between the wind and loose beads of earth being the only signs of migration for miles on end. We persevered regardless of set backs, and kept our heads fastened down to the changing terrains and all whilst a cautious eye fastidiously scanned our surroundings for instability.
When we finally encountered a town with the slightest signs of occupation, I was practically keeling over. There was no welcome parade, but we expected no such extravagance. It’s hints of life were faint to the untrained eye, but we managed to catch a glimpse or two of what we’d been searching for all along. A carelessly erased footprint in the dust and a quick glint of movement in the haphazardly boarded-over windows of the old Georgian style building was proof enough for us to halt. We moved closer to a windowless tower perched in line with the grand Georgian edifice with the intent to squat and huddle by its door to garner their attention. The irregular turf was far from serene so I attempted to engross myself mentally by speculating on what this structure once was. Though I found I was ultimately drawn to the perplexity of how its deep moss-green paint, though worn down, was vibrant still regardless of the battering it had endured. We remained out in the open, vulnerable and silent, praying our plan would work because we were at a critical need for impervious shelter and I could no longer stumble about inconspicuously. It was a long shot and a fairly perilous move on our part, but we were exasperated and hoped our state of despondency would beget empathy from those securely veiled away inside.
We waited and waited, but no one ever graced us with their presence. The sun was alleviating, it’s warmth slowly cooing us both to a restful slumber. We sat there motionless and dead to the world, surrendering completely to its charm.
We both awoke with a startle as the wind began to faintly caress our unveiled faces with its bitter fingers. It had increased its force since the morning and brought with it the chill of night. We instantly noted that the sun was getting low, too low for comfort and was just mere moments away from kissing the horizon. We turned to one another and knew we’d made a grave miscalculation in pausing here. We had essentially sealed our fates by lingering in this forgotten town for far too long and now with nightfall looming ahead and with no place in sight for immediate asylum, there was very little chance we’d make it through the night. With one last buoyant glance, we stood and brushed away the excess grains of course dirt from our clothing then draped the hoods of our jackets over our dejected expressions and began the lengthy walk back, hoping to find an unoccupied and discarded vehicle to harbor within during the obscurity of the evening.
If we could attain such a dwelling before dusk that was.
We took small but wary steps forward then halted immediately as something caught our eye. We turned towards a narrow alleyway and found a man standing at its mouth. Shadows concealed his overall visage and despite feigning unresponsiveness, something about him appeared to be innocuous. Perhaps it was the way he stood, unarmed and completely placid, or how immaculately presented he was, his clothing wrinkle-free and speckless which wordlessly confirmed that he was no harm to us – at least we presumed so anyway. He didn’t advance nor utter a single sound but we distinctly felt the weight of his discerning eye examining us guardedly. As we stood there inhibited, I couldn’t help but wonder how he was so indifferent to the arctic like air. Surely it was painfully biting through the thin fabric of his t-shirt, let alone the exposed flesh on his arms?
Precious time was critically passing us. The sun itself was almost interred by the darkening horizon, a decorative trail of watercolour lilac clouds the only evidence of its lingering existence. I knew we had to retreat promptly but I didn’t care to lead. In fact none of us wanted to be the first to flinch, so we stood there like perfect little soldiers, fixated on the opposing party as the sun retreated further. We couldn’t hesitate a moment longer so I dared a brisk glance at my companion, assuming to discover the answer as to how we’d proceed next, but she was as clueless as me. Disguising our despair we returned our gazes to the mysterious man but he still gave away nothing and remained motionless. It wasn’t until I felt the stirrings of regurgitation creeping up my esophagus and my body beginning to convulse frantically, that he abruptly shifted towards us. My body surrendered fully to the perturbation, rendering me helpless as my legs buckled and ordered me forward towards the terrain. My companion caught me and assisted me into position, just as insuppressible bile came rushing out. I felt another set of hands catch my limp body as I heaved tides upon tides of crimson onto the dusty sands of the earth.
And with that I knew I had blown and decimated our final chance at survival with my uncontrollable bodily outburst. It was unthinkable to imagine we’d be welcomed into this clan now after my distasteful performance. I wanted to weep but felt nothing within. I had been unable to adequately cry for some time now and this occasion was hardly an exception. I felt the warmth of their encompassing bodies shift as they elevated my body back into a vertical position, their hands holding fast to my sides while my legs slowly regained their strength. I couldn’t bear to make eye contact with either of them so I kept my face down, eclipsed within the fathomage of my hood. I refused to see the anguish lining the blue irises of my friends eyes and the undoubted repulsion in his.
I took a moment to collect myself and reached for the fabric beneath the sleeve of my tattered leather jacket. Cashmere, once soft as silk and a vibrant marle hue was now asperous and smeared with clouds of desiccated blood. A sight that would once completely repel was now conventional, becoming an habitual practice of extremities. I didn’t think twice about utilising my sleeve again, sponging the chapped yarn across my mouth to remove the remnants of my prior spectacle while also corralling more waves of claret to its weave. There must have been some kind of exchange between my companion and the stranger but I fainted interest because I genuinely did not care to know what was going on since I’d lost all hope for the two of us and presumed the worst. I felt my traitorous eyes rousing, adding further insult to the chaos I’d just created. I needed to adjust my head to pitifully stop those beads of plasma from dribbling rapidly down my cheeks. And not wanting to further delay the inevitable, I pushed the two of them aside and took an unsteady step forward. But a determined hand clutched my shoulder and despite my feeble moans of displeasure and attempts of escape, I could not break free of his grasp. All I could do was turn to face the stranger.
“Come on”, he whispers sympathetically, while skewing his head to the side.
And with those two humble words we followed him back towards the alley he stood so firmly aground just moments ago. I couldn’t seem to erase the dazed demeanour from my overwhelmed face as we hurriedly paced down the constricting lane. He was allowing two unknowns to join their tribe, and granted we were both hardly considered threatening, despite the formidableness our leather jackets may have portrayed, the fact remained that one half of our duo was considerably diseased, so why on earth would he want to rescue us?
We paused by the facade of a broad metal door, it’s once glossy black paint weathered and crumbling away. He raised a clenched fist, readying himself to knock against its deceiving fragile frame but the door detached itself with a small sigh before his knuckles could make contact with the splintered gloss. Seemingly unfazed by this he tentatively pushed the metal door open, gesturing with his head for the two of us to swiftly step through to which we obediently complied. He ensued shortly after then delicately closed the door behind him and in doing so expunged the last remaining shards of light, instantly enveloping us in complete darkness. It’s too dim for comfort but he expertly navigated forward knowing the way by hand. He paused once more before opening yet another doorway, then stepped through into another darkened passageway. I could hear our shallow breaths echoing through the space so I presumed we must have been traveling within a tunnel of some sort, or maybe even a hallway or corridor. I wasn’t certain since I’d long forgotten the luxury of enclosed walls. My legs unexpectedly caught on something and I languorously careened forward before a firm hand reached me just in time. I felt a little light-headed after that plunge but the sudden abruptness of a final door opening up ahead beguiled me as our walkway was instantaneously illuminated with light; far too bright for our eyes to adjust to rapidly.
It took some time for our eyes to discern our new surroundings but when they finally acclimatised, the space before us was without a doubt incredibly vast. The ground floor we entered upon was ostensibly endless with a considerable grand staircase poised in its centre which vaulted and led to three separate mezzanine floors. The walls were clad in a traditional mix of dark timber and damask wallpaper and its floors donned a simple green carpet. The space was teeming with people, huddled away in various groups that were splayed throughout nonchalantly. These people went about their business, preferring not to observe nor remark on who or what had turned up into their community. We stood inconspicuously to the side, our rescuer seemingly relinquishing responsibility for the two of us. Finally two people approached us, both male. One had a receding hairline of fine brown hair and was struggling to disguise it with a deteriorating Chicago Cubs snapback. The other had apparent streaks of grey intertwining with his natural waves of black which led me to conclude they were in their late thirties.
“I’m Mark and this is Theo,” gestured the man with the snapback. “We’re here to help.”
They both appeared entirely unafraid of my condition and led us to a caliginous corner to nest in, tucked away privately behind a row of books and beside a tall wooden table of some sort piled high with text books. I noted this peculiar position was completely removed from the other members of their group but I didn’t mind, I pressingly needed to pause because I recognised I was on the verge of passing out again. The original man who escorted us inside reemerged and much to my surprise, was much younger than I had assumed. He had a thick mop of blond hair and gentle pale blue eyes and in his broad arms were an impossible stack of blankets and duvets. He kneeled down and organised them against the plush emerald green carpet, I watched on curiously as a pair of silver dog tags liberated themselves from beneath his shirt. But before I could politely request his name, black spots began dancing in my peripheral vision causing me to dramatically sway and once again, he came to my deliverance.
“I’m Lucas by the way,” he announces while lowering me into the makeshift mountain he nimbly fashioned for us.
My companion and I snugly settled into our unfamiliar space, Mark informed us of our close proximity to their den while assuring us of our immunity in their community just as Theo departs, who is on the hunt to gather us something to eat and drink; much to my companions delight. There was something about the way Mark watched me through curious eyes that was disconcerting. And soon enough his intentions became clear as he began his interrogations regarding my affliction. Unfortunately for him I was about to succumb to extreme exhaustion.
“Thank you,” was all I managed before my eyes finally gave way.
I’m unsure on just how many days had passed since I was chronically in and out of consciousness. One thing I was certain of was that I was getting worse; much worse. Mark and his two friends were the only people who approached us, most of their clan chose to out-right evade us. Some even surrendering their positions and withdrawing a good few yards in order to bypass the ‘blood stained girl’. Mark and Theo, we soon learned, were the two ring leaders of this group and were adamant about aiding us and even more determined to find me a cure. They were completely undaunted by my disorder, just overtly disquisitive, never once shying away from me, even as I hurled up litre upon litre of loathsome blood onto the pristine emerald tone flooring. And even as blood stained my cheeks an unattractive and sickly red, they continued to support and at times even pampered my companion and myself.
I ended up striking solidarity with Lucas who also sat by my side each day, sharing tales and his assortment of treasures he’d acquired over time. But with each passing day I felt myself deteriorating further and further and I knew I was not long for this world. I finally confided in Lucas hoping to find respite in uttering those words aloud, but he furiously assured me that all was not lost. That they were nearing in aiding my pain and that I needed to hold on. But I refused to welcome his optimism, opting rather to see the decline in my body as reality instead. Our dispute was put on hold as I battled another never-ending torrent of vomiting which happened to also prove he was wrong and I was right because in my eyes it was evident my end was nigh.
“It’s killing me,” was all I could manage between bloody incidents.
I continued to chant this, wanting to be heard for some unknown reason. Yet they continued to reject my hysterical cries and instead force-fed me lies laced with positivity because they were not equipped to let me go just yet. I became obsessive with a small hand-held mirror over my appearance, in particular my face where my skin had become so pale and anemic, mostly from all the blood loss. It wasn’t until I helplessly watched in horror as my irises began to darken and my pupils completely dilate that caused real alarm.
“I told you it was killing me, inside and now out. Just look at my eyes.” I cried
I threw up one final time before opening my eyes to the real world.
There was something about this dream that I couldn’t seem to withdraw from. And in its plot were imperative aspects that promptly required deciphering. So I investigated and imagine my bewilderment when I discovered that this innocent dream was anything but. My subconscious had essentially flashed bright and luminous neon signs for me, indicating telltale signs for my body and mind. And with these suggestions it desperately needed me to take immediate action.
The actual symbolism for one to dream of blood equals simple exhaustion. And to dream that you vomit indicates objects causing anxiety or concern and are most likely linked to an unbearable amount of stress within ones life. A bloody nose refers to possible unpleasant changes. And most importantly to dream the eyes are bleeding symbolises sacrifice or extreme hardships one has endured. It also points to severe pain, conflict and unrest within your soul that needs immediate addressing. It also suggests one may not feel actual agony, instead be numb to it. But pain is there nonetheless.
Makes complete sense doesn’t it?
I mean my body has been acting out dangerously all year now, especially considering the recent bout of panic and anxiety attacks. But for my mind to take drastic action and feel such need to speak so bluntly must imply seriousness? Not that I don’t consider my situation dire, but considering my dreams in particular don’t quite spell it out so openly, preferring to remain mysterious and coded, there must be something alarmingly wrong with me? It’s quite troubling to think how much unintended stress and harm I am permitting, let alone the overall inconspicuous strife I may be in health wise. This dream was no doubt a warning, requiring me to make some drastic transformations, and before it is much too late.