Last night, I dreamed that I and three others wandered throughout a neglected museum. The roof had collapsed in parts, allowing the dark to probe us with its cold, dead fingers. One member of the group, a burly man with short, neatly-trimmed hair and a sharp, cleft chin, remarked at the poor conditions, at how so much history had been cast aside and left for ruin.
Another group member, a brunette whose features are all a fog to me, stated that there were ghosts. Figurative, I thought. The museum is a ghost of what it was. What few artifacts have survived are ghosts, past things left in the present. But no. There were actual ghosts.
All four of us assembled into a circle to shield ourselves from an approaching ghost. It was a figure draped in a white cloth. The classic ghost image, except it lacked the form of a human. Its head was a prism, a cube with an extra corner sticking out from one face like a sharp, geometric tumor. Below the head were smaller cubes, all with that irregular corner poking out against the taut, white sheet.
I couldn’t tell you what harm the ghost posed. For what reason did we fear it? You know, I couldn’t tell you what harm we posed either. I think we had swords. Or were they flashlights?
We backed into a corner. I fell onto my butt as the other three people pressed into me. The ghost would not let us leave. It spun its head around and around. Every now and then I’d glimpse the edge of its wicked scar of a smile.
When escape seemed futile, I woke up, a childish fear pulsing through my veins. Though the heat in my room was nearly intolerable, I stretched the covers over my face and breathed shallow breaths. Apparently still half in sleep, I sensed a ghost just on the edge of my bed. I didn’t know what it wanted and I didn’t want to know.
Of course, the sensible adult in me knew that the fear and the ghost was all in my head. But, I knew also that the more I thought about it, the more real the ghost was. And so I refused to pull down my blanket shield until my thoughts settled on something more pleasant.
I tried to think of something pleasant. However, what in my life is pleasant or would seem pleasant? I shuffled through ideas and eventually settled on the idea of dinner with a girl I know at Columbia. I didn’t think of Diana. I didn’t think of that girl in Starbucks. They couldn’t bring me any comfort.
But neither could the girl I knew from college. Admittedly, I already asked out this girl. She declined and I know she would never want to go to dinner with me. Not to mention, she isn’t at all my type. She is incomparably beautiful, but her personality doesn’t match with mine. Maybe I thought of her because her appearance is more stirring than the emotion I feel for any other girls. Who knows?
Regardless, nothing fit quite right in my imagination. It wasn’t logical for her to be at dinner with me. Okay, ignore that. I’m not a fan of her personality. Okay, make a new one. But that’s not her. It wouldn’t feel real at all. Okay, then just get sexual. She wouldn’t want that either. Ignore that. Fine. I suppose there’s nothing quite like sex to take your mind off of the monsters that lurk in the dark.
Sadly, the thought of her couldn’t do anything for me and I couldn’t possibly depend on anyone other thought to pull me through. So I lay there, utterly still, sweating, and half-smothered by the blanket drawn over my face. Eventually the heat outweighed my fear, so I pushed the blanket back and fell asleep again.
What meaning can be taken from this? I don’t know. Usually I like scary dreams; dreams a lot scarier than a bunch of blocks in a sheet. Take what you will from this.