I try to write down sleep paralysis. It’s like the sounds of wind tunnel panic in black and white. Repetitive. Slow. Terrifying. I try to hurt myself to escape the dream, and wake up in reality. I only want to see color again. Color has never seemed so important. I wouldn’t miss it more if I were blind. I’ve woken up again and again, in this dream inside a dream inside a dream inside a goddamn please let me wake up. I just want to move. I try to speak or scream or curse or cry. I try to make myself bleed, but I can’t even move my fingers. The wind is still windless but the sound is deafening. Each awakening brings hope of escape until I notice the jet plane drowning sounds again, and the lack of color. I’m still not there yet. I will never make it to morning. I have long conversations with God, I ask him to let me die or to save me. God can’t be in this place, but my prayers are longer than anything I ever prayed as a child. No one is listening to the words that my mouth can’t form. This is only prayer because it can’t be anything else.
And when I wake up I know it immediately, I can hear the traffic outside my bedroom and even in the dark I know there is color around. I wondered before but now I know. I am awake. I’m afraid to move, just in case it turns out to be impossible. Shift slowly, one finger, two fingers, turn over. Life. The numbers glowing green on my clock say I fell asleep twelve minutes ago. I hope to never relive those twelve minutes, but in four weeks time I will panic again, and it will feel like a colorless eternity where God doesn’t exist. It has never lasted longer than fifteen minutes.
Every four weeks for two years, and then I found the words 'sleep paralysis', accidentally, idly, and that was enough to make it stop forever.
I live in my dreams. I’ve said more than once that the only reason I am ever awake is to collect characters for dreams. It feels true. It sounds suicidal. I choose my audience for that statement. The ones who are main characters tend to understand, or at least the sympathy isn’t condescending. The last thing I want is pity.
Because it isn’t for the escapism - life isn’t easier in dreams. I cry more. I bleed more. I’ve died. Sometimes you love me back and sometimes you don’t. Asleep you’ve broken my heart more times than I can count, but I always go back to bed. Because sometimes I fly and sometimes you love me.
For a month the thought of you kept me awake, and I thought “you’ve stolen my identity, dreaming is all that I am.” It would take me hours to fall asleep, where it only took me minutes before, and when I was asleep I would dream about you. And sometimes that felt like a nightmare and I would wake up, and lose sleep over the thought that you weren’t ever losing sleep over me.
I had a dream that Jesus Christ returned to earth, and when I saw him he was fifteen with curly hair and talking to an older man. The man must have been a doctor. He said that Jesus had hired him to erase his memory, because as the son of God there was far too many expectations and he couldn’t handle it. Jesus took all of this in very solemnly as the doctor spoke, and replied that he still couldn’t handle it and wished that the doctor would help him commit suicide.
I don’t know what happens to humanity when Jesus commits suicide.
I don’t want to be awake if Jesus is dead, and you still don’t love me.