An afternoon nap is a luxury for the truly chosen. That post lunch snooze not crouched on an office chair or heads down on a desk, but on a couch at home. Where comfort rebels with the norms of a sunny afternoon, as if teasing the day by stealing a moment of life from right under its nose. All the while knowing that eventually the day will accept its defeat for today, and walk towards tonight.
An age-old blanket is the companion to hide within and the curtains are drawn so that the sun is mellow when sleep drops in to say hello. Everything is set, everything is comfortable, sleep comes naturally but with it comes a dream that’s hasn’t been accounted for.
It isn’t a scary dream just a helpless one, where closed eyes are staring at the eyelids. In the darkness of shut eyes, a frame forms within which some select snippets play. But you are not in these snippets. You are just your eyes in this dream, bodily sleeping and visually watching. It’s like the dream assigned you the role of a viewer to something incomprehensible and senseless, but then that’s a liberty a dream can take. It could be absolutely ridiculous yet seem ‘more real than real’ in the moment…in a dream.
And so the eyes watch as the people from your daily life and those from your imaginations enter your REM cycle in situations that can be only tagged as ambiguous. One-time colleagues, friends and family, that beggar on the street, a celebrity you love, a celebrity to hate. All are there but none make sense. But dream keeps going on, conversations become arguments, arguments become fights, fights become murders and soon it is mayhem & macabre for the only person watching…You!
Imagine watching a thrilling serial-killer movie in a theatre, but you are all alone and every character from the movie is someone you know. The darkness of cinema hall, the loneliness of the audience and the worst of imagination all come together to custom create something truly disturbing. Which means only one thing, it’s time to wake up!
But you can’t! You can’t move, you can’t scream, you can’t even close your eyes because they are already shut. You struggle and squirm, trying to shout out something, so that someone wakes you up. But your voice seems to have lost its power.
And then suddenly as testament of your will power you wake-up, your eyes open to a reality check. The sun is still mellow and in front of your eyes is a hue of yellow from the orange blanket that covers your face and body. Yellow never looked so calming, yellow never looked so real.
Now that you’re awake, you don’t really get up. You just lie in the same position thinking of the dream you just had. Thinking how unreal it was yet how real it felt. You stretch your body so that the shivers of the dream fade away in the crackling of bones. Your feet pop out of the blanket as a snake’s tongue gauging the temperature around. After all the golden rule of every nap, the transition from subconscious sleep to conscious awakening has to be smooth.
And that’s when you feel it. A pair of hands gently cupping the base of your feet, slightly massaging your soles as if reaffirming that everything is fine. The touch of these hands seem to be that of an elder or a sympathizer who wants you to know that the dream is now over and you are in safe confines of closed ones. The first few seconds are divine as the hands stroke your soles with calmness and a hint of affection that signifies the warmth of someone who cares.
But then comes the realization, that this is an afternoon nap. A luxury for the truly chosen, not because you are privileged but because you are home alone and no one is there to disturb your nap. Then whose hands are these? Is the dream still on? Are you still napping?
In your blanket your eyes are now wide-open and as this realization processes into fear, you also realize that the hands have stopped. On instinct you fling the blanket across the room and sit up. The room has only one person, You.
Your nap is over. Will you ever sleep again is the question that lingers.
Image Courtesy: http://www.lastwordonnothing.com/2011/09/29/the-middles-of-nowhere/ http://www.frankzamazing.info/2013/09/old-hag-syndrome-sleep-paralysis.html