Nested Dreams

I’ve been dreaming a lot about an open door lately. As far as I can remember, it started a few months ago. The dream is simple and yet it feels like a nightmare. In the dream, I would wake, walk towards the living room, and find the door to the hallway open. There is nothing special on the other side of the door. All I can see is the hallway, the same view I see when I’m “not dreaming”. I live in a condominium unit on the 45th floor. Anyone can understand why an opened door can be alarming but compared to all my other dreams, this particular dream about an open door is the dullest and it occurred several times before. And yet it still terrifies me every single time it happens.

Last May 22, 2017 at around 4 AM in the morning, I “woke up”. I say I “woke up” because I’m not really sure anymore if I’m still dreaming. The seemingly endless set of dreams occurred to me again. This time, not a friend knocking on my door, but the same damn open door. As if it was not enough to have one set of this dream occur to me several times on different nights.

In the first set of the dream, I woke up in my bed and as I was about to walk outside the bedroom, I found the front door open. Strangers came in to attack. Surprised, I looked around me and there were a few people around me who I believe are my allies. I heard gunshots as I ran towards the balcony. The two groups were fighting each other. The first group was trying to attack me while the other group was trying to protect me. One of the attackers went as far as the door towards the balcony while one character was trying to shield me. The character, I believe, is a man and I do not know what he looks like. Cornered, I jumped off the balcony and tried to hold on to the rails at the bottom so the attacker would not see or harm me. The character who was protecting me shot the attacker while I look down, still holding on to the rails, seeing how far I would fall if I let go. The dream ends there and then I woke up.

In the second set of the dream, the first set was nothing but a dream. More realistic, I woke up alone in my dark room and noticed the shadow of an intruder. Again, the door was open. I recognized the intruder. She was a short lesbian with short hair and in an orange uniform. I went to the fast food chain to confront the manager about her crew. Surreal, she said, “She’s from the province. It’s her first time in the city and she thinks people living in condominiums are rich so she decided to rob them.” I do not recognize these people in real life. The dream ends and then I woke up.

In the third set of the dream, the second set was nothing but a dream. Even more realistic, I woke up alone in my dark room and the door was open. Still hung up on my second dream, I panicked and ran into the hallway. I screamed and went back to my unit. I looked around to see if anything was missing. Nothing was missing. The room felt bigger instead. Confused, I tried to wake myself up and confirm that I’m only dreaming. I sat down on the floor hugging my legs with my head buried between my knees and clenched my fists as hard as I can. The dream ends and then I woke up.

If I’m awake now, I can never tell.

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Nested Dreams

Trapped in a fish bowl

I looked outside from the office where I spend most of the week from the afternoon until dawn the next day. This view has always amazed me. It’s a lot different from the linear picture I see from the balcony of my bedroom. The view from my bedroom is like a painting – static and surreal. This particular view, however, appears more like a fish eye view in a subtle way. A reality that is skewed just a little bit. I began imagining grid lines all over the image. Pixels. Maybe I will daydream again that none of this is real. Maybe I’m still hoping that I will witness the glitch and break free, out of this prison called reality.

I can never describe or measure just how heavy my chest has to carry. Not a day goes by that I did not tell myself that my mind is about to explode. In every waking moment of my life, I tried. I tried to meditate, relax, pamper, cook, read, and write. I have done everything I can to lift the weight off me. But my mind is never unoccupied and if there was ever a day that I was awake and peaceful, surely a nightmare will come to me in my sleep.

Bad dreams, worst, confusing dreams within dreams within dreams. I remember falling asleep on my bed one afternoon. I heard someone knocking and I stood up to get the door. I opened the door and saw an old friend who, disturbed and extremely sad, visited me last year. When I opened the door, he did not come in. Instead, he turned his head and laid his eyes on the hallway to his left (my right). He stayed silent and I could not help but notice the tenants right across my unit. The door was open and a couple was making out on the bed.

I woke up from that dream and again, I heard a knocking. I stood up and went for the door except this time, I looked through the peep hole. I saw my friend waiting outside. I cannot remember anything else accurately but I do remember having three dreams looped into one. I woke up in every “internal” dream thinking I was finally awake. That everything I saw was not real but everything I’m seeing now is, only to find myself waking up again and realizing how my mind played a fool out of me.

I remember the final one, though. This time I woke up and the room was very dark. I reached for the switch to turn on the lights but the light bulbs sparked a reddish orange for a few seconds and died. After that, I woke up on my bed, the same afternoon I slept. My mind was awake but I was unable to move. Again, it feels like my mind is sucking me up into another loop of dreams and I tried my hardest to fight it. I struggled getting up because no matter how hard I try to wake up, to get up, my body wasn’t moving. And then I woke up, afraid to fall asleep again.

These dreams remind me of my lost consciousness. The burden of thinking that every day is just another dream and the depression that comes from struggling to wake up and see what reality really looks like and not standing a chance against the system.

Trapped in a fish bowl