I feel like I’ve been running, fear fires through my nerves like lightning. My eyes are open. Heart racing. My brain is trying to place this fear; this room. I am sitting, I can feel the softness of suede beneath my left arm, my neck cries out in pain from the odd angle it has been kept at for so long, my hand is gripping the edge of the armrest, the cushions beneath me contour the shape of my body. What is wrong? I cannot put my finger on this feeling. Ahh, pain in my left shoulder as I lift my head. Why is my nervous system in overdrive? I hold myself down to the couch, my legs want to run, react, alleviate the energy coursing through me. I squint my eyes as they adjust to the light, there are candles casting a haunting glow across the polished hardwood floor. I feel like a weight is sitting on my chest, my lungs working overtime. My brain is numb, confusion overwhelms me.
I see a warm reflection of light ahead of me on the wall, I can just make out the outline of a square framed painting. My eyes are still adjusting, my heart still races and my mind struggles to keep up. Who? What? Where? My brain questions over and over, milliseconds really, only add to the lightning that threatens to hurl me forward, to find a door, any door, to escape.
I glance around the room, searching out against the fog and fear that grips me. To my left a doorway, no door, its dark, maybe a cabinet, counter, an oven? An oven! The kitchen, it’s the kitchen. I am on the couch in my livingroom. I turn my head right, I follow the couch as it extends the length of the room, my knee screams in pain as I lower it from the coffee table. My heart is slowing, I can take a deeper breath. A book lies haphazardly tossed amid a pile of magazines on the floor next to the fireplace; the white mantle stands out against the linen colored walls as it definitively frames the cream colored marble. On top sits a mish mash of collectibles, a crystal angel reflects eerie light from the burning candle nearby. A shiver runs the length of my spine. A framed Group of Seven print rests nestled between two scalloped sconces on the wall above the fireplace that are casting long shadows up the wall. My mind is still a slight fog, reality now creeping into each synapse adding to the confusion. Where is this fear? Why do I still feel a need to run? Why is my stomach a twisted jumble of worms? It is my fireplace, my livingroom. Is it? This is real, my brain argues with my nerves. There is soft music drifting from the large dark wooden speakers that I use as shelving for a multicoloured tiffany lamp and cream colored vase filled with peach and white artificial flowers. It is soft, spa like, calming, yet still my mind screams in opposition, wanting to remain on guard, forcing my nerves into action. Butterflies dance through my chest, my arms, my legs. The screen of the TV that sits between the speakers is black, I can see a hint of my reflection in the glass doors of the entertainment cabinet and as I move it startles me. My heart immediately jumps, my breath catches in my throat. Just me! Its me. Breathe, breathe.
I really need to get a grip here. I am in my livingroom, I am. My brain still tries to fight the logic, to hold onto the fear that so overwhelmed me. Why? A dream? Had to be a dream. I still feel queasy, my stomach a ball of worms turning over and over. My muscles are stiff, adrenalin draining and allowing me to relax…more pain. The ebb of reality now taking control, my eyes are rapidly adjusting to the low light. I see the rocking chair, my sweater tossed carelessly across the seat. I am home. I am waking up. I was asleep and it was a bad dream, had to be. Logic is now winning. I get up to turn on a lamp, assist myself back to reality. Somehow there is a fear that needs me to turn on a light, this one I will obey.