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We All Swallow Spiders in our Sleep
We All Swallow Spiders in our Sleep
I walked into the room scared and lonely. I stepped up onto the platform and stared out into the audience. The waves of colorful people surrounded me. Almost engulfing me, taking me over, paralyzing me. I had this dream over and over again. Who was I again? I don't know. All I saw was a dark image. A silhouette. A figment of my imagination. I was trapped inside myself, but was it me?
“Amelia, wake up now.”
I heard my father speak to me but I wasn't going to pay attention. I knew I was dreaming and I had been able to stay just above unconscious and understand my dreams. He called my name louder and finally everything in my mind went blank. All I could hear was my fist knocking against the wall. I woke up against the wall exactly how I had planned. I read somewhere that you can have lucid dreams by knocking your fist against the wall and falling asleep that way. Apparently it was true. I yawned and got up. That's when father walked in and gave me a warm embrace.
“Good Morning,Amelia. How are you?” he asked gingerly.
I nodded and gave him a thumbs up. He sighed and rolled his eyes as he stepped away.
“Are you still going on with the no speaking thing. Don't you remember what the doctor told you. You should be able to speak. They did x-rays, your voice is fine. I don't know why you're so scared.”
He walked out of the room as I plopped onto my bed and stared up at the ceiling. Was my mind tricking me into believing I couldn't speak? I got up and walked to the bathroom where I stared into the mirror. I undid my braided hair and let it fall down my back into a long curly wave of black. I got as close to the mirror as possible and widened my eyes and furrowed my brows. I then opened my mouth and tried to say hello. Nothing.
I sighed and just washed my face and brushed my teeth. My eyes overwhelmed with tears of frustration. Was my dream just a reflection of my scared mind afraid to speak. To tell my father the truth? He wouldn't believe me. He didn't believe me now. When I cried silently to the hospital after I had sent him a note explaining my voiceless self. I lost my voice from talking too much and it will never come back. A lame excuse yet during that time it sufficed for the first three minutes of our hospital visit. The doctor clearly knew how to do his job since he eliminated any possibility of me not being able to speak again. He frowned at me and mumbled medical jargon to the nurse. I just laid there helpless. I knew exactly what happened to me.
I swallowed a spider in my sleep. I was conscious when it happened. In the middle of my lucid dream. I should have practiced keeping my mouth shut but no of course I chose to knock on a wall and lay against it dreaming. My eyes weren't open but I felt it crawl down my throat and pierce me. I knew it happened because I snapped out of my dream instantly, breathing quickly . I cried and cried over and over as I tried to throw it up. How did this mind game start? I read somewhere or my aunt told me that we all swallowed spiders in our sleep. That they come from their web and down into our throats to their doom. We don't feel it because they drop precisely into our throat and we gulp. I didn't believe it at first. I thought she was lying or trying to scare me. She knew my fear of spiders, she knew it. Yet she decided to tell me this horrendous story.
In a way swallowing spiders could be just a metaphor for something more. Just like my dreams. It's a way our brains frighten us. Make us hate the world outside and want to either live in our dreams or stay awake to avoid them. Dreams have made me want to hide inside them. Even if they frighten me. I don't want to wake up and realize that all I have dreamed was a figment of my imagination. That all that I have worked for was in my head. That's why I know I swallowed that spider. That it is still in me. We all swallow spiders in our sleep. We're all afraid.