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My subconscious calls
Slowly regaining consciousness, I am aware of a pressure upon my abdomen. Shaking off the last effects of sleep, I notice the body heat of a figure lying next to me: his hot breath on the base of my neck and his hairy arms itching the sensitive part of my bare stomach. Holding my breath, I peak through my eyelids and choke on a scream. Terror gnaws at my insides and tears of shame slide down my cheeks. Cautiously, I try to break free from the man’s embrace without waking him.
Slipping from the stained sheets, I crawl towards the door. The floorboards creak under my weight and the door resists my feeble attempts. Finally it gives way and a gush of wind meets me. To my horror I realize that my body is exposed and my face heats up. Shutting the door behind me, I run into a snow filled blizzard hoping to find shelter in the surrounding forest.
As I blunder onwards, my feet feel as if they have been scorched by the snow. Each time the wind sweeps through me it freezes each cell in my body. Losing my footing, I stumble into the base of a tree. Curling into a ball, I stare at the falling snowflakes in a daze.
Unexpectedly, a sensation of comfort submerges my frame and I turn to see an angel covering my nakedness with a cloak. It holds out a hand to me in a beckoning gesture. Its form is transparent and, even in my condition, I notice that its hand feels papery. My angel leads me through the forest towards a fork in the pathway. Shivering, I try to back away. Both paths look dark and menacing. I don’t want to decide! A gentle nudge pushes me forward. Warily, I walk down the left in fear of the unknown.
Worn out and drained, I push on. Time passes unnoticed and the path never changes. Eventually, an odd sound breaks through my drowsiness. Is that running water? Tearing through the forest, I run towards the noise and stare open-mouthed at the waterfall before me. Smiling with relief I jump into its pool, relishing the moment. A brief thought passes through my mind. How can there be a running waterfall in the middle of this snow covered forest? I dismiss this thought as quickly as it popped into my head.
I balance on the algae covered rocks and close my eyes as the water crashes onto my back. I open my mouth and the water tastes sweet and fresh. Suddenly, I have a sensation of scaly flesh rubbing against my thigh and catch sight of a mermaid. Rubbing my eyes in disbelief I look again. A mermaid is before me with the face and upper body of my sister and the tail scales of a sea creature. Taking me by the hand she sinks into the water of the waterfall’s pool. I follow her in awe until I am neck deep. Unable to break free from her gaze I allow her to guide me into the eerie depths below.
A scream tears from my throat. Sweat-soaked and tangled in my own bed sheets, I breathe heavily. Peeking through my window I notice that it is early morning. My new roommate stirs but does not wake. Clumsily and awkward, I hurry to get dressed. Sneaking out of the infamous Escort Agency, or as everyone else calls it: Madam Leila’s House of Leisure, I make my way to the local library.
I browse through the seemingly endless and dust covered shelves until I find what I’m looking for: Realities of the Dreaming Mind by William Mathews. I read aloud in attempt to convince myself that this is reality.
“Your subconscious mind stores all of your previous life experiences, your memories and skills. It is responsible for the automatically triggered feelings and emotions. Dream symbols are the images we see in our sleep. They represent part of our lives. Each symbol has its own meaning.”
My hands shake as I flip through the book’s pages.
“Angel: desire for guidance. Cloak: spiritual protection. Drowning: being overwhelmed by emotion. Forest: mental state of being lost or confused. Intruder: feeling something unpleasant. Dead people or person: you are dealing with the grief of the death of a loved one or of your own death in the future. These people or person could be the only one able to aid you.”
I struggle to process all the information. Fear envelops me once again. It has been my frequent companion since my sister, Anna, was killed by an intoxicated customer. She was the strong one. She was the one who always had a plan. Rereading the dream meaning again my breathing picks up. How can it be so accurate? All my fears affirmed on one page: my terror of being alone, my disgust of being in another’s arms every night and my excruciating anguish over Anna’s demise. But I don’t understand? How is she supposed to help me get out of this h*ll hole of a life if she’s not here?
I sink down and collapse onto the carpeted floor. Clutching the book to my chest I let the tears come: tears of sorrow, self hatred, fear and self-pity. Does it make me stronger to admit these vulnerabilities to myself or does it just prove how pathetic and useless I really am?
My subconscious is my only salvation.