In which our hero wakes up in the face of a dread that is beyond the scope of his comprehension.
Most mornings, in the exploding of the alarm clock, he is thrown out of himself for a few moments. His body, filled with a numb, dull soreness, is like a separate entity. At these moments his body is deaf to words. It stares at him blankly from a distance, like a cow chewing cud, not seeming to notice his presence as any more significant than anything else in its immediate surroundings.
His mind, on the other hand, feels lost.
Like a ghost that suddenly solidified while passing through walls, it is caught between a shapeless dream and the shrill of the alarm clock. It is completely unable to process data in any significant way given that its sense of reality and time are split between two half made worlds.
Take, for example, the alarm clock. He can clearly hear it with his ears, the sharp, repetitive beeping that drones into the early morning stillness of his little room, but, for these few moments anyway, he can’t really make anything of the noise. He can’t be angry or annoyed at it, exactly, because he doesn’t have the tools judge the alarm clock in that way. There is, within him, a dull frustration, but this feels situated somewhere outside of his brain. The feeling is more physical, like a painful throbbing that he can’t place within himself.
These moments are, in the ordinary day-to-day, the most upsetting parts of his life. He can never understand exactly why his memories of them are so colored with a dramatic sense of dread and anguish. He chalks it up, with his brain’s best after-the-fact judgment, to a kind of ordinary depression at having to face the day.
This, as is the case with so many things he believes about himself, is wrong. In these moments, without control over his body and without the use of his mind, time is collapsed. Not only does he not have enough access to his memory to understand what a regular ‘day’ consists of, the commutes to and from places, the stressful boredom of work, the maintenance of daily routines, the politicking and endless negotiations between friends and colleagues and superiors, but he doesn’t have enough access to his feelings to process that sense of repetitive normality as dread.
Wherever this dread comes from it seeps into his morning. Into the shower and into breakfast. Into the making of his bed and the putting on of his clothes.
This strange inexplicable dread that, even once buried in the events of the day, never seems to go away.
Image Source: Public Domain Review