I once woke from a dream laughing, having dreamed that I was on stage performing as a stand-up comic. In that dream I created a really funny joke which I won’t share here. I was laughing so much that I woke my darling Jo and she insisted I share. We laughed together in the darkness. This morning when I awoke, it was comfort that she gave me and salty tears that she wiped from my cheeks.
I thought I had left my dark friend behind when I came home from hospital some weeks ago. I sensed he may have followed me, but it seems he has become a somewhat more malevolent force in his period of absence. My shadow man had all but disappeared or so I thought. I had built a fortress of joy that seemed impenetrable, but in the quiet of the nights that have passed, he slipped over the parapet and hid among the folds of my thoughts, quietly reading me deepest fears and waiting.
I awoke at 5.35 am precisely. My witching hour it would appear. My shadow man my Mr. Squiggles, had helped me to write my own requiem. He took advantage of my words and used his inky blackness to rent me asunder while I slept. It was such a thing of beauty my requiem. Its beauty lay in the horror of the pain if caused as he drew from the memories he had read while he hid beneath those thought folds. In my dream, I recited my own eulogy. It was not a speech of praise as a eulogy should be. It was delivered to an unseen audience, a rather reluctant litany of the inconsequential things I do and for which I shall perhaps be most missed.
He is a conundrum to me, my Mr. Squiggles. He is my portentous demon without effect, as I have yet to see the reason for his presence in my life. When I awoke, the room was dark with just a hint of light about the edges of the window. He did not scurry as before. He was neither on my window ledge watching me, nor in the corner of my eye disappearing out of sight. He bled from my eyes. My inner horror man, a bloody ink that filled the void before me and vanished before my eyes.
It has been impossible to shift him from my mind since and so I sat at my laptop to write. The cursor blinked for a few seconds and I hesitated. I could not write until I exorcised him and so I began this blog. I know little of my dark friend, if friend be the word for I doubt he means me good. But he has been there I know, lurking for such a long time, always a shadow on my life, a blight on my joy. He has of necessity been hidden from the world, for no one wants to meet him, my dark shadow man. I would feel ashamed to introduce him, to let you greet him in the street under the bright light of my countenance. What a fraud I am.
He made me speak so eloquently in my dream. I spoke of loss and what of me would be left behind to mourn and remember. What of me? What part of me? I would be surely missed in the smallest of things. Missed in the growing morning light as crumpled bed clothes trick the eye, missed in the absent twinkle, reborn as those that love me, remember the reason for that twinkle, missed in the scent I once wore, or the simplest of memories of bunny hair in the morning and my most foolish little foibles. Missed most perhaps in the sound of my voice, for it fills the empty space that I know will feel emptier when I am gone.
Such a twisted, dark creature is my Mr. Squiggles that he would write not my death throes but rather my wake and that he would show me the effect on those that matter most to me. He took away the light today and I cannot let him win. His exorcism is incomplete, my soul remains recoiled, more twisted than broken.
I look now to polish up my edit on my latest work, to push him down with distraction and to keep him away from decent folk, for decent folk don’t want to see him. He will crawl through my fingers to the page no doubt and I will free myself from his yoke if only for a while. My witching hour now past, the sun is climbing behind my shoulder as I write and Mr. Squiggles has retreated once again to the doublings of my mind…
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