Walking down the hallway it seemed like all the doors opened into empty rooms. As I enter one empty room, I spot a full-length mirror on the wall. The mirror flashes back my image and I recognize my red skirt with the two black pleats on the sides. It advertises my slim hips as it molds itself to my body from waist to knee before flaring out at the pleats. It’s my favorite skirt. As I walk closer I slow to admire my tall slim image in the mirror. My dark hair falls to my shoulders and seems slightly unkempt, so I reach to smooth it with my right hand. To my horror, the hands on the image in the mirror remain at my sides.
I wake from this nightmare quaking with fear. I lay still trying to calm my thoughts with logic. Of course, it was only a dream. But did I have a split personality that had just exhibited itself to me in my dream state? Why didn’t the mirror reflect my actions as I stood in front of it? Was it really me at all? I force myself to think logically. It was just a dream.
To calm my emotions I begin my counting routine – one of many I have adopted over the years to cure insomniac tendencies. “Conjuring up dead people,” I call this one. Thinking of all the people I have known that are now dead. I attempt to concentrate hard enough to receive a message from one of them from the grave. I use my right hand to count each person I meditate about until I reached five. Then using my left hand, I start my count of groups of five, still using my right hand to count each new person. Usually I can count to about 55 before I fall back to sleep. Rarely, I find myself searching for additional dead people and can sometimes reach 70 before I totally run out of even casual acquaintances. “Nobody answers when I call your name.” The country western song comes to mind as I seek my dead people with no response.
Time just has to be lineal – an argument I often have with my husband, who thinks time is more liquid. As I ponder that concept, I’m distracted from my dead people, and fall into a deep sleep. I wake in the morning with the dream still clear in my mind. This is unusual; most of my dreams are fleeting, remembered for a few minutes when I first awaken, lost forever as soon as I’m distracted by anything at all.