Here’s Appendix A from The Skeleton Key To All Worlds, my unreleased sequel to I Know Why The Aliens Don’t Land! I haven’t decided if I’ll ever release it. The important stuff is what became Urgency. Perhaps I’ll release chunks here and there on this site. Or maybe I’ll release it as an e-book. Eh. Maybe I’ll do nothing with it. Flip a coin. Are there three sides to a coin?
Anyway, I’m releasing this because it’s an expansive dream with lots of universal themes pertaining to spirituality and the nature (and dilemma) of human consciousness. Lovecraft would be proud.
I’ve referenced this on the show a number of times. The ending still feels powerful to me, personally. Me, the guy who woke up one day and knew exactly what he was–what all of humanity was. Me, the guy who thought he had to give up everything, including his girlfriend, to chew his way out of the cocoon and transcend. The man who did give it all up but stopped chewing. The man who had second thoughts about having to give everything up. This was the first in a line of reminders that I acted appropriately when I gave up my attachments. And every day is a reminder that in my half-assed attempt to move forward on my own terms, I have willingly, consciously failed.
Feast your eyes on one of the more spectacular visions to pop alive in my dreamworld.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t include a regular ol’ everyday dream in a book where I’m yelling, “Really! This is what’s real!” However, this ain’t yer mamma’s ordinary dream as you’ll see. Also, it’s not just a dream but a letter to the gal who appears at the end.
I apologize that I am reckless with the tenses in this recital, but such is the rawness of a dream and the laziness of this writer.
This morning I was having a long, involved, semi-sexual dream about various imaginary women who all represented my ex-girlfriend. It essentially was a breakup dream. When I walked out of it and closed the door I found myself in the hallway of an apartment building. The walls were painted glossy brown and the hand railing was a darker, un-glossed brown.
I walked down the stairs as a blonde couple in their late twenties, early thirties walked up. The staircase was narrow, typical of New York apartment buildings, and there was a brown-haired bearded fellow of the same age range sitting in our way. The couple and I struggled to get by. When we finally passed, I realized I was asleep and that this was a dream. At first I couldn’t wait to leave the building and see what I could do in this dream world, but then I thought, No. Let these people know you’re awake.
I’ve woken into dreams before. In those instances I’d let the dream characters know I was awake. They would inevitably pretend to not understand what I was talking about but I’d keep badgering them until they’d cave. Their attitude would change immediately from dumbfounded commoners into seething fury. It always goes this terrifying way. It feels as if these dream characters are just the façade for some demonic force, some human-hating guardians whose job it is to keep the dreamer from seeing what lies beyond the sleep state.
I gently grabbed the blonde man at the elbow and said, “I’m asleep.” He looked taken aback. I repeated myself—I’m asleep—and the bearded man stood up. Suddenly the two blondes and the brunette are friends with each other, sarcastic friends taunting me. They walk toward me backing me against a wall.
The color scheme remains the same but the scenery changes in that we’re now on the top floor of this apartment building. The hallway is no longer a narrow staircase but a large rectangular room, the center of which is a rectangular stairwell protected by those same brown wooden guardrails. This hole is the majority of the room. The long walls are lined with doors, presumably to apartments, and I cannot yet see what is at the end opposite me.
I feel intimidated by the trio crowding me, yet bold nonetheless. I refuse to let fear stop this again, as it has in the past. I ask them—but primarily the blonde man who seems to be the leader—if they are real people or characters in my head. Do they exist independently of me? This is a nagging question I’d never asked before. Usually I end up asking about alien abductions—like are they real and have they really happened to me. That’s when things turn especially sour as if I’m a petty human asking stupid questions that don’t involve me. They would sooner destroy me than answer the question. I asked a different one this time; for the first time, it didn’t dawn on me to ask about abductions.
When I ask them if they’re real they joke with each other, toying with the question. It’s the type of disdain I’m used to from pissed-off dream characters. But I persist, asking them for a genuine answer: “Just tell me yes or no. Are you real? Are you real?!”
I feel stronger, less and less scared. There are others, now, coming through the doors and down the long walkways toward us on either side of the open center stairwell. I desperately try to force a confession from the blonde man. “It’s simple,” I explain, “Are you real? Just say yes or say no.”
He ashamedly avoids my gaze. “No,” he mutters, his head bobbing around, his eyes looking for any object that isn’t me.
“What?” I say shocked. I was absolutely sure he would tell me they were beings alive unto themselves. “You mean you’re not real? You’re a part of me?”
He stopped fidgeting and looked me dead in the eye. “Yes. We are aspects of yourself.”
The encroaching mob is rowdy. Some of the men start swinging fists at each other. I can see that this trio is now allied with me. They are friends who will fight with me if I ask. I don’t want to fight; I want to question him more about the nature of consciousness. The problem is, there’s this old high school adversary aiming to pummel me. I knock him to the floor. Everyone is rioting. I think he’s knocked out but he wraps his legs around my left leg. I realize that no one dies in a dream. You think they’re down and out but they get back up like the living dead.
I look to the blonde guy who is also fending off brawlers. His facial expression tells me he’s sorry; he, too, wishes we could have talked more. I feel a tad perturbed by this but knowing that I’m dreaming, I’m aware that I can do anything I want.
My tad perturbed turns to blind rage. I pick up the high school bully and throw him down the stairwell, letting loose a primal scream as I act. I watch his limp body bounce off of handrails as he plummets into the abyss. He’s dead. I know it. Everyone there knows it. It’s that movie scene where everyone stops what they’re doing and stares at the madman.
The stunned people get out of my way as I pass, surveying the scene. I walk to the other end of the floor. On that other side there are round tables with gentlemen and flappers playing poker. It looks like a mixed up scene from the Old West.
Two women wearing short puffy black skirts bend over, revealing their black thong underwear to me. I think sardonically, Nice vaginal walls, and would have said this except I wasn’t sure if vaginal walls was a real term. I thought I might be confusing “vaginal walls” with a song Prince wrote called, “Sugar Walls.” I didn’t want to look stupid since all eyes were on me, so instead I barked out, “Nice Vaginas. Way to go. Why don’t you wear clothes?” I felt mean and dumb and offensive—the key ingredients of arrogance.
I scanned the gamblers who showed their cards absentmindedly. Then, at a table to my right, I found her. Hiding. “She” was a woman who also attacked me during the brawl. I mean it didn’t happen at the time of the fight but I now had snippets of memory of her trying to hurt me. I jogged over to her like a lunatic, lifted her above my head, ran back to the stairwell, and tossed her to her death, one floor below. To my dismay her spine cracked on the rail, then her carcass slunk to the floor. I wanted her to fall the other way, into the abyss. It was anticlimactic but oh well. At least she was dead.
A piece of me felt sick for fighting and killing but I suppressed it. Everyone went back about their business, gambling and what not. There was a disjointed moment when automobile traffic appeared and would stop to let me walk by, but that didn’t last.
Suddenly, an older military man, maybe in his late fifties, strutted in through the swinging saloon double doors to my right. I watched the stride of his long black boots. My vision swept up his black and blue uniform to his face like a movie entrance. Clearly he was a general in some type of army. His uniform looked like something out of the Civil War.
He started barking at the blonde guy about the piss-poor job he’d done as leader. Apparently the older general had left the blonde in charge while he was away. The blonde man argued that, no, in fact, people were happy gambling and fighting and being free. I barely paid attention to their quarrel. I was observing the card sharks and the whores.
I stopped ignoring the young blonde and the old general. I pieced together that if this is all me, and the general was in charge and he suppressed this, then I was suppressing it. I reflected on my fixation with these women wearing revealing thongs and how I ended that one woman with such vengeance. It made sense to kill the high school bully who refused to die just to attack me—but the woman? I had only flashbacks of her attacking me, flashbacks of an event that never took place. And I murdered her for it.
Christ, what was I?
I then had an abstract vision of my brain. The depths of my consciousness were bubbling up; subconscious merged with conscious. I saw that there need not be this divide between the unconscious and the conscious mind—they are one. We divide them ourselves and this is a monumental mistake.
The general and the blonde had drawn short swords and were going to duel for control. I now had a long sword in my hand, more like a fencing sword. I whipped it between them and forbade them to fight. I told the general that I liked this place much better since he left. I sided with the blonde’s handling of things.
The general didn’t care what I thought. I was nothing to him, a peon. He swatted my sword away and the fight was on. I could have stopped it, could have done anything I wanted. I chose to let the duel play out.
The blonde sliced his short sword all the way inside the general’s left cheek. It was a cartoonish, gruesome display. The general maneuvered out of the painful hold. I thought he was finished but he kept fighting. It was a short fight, though, and a surprising finish. The two leaders clashed swords and bumped chests dramatically. In one swift motion, the general drew a tiny dagger and thrust it into the back of the blonde.
He cheated! The general cheated!
The blonde dropped slowly to his knees and then dead to the floor. The general had won back control. I was finished here and so I walked away through a door opposite this bedlam. The door opened out into a desert town. I had a sense that it was Mexico. There were white villas and an old white church against a red sand backdrop. I walked up to a cove and snooped inside. I saw a dead man in a hammock. His body was wrapped in a white blanket but I could see his face: dirty, hardened, and unshaven. He had the look of an average man who had coped with the harshness of desert life.
The deceased’s family brought his cadaver outside to the open desert. We stood around it in mourning. Two men unwrapped the body but it was gone. This hollow husk of a torso covered by clothing spilled out onto the sand. Everyone gasped at the remains.
Two men arrived carrying a Tibetan monk who sat cross-legged on a cot-like platform. The monk was bald and dressed in flowing white garb and open-toed sandals. He wore a naïve smile that masked his spiritual greatness. I gained the impression that everyone here was Native American, Mexican, or Tibetan except for this white guy standing to my left and me.
The monk opened his robe and this long white snake slithered out. The snake had lengthy, pointy bristles jutting off the sides of its body. The snake slithered over the hollow torso. Like a magician, the monk produced a twin snake from his right sleeve. The two snakes writhed over the husk of what I thought was author Carlos Castaneda. Their quick movements had the effect of particlizing the remains. I could see the particles zipping around, bouncing off each other, humming with energy.
An old woman in the crowd told me it wasn’t Carlos but a Mexican friend of his who had ascended to a higher plain of existence. Given the image of the corpse transmuting into vibrant energy, the old woman’s words, and the spiritual cliché characters around me I realized all at once that this is what is happening to me in real life.
One after the other, the snakes slid off the body to the ground. They slithered between our feet. The other white guy was afraid they might bite us because we were barefooted. I told him, No, I don’t think they are here to hurt us and besides it’s just a movie anyway.
The snakes brushed up against my skin. They felt rough and real. I was alert but they slithered off into the red desert, no harm done.
The funeral ended. I walked toward a home out from which my ex-girlfriend was stepping. Physically, it wasn’t her, though; it was one of the girls from the first dream who had represented her. I kissed her hello and could not remember why we’d broken up. It slowly came back to me that the meaning of this entire display was the reason why. We parted ways again.
I was sad and scared when I bumped into you, L. You asked me what was wrong and I told you everything. I broke into tears. You hugged me close but loose.
I knew this was about my ascension, but I didn’t feel ready for it. What does that word “ascension” even mean anyway?
You held me in your arms and let me cry. I told you that this is what my life is. I was clutching a small box that had instructions on it. I was crying and talking and trying to read at the same time. The words were too blurry; I couldn’t make them out. We remained this way until I woke up.
Now that I am awake and reciting this, I wonder if I will ever dream the same old unconscious way again. Fortunately I don’t have to wait long to find out.
I feel different, L. Stronger. Sadder, though. I know this is attachment speaking but like all selfish newborns…
…I don’t want to go.