Monday, November 30, 2009

The Third Floor



I dreamed about the house again. Especially, the third floor. Why is it always the third floor? The first floor has the door, that much is obvious. But it also is the beginning. The shake of inside versus outside. And the inside is wrong. And then there are stairs. So curious a thing. You might hesitate at the top of stairs before running down. If you need to run down. Stairs are so close to falling. Controlled falling, actually. One little freefall, and you catch yourself. Two little freefalls, and you catch yourself. What if you don't catch yourself? Because on the second floor there is fear. Thicker than the first floor. I feel it in the walls. Like something is sliding through the lumber. It might pour from the ceiling to block the door behind me. It might wet my terrors underfoot. It might bleed into the frame of any window I choose to see. But most of all, I feel the almost. The evil not yet here, but close. The watching. Just a few short steps from now. Like my razor's edge of control is a mercy it can rip away. And because it doesn't rip it away, it laughs. But on the third floor, it's different. So very different. The third floor is inside the inside. So not the door. The outside world no longer coherent, far from the maze to the meat grinder door where reality is bloodied and pulped. My heart is beating on the third floor. Hard. The almost is so close. No farther than a neck kiss when you already feel the breath. The walls breathe with something not insane. Something trapped and tired and stewed to tranquil hate. But only while it sleeps. And it doesn't want to sleep anymore. Two sets of stairs from the third floor are no escape. A cliff is no escape. It's just a trade of deaths, one for another. A slivery hot death smashing into ground. A howling, scrambling death when your mind can no longer stay. But I hold it together on the third floor. I endure. The gnawing terror stops just before bone. I walk and endure, and curiously often, I go back.

14 comments:

Tabitha Bird said...

Wow Jason. I don't even know what I was scared of but my heart was pounding the entire post!

Your writing...wow!

Karen said...

This is a dream you don't want to recur! It reminds me of The Shining, on of the scariest books I ever read.

The details you use are terrifying. That's a good word for this whole piece: terrifying.

Bernita said...

"The walls breathe with something not insane. Something trapped and tired and stewed to tranquil hate."
That's wonderful writing.
Oddly, I have a couple of second-floor interiors I re-visit in dreams - but the experience devolves more into frustration than fear.

Meghan said...

Fantastic writing as usual. Very powerful and intense!

Nevine said...

I find your fascination with the third floor very interesting. I'm not sure if I understood this correctly, but it seems like you dreamed a bit and then streamed a bit. If that's what you've done, this is an exercise I'm all too familiar with, but it's an interesting exercise because it allows our minds to wander both consciously and subconsciously.

Your description in certain parts is mind-bending. This, in particular, stands out: "The third floor is inside the inside. So not the door." Dreams and thoughts of doors and stairs are frightening and confusing, but I have those dreams and thoughts often, and although I'm afraid, I like to go back, every time. Thank you for sharing this. In many ways, I now feel like I'm not the only one who travels the floors and stairwells of the imagination.

Nevine

staceyjwarner said...

I like Nevine's comment that you dreamed a bit and then streamed a bit...

it was a grand piece of writing, emotional...it breathed and heaved...

much love

Four Dinners said...

Anyone on the fourth floor is in serious shit!!!!....;-)

That made the old goose pimples rise. Nice one old bean!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Jason - The scariest line and most real for me..."The evil not yet here, but close." (shudder)

Something needs to be resolved. Do you know what it is???

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

I was about to post this week about a recurring dream about a fabulous house, but I guess I can't do it now. Ack! Oh, well...

Yours is much scarier.

Chronicwriter said...

brilliant

www.chronicwriter.com

jason evans said...

Tabitha, not sure why mine was beating either. So that makes two of us!

Karen, I love The Shining! You know, in a way, these dreams are a little like that. More understated. More hidden.

Bernita, I'd love to read about your forays onto the second floor!

Meghan, much appreciated. :)

Nevine, dreamed a bit and streamed at bit.... That's exactly right! I let my thoughts wander as I reflected on the dream. And yes, it's nice to know that others are wandering the corridors too. As for the stairs, I'll try to keep those to a minimum. ;)

Stacey, I appreciate that. It sounds like thoughts took on their own life.

Four Dinners, I love that! You are so right. The folks on the fourth floor are so screwed.

Kaye, Aine tells me that houses in dreams are supposed to symbolize ourselves. A haunted house is a haunted person. We don't put much weight on such interpretations, but I'll give it some thought. I have my share of ghosts.

Sandra, no, you should write it! I want to hear about the fabulous house!!

jason evans said...

Chronicwriter, thank you!

Shadow said...

the human psyche... we may have fear, but curiosity....

SzélsőFa said...

what an interesting capture of the thoughts and basic fears of someone half-asleep...