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.