CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Word Count: 1167
What did you dream last night?
Last night I dreamt the same kind of dream that I have dreamt for the past forty odd years, for over half of my life. Without a poetic sense of justice, all I get tormented with when I sleep is nightmares, and when I am too exhausted to sleep, they play themselves out in the dark corners of my mind, behind my open eyes as I tend to paperwork that needs to be done, case reports that need to be completed and filed away. I sleep as much as my body needs, and no more, because I do not like to waste time dreaming, or having nightmares or whatever anybody wants to fucking call them.
In my nightmares, when I re-enact the murders of my parents, of my wife, seeing it through their eyes, there is no hidden meaning there. I already know that I should have died on either of those occasions, that I should have, but didn’t, because I was elsewhere. I know who killed my mother and father, I k now who killed my wife, and all those people sit in jail. Therefore, it is not an overly complex reliving of the situation in the hidden hope of gaining some extra information about it that I may have missed in my waking moments. I also do not imagine myself in their place because I wish to have been in their place, as that is the impossible. I am obviously, here, living, after all, so it is not like I can realistically wish for something that is impossible to create into exact being.
No, my nightmares are simply that, dreams of a dark and insidious nature, a way to torment myself, not only in waking life, but in dreaming sleep. I have unconsciously stretched the meaning of a recurrent dream into decades of continued recreations of the very moments, the very situations that revolved around the death of the people that I loved, where all life and natural reasoning for them creased to be. I have been the murderer of my parents, of my wife, I have been my mother, my father, my wife, as they were killed, slain where they sat or slept. I have been me, too many times to count on a roomful of hands, repeatedly walking into the same already triggered trap, coming home to find them dead, to find her dead. Each time it is fresh, each time it is like I am living it for the first time, seeing them dead for the first time, when, really, it has been so long since all of these tragic events ever occurred.
A child sees a movie about a giant man eating spider and he may develop an irrational and lifelong fear about spiders. He may even, in his childhood, right throughout to his adult years, have dreams concerning spiders, that trouble and terrify him. Apart from that delusion away from normality, this child could very well be, otherwise, a reasonable, sensible and average human being, or so the story goes. What happens then, if the terror is real and tangible, what happens if it is not a simple witnessing of fictional events that sets off the nightmares, but a solid, real experience that can never be erased or explained away with special effects? Is the fear and nightmares of the child afraid of spiders any more poignant, important or vivid than the man who witnesses his loved ones slain and lying there, night after night, year after year, decade after decade?
The situation of the orphaned child draws more sympathy than the child afraid of spiders, yes, as does the condition of being a widower when compared to a man who is simply afraid of arachnids. Together, there should be more reasons for the orphaned child, the widowed man, for myself, to have nightmares. I should be trying to uncover some deep and complex personal wish, however, I can assure you, there is none. If anything, my aunt raised me to be realistic, and because of this, I never held any imagining that my parents would pop back up into living circumstances. I have never held any deeply soul infesting desire to be murdered, and I do not desire to have been in the place of the murdered people that I love, because I wasn’t. Because I was not killed, I can only strongly imagine and draw conclusions from the fact that I should have been there, I should have been killed on those occasions, if not one, then the other, but knowledge is different from desire, it always is.
I never had parents beyond the age of eight, and except for that brief moment of love and marriage, I have never had romance with another human being. I have no unresolved issues, because I knew the people who left my orphaned, who left me widowed, yes, I knew them very well, both as friends and family, mother, father, lover. I can question all the facts and rivulets of their murders, all I want, but I have what I know, and what I know is sufficient that I shouldn’t be dreaming the way I do. I know there was no avoiding their deaths once the people who decided to get them had entered the house, had cornered them and trapped them where they rested. I know that they fought back, and I know that they were harshly punished for this grievance, because they were killed, of course. I know all the case details, the reports, the photographs, the evidence, the conclusions of the cases of circumstance that changed my life forever.
I have every knowledge of the acts that the murderers committed when they took my parents and my wife away from me. I know everything there is about what happened, what was done about it, and what happened after the fact. Yet while I know all this, while I know all the answers and the inevitabilities of the situations once they came into play, I still dream the awful nightmares that haunt most, if not all, of my sleeping moments. As long as I live, my nightmares will surpass all common reason, for the imprint made on my mind, no matter what I do, is too strong, too permanent to be scrubbed away with the fleeting passing of years.
Do I wish I could have saved them? Yes, I would have liked to save them, but it is not a wish, not a desire, it is just a thought, because the turning back of time, the setting of the wrong wrought against the various facets and aspects of humanity, that isn’t possible. I should have died with my people, my mother and father, or my wife, but I didn’t, no I did not, and so here I am. Here I am, eternally sentenced to dream what I dream, relive the nightmares that I go through every single night, for the rest of my life, as long as I live.