Over half a year had gone by as I had struggled to capture these memories and put them in context. Somehow I had managed to keep myself together as I gathered those puzzle pieces that never tired of rising from the dark depths of my unconscious. To ensure they were not forgotten again, I had trapped them like insects in amber through writing, my artwork and my micro-cassette recorder, which never left my side at night. As intriguing as the past life memories might be, as painful as the memories of Jimmy’s father certainly was, these things were in the past. They were monsters inside of me, as I saw it, but these creatures were a real and present danger. I needed to remember all I could.
Unfortunately, my conscious mind was not strong enough to deal with this alone, as I had satisfied myself that I had done all I could, so in order to achieve a bigger picture of what was going on in my life with respect to these creatures I became convinced that it would only come through the medium of guided hypnotic regression. This presented a problem, as not only did I not yet drive but, as I discovered upon calling some hypnotists on the phone, parental consent was required given that I was still sixteen. My strategy then became to tell both the hypnotist and my parents that I wanted to undergo past life regression as I was interested in reincarnation and wanted to see if there was anything to it. That made it sound more like playful exploration and less like a desperate attempt to solve some deep, plaguing personal mystery before I lost whatever thin threads of sanity I had somehow managed to salvage and now swung by in this ghastly void like a circus act for my inner demons. The only issue was that I would be unable to say anything to the hypnotist until we were alone in the room, and she may not deal with this specific subject matter or be willing to explore it without a permission slip. It was a risk that I was willing to take.
On the evening of April 27th, 1995, I crawled in my parents black van and they drove me to the house of Libby Rupert, who ran her hypnosis business out of her basement. She greeted us at the door and we followed her downstairs, into a carpeted, fully-furnished, professional-looking set-up in the basement. After inviting us to sit on the array of sofa chairs and couches, she sat herself down in front of all of us, against the far wall.
Before we got down to it, she told us, she wanted to tell us a bit about how hypnosis actually works.
When people think of hypnosis, their first association is typically stage hypnosis, where the hypnotist might work his magic and leave someone running around on all fours, barking like a dog, remembering nothing of it when they are taken out of trance. This, she insisted, was not that kind of hypnosis. Instead, the person’s consciousness is altered by a light trance, leaving them in full control at all times. In her practice in particular, she did not usually take a subject back to a specific time and place, either, preferring instead to have an “open-ended” session where questions are asked and she merely lets your unconscious mind reveal what it wishes to reveal.
So as to give us an idea of the potential benefits of hypnosis, she told us an interesting story regarding a man who at a given age began having vivid, recurring nightmares of dying in battle. Stranger still, the dreams showed him dying in different battles in different settings and time periods. Insomnia and nightmares began interfering with his life, and his subsequent quest for a cure ultimately led him to give regression hypnotherapy a try. Under trance, he described many lives in which he had suffered fatal wounds on the battlefield. In this life, though he had wanted to enlist in the military he was permanently disqualified due to medical issues and a host of other issues. Just at the point in his life when he was at the age he had died in battle in his past life memories, he began getting the recurring nightmares. Most importantly, after hypnosis, the nightmares went away.
Rupert told me to stand up and go look into the room where the hypnosis was to take place, to ensure I would be comfortable inside. Peering through the door, I found an array of books on the huge bookshelf, a stereo and some recognizable hypnotic tools, a comfortable-looking couch and chair.
I came and sat back down. Very carefully, in cautious words, I proceeded to ask Rupert if I could go through the procedure alone, and she said that it was fine as long as it was all right with my parents. As I had predicted, my mother was the one to raise protest, complaining that she was fascinated with this and wanted to be in the room with me. I worked hard to sway my mother, for I would not have this done in her presence and I could not stand the thought of coming all this way for nothing, and ultimately I triumphed. When she suspiciously asked me in the wake what it was I expected to find, I denied having any particular expectations.
After Rupert and I were alone in the room, she went on to tell me how she would put me under. We would both have microphones clipped to our shirts, and she could play soft background music if I liked. I would stare at the center of the spiral optical illusion on the wheel as it was rotated by the machine in the corner. At the end of the session, I would of course get a tape.
Then she politely asked if I had any questions. She remained patient as I struggled to come out with it. After managing to ask her if she knew anything about the phenomenon of alien abduction, she brightened up and told me that indeed she did. She then claimed to be one of the few hypnotists in the area that worked with Budd Hopkins in his Intruders Foundation.
Urging me to explain what had happened, I went over the major focus memories at that point, topping it off with explaining that I accepted the possibility that I might be absolutely fucking crazy. This, of course, she immediately dismissed on the basis of the common misconception that crazy people have not the slightest clue that they are crazy, which would as a consequence eliminate me as a potential candidate. Asking me if I had any markings, I showed her my back, sure to assure her that it may merely be acne. This she dismissed with the same confidence with which she had cast away any consideration of my potential insanity. One’s back is a strange place for acne, according to her, which is yet again absolutely wrong.
After Rupert and I talked for awhile, she nicely asked if she could run me through a test. As she reached behind her to pick up a stack of large cards, I asked her if it was the Hopkins Image Recognition Test. It was, and I assured her I had never taken it, but I had read about it in Hopkins’s books. They had created the test in order to tell if an individual was an abductee. The cards have several drawings on them that appear more and more alien-like, and the therapists judge the reactions of the viewers and through that help determine whether they are indeed abductees.
As she flipped slowly from card to card as she sat across from me, I noticed that they had an odd glimmer to them. More and more, they got increasingly disturbing. When she flipped the next card in my view, the last card, I fell back a little in my seat. It was, of course, the typical image of a Gray alien.
Putting the cards away, she then said she was going to explain a few things they had learned about the phenomenon. Most abductees were either Caucasian or Native Americans, she told me, and there are few cases of Africans being abducted. That comment has always bothered me, and for two reasons, given that I remember this all correctly. First is the fact that the first widely-reported case of alien abduction came from the highly respectable couple Betty and Barney Hill, with Barney, incidentally, being of dark skin pigmentation. Another abductee, also African in appearance, was featured in an episode of the show Unsolved Mysteries entitled, “Missing Time.” Second of all was the fact that she only listed these groups of people, blacks and whites in abundance and natives clearly native, and that seems suspiciously isolated to our country. Were there reports from around the world?
She also said that abductees tended to live in rural areas, their houses pushed back way in the woods. I was reminded of Strieber’s cabin as well as my parent’s house. Living in an isolated location would enable abductions to be executed with reduced threat of detection. If true, it made sense.
Once a supposed abduction was researched, it was usually found that these beings had visited the abductee in question all throughout their lives, and perhaps even prior lives. Given my spontaneous recollections of childhood and memories of seeing them throughout my apparent past life memories, this also easily resonated with me.
The phenomenon also seemed to be intergenerational, passing on from parent to offspring, she told me, and abductees also tend to report paranormal phenomena in conjunction with their abductions.
When she asked if I had ever had any experience with hypnosis, I told her I have practiced meditation on and off for most of my life. My mother had gotten me a tape of a guided “self-hypnosis” aimed at producing self confidence, and I have listened to similar tapes off an on since then as well. I then happened to mention that in an attempt to gain a more positive, controlled experience with the unknown, I was currently awaiting a tape through inter-library loan that claimed to hypnotically guide you to having an astral projection. She stressed, in a manner akin to the way a mother might inform her young child about a mundane matter, that when engaging in astral projection I should be sure to wrap myself in white light. “The last thing you need now is a psychic attack,” she said ominously and, as I would discover in less than a week’s time, a little too prophetically. The word she spoke I brushed off, but I would have been far wiser to have taken her seriously, at least in this matter.
Before we went on with the hypnosis, I expressed concern to her over the fact that I had read a good deal on the phenomenon and it might serve to contaminate any apparent memories that may surface. A hypnotic suggestion could be put in place, she told me, that I should push aside all that I had read and heard about.
She placed a cassette tape in the recorder, handing me a microphone that I clipped to my flannel shirt and another that she clipped to her blouse. She then told me to lie back in the chair and relax, and to look at the spinning, swirling design and focus on its center. After staring at the center of the swirling spiral for awhile, my entire field of vision began to be perturbed with waves, as if it were the surface of a pond. It looked like the typical transitions to a dream or a flashback on television. Abruptly, she shouted to look at her nose. My head jerked to look at her, though I looked at her forehead, neck, and then unintentionally, I fear, I even glanced at her breasts. In a manner similar to before, but more sternly, almost threateningly, she barked, “My nose!” Immediately I snapped into focus on her nose, at which time she told me to close my eyes and lie back. I felt my body numb and rippling. It was not at all unlike the many times I’d gone under mediation at home. She went through a relaxation routine of a fairly familiar variety and then, at the tail end, I heard her click the pause button on the tape player, initiating the recording.
“I’d like to talk to another part of your mind,” she said in a sort voice. “A part of your mind that’s experienced everything that you’ve experienced, from the time that you were born. Perhaps even before you were born. So what I’d like to do is to ask you, just for the moment, for the purpose of this session, to set aside all the information you’ve read about, all the things you’ve thought about, and let’s just ask your subconscious mind to go back in time to the source of your feelings. Of your fear. There’s a part of your mind that knows exactly where it began. Is it all right if we go there?”
“Yes,” I whispered, and there began a constant struggle to relax into the process. No memories were surfacing. My mind, for once, was a blank. I only felt my own fear of everything, my anger at myself for not being able to remember, the boredom I felt from her, reinforced when I heard her quietly yawn, and overhear my parents talking amongst one another in the other room. They seemed to be distracted, engaged in their own conversation, but if I could hear them it would seem that they could hear me. Maybe all I really needed was a caffeinated hypnotist in a sound-proof room and all would have been fine, but this as it was, I began to feel, was simply not working. Evidently she was feeling it, too, or her boredom had sprung her to change techniques. Whatever the fundamental motivation, this technique actually seemed to work.
“All right,” she said, again, very calmly, “I’d like the first finger on your right hand to stand for yes, and the first finger on your left hand to stand for no. This is what they call the ideomotor finger responses. So if your subconscious wanted to answer yes to a question, tell me what a yes would look like.”
My finger lifted, but I did not consciously make it do so. It was like an enduring and involuntary twitch. Considering my finger was doing this in response to her question, it would appear that both the hypnotist and my unconscious could bypass me, the conscious ego of this psychotic circus of a mind, and communicate to each other.
“Good, and a no. What would a no be?” In response, I felt a different finger raise, after which she seemed to pause for a moment before proceeding. “Okay,” she went on, “so the index finger on your right hand would be a yes, and the middle finger would be a no. Is that correct?”
I was about to answer yes verbally, but immediately my finger answered yes. My fingers were not rising due to any conscious process and yet I had felt them rise just the same, responding to questions. Given I had not lifted them, what on earth had? Some other part of Me that housed all my lost and stolen memories? Rupert seemed to believe so, and went on feeling as if she was finally succeeding with me, and to some significant degree it certainly seemed that she was.
“Okay. Subconscious mind, is there something that Tim needs to see, yes or no? Yes. All right, subconscious mind, are you willing to allow us to see it, yes or no? No. Do you think you could explain that, Tim? What is it that your mind doesn’t want you to see?”
Shrugging, I told her that I wanted to see whatever was there, by which I meant whatever was evidently trying to rise to the surface through the memories, dreams and flashbacks. She kept asking me how old I was, where I was located, what my point of perspective was, but my visions faded in and out and things were foggy. I began to think I had better luck doing hypnosis solo, and I wasn’t sure why. I thought that perhaps I didn’t trust her, or perhaps I had decided to do this too fast. She went on to try all different kinds of methods in the attempts to aide my recall. She told me to visualize a computer keyboard, and me pressing the memory key, and to see the memory flash on the screen – but to no avail. I was certain that it – whatever it was, be it some extraterrestrial posthypnotic suggestion or my overpowering unconscious – did not want me to see anything. Then my mind seemed to let up a little. It was just simple, foggy imagery in my mind’s eye, but I kept ending up back under the bed when I was six and had my leg braces on.
“All right, now there’s a part of your mind that knows what this is about,” she assured me, as I was clearly upset by this time. Closed eyes failing to serve as a dam, tears flooded my face as I struggled with myself, more than every few moments wondering if I was insane after all. “So even though you don’t remember,” she continued, “I’m going to ask your other-than-conscious mind to remember for you. Will that be comfortable?”
My moment of consideration was interrupted by the sound of Rupert’s voice saying, “Okay,” which I suddenly noticed she had only said to confirm what my finger had decided for me.
“When was the first time you saw something like this? Was it when you were two? No? Was it earlier than two? Yes.”
She then asked me what they were trying to do, and I said they seemed to want to do nothing more than confuse and scare me.
“Unconscious mind, is this all they’re trying to do? No. So, Tim, there’s something else about them.”
I was sobbing so terribly by this point that I found it hard to speak. All the emotions within me came flooding out at a tremendous speed, and all the while I was saying what I believed, my fingers – the medium for something else – were saying something else. I kept saying that I was confused, that it had been happening to me for so long and I was uncertain what to do about it, what the meaning behind it was, what I was supposed to do with what it left for me – and what it left me as.
She brought me in a deeper trance, and I told her that I remembered a vivid dream where an alien, presumably, was hiding itself under the sheets of my mother’s bed, trying to convince me that it was her. This brought to mind the pattern that ran through some of my experiences. Though I cannot, of course, be certain by listening to the tape, I think it was at roughly this point that whatever had previously been running my fingers had evidently been promoted to the sector of my mouth. From the beginning of the session and to this very point, it had been a slow process of wearing me down to the unconscious. At the beginning, the hypnosis was simply a conversation with my eyes closed and my head rather drunk-feeling. Then, gradually, the editing process between the brain and mouth falls into sleep mode, and consequently I say whatever came to mind. Again, in some respect similar to being drunk. More often, however, I would find myself saying things without any effort, and then, without having any preceding thought process that blossomed them, they would be uttered. As if I were listening to some homunculus in my head who had grabbed the microphone to my mouth, leaving me a mere audience to my own voice.
“There’s this thing where I’ve always had this fear that my parents weren’t my parents,” is what came out of my mouth. “That my parents were lying to me, that they knew things and they wouldn’t remember, so they didn’t want me to.”
She seemed rather startled. “Why is that?”
“What is it they want?” She persisted. “What do they want from you?”
“I’m one of the chosen,” so said my mouth, though it sounded so lame to my ears. “There’s a lot.”
“Why do they choose you?”
I swallowed. “I think I’ve seen them before,” I began, and seemed to drift back in control of my mouth to express my confusion. I told her that I didn’t know if I was making this up. She asked my fingers if I was making this up, to which my fingers promptly signed no. The fingers say the mouth speaks the truth and she asks me if I feel relieved, which I had to confess to her I was not. I cannot be certain I can trust myself most of all.
“Your fingers don’t lie,” she insists, mixing the certainty with which a parent explains the world to a child with the self-proclaimed wisdom of a bumper-sticker.
In terms of me as the conscious ego, there are only two possible interpretation: I believed in a lie for my entire life until these memories burst on through or I’m in the midst of a psychotic fucking break and currently invested in an elaborate web of lies just as convincing. In either case, I have sufficient cause to question my own judgment, and by this I mean both parts of the whole of Me. After all, if these aren’t authentic memories rising up from my mental depths than they are elaborate hallucinations that must come from an autonomous unconscious agency. In any case, there was no way I was consciously doing this to myself, and it was a safe bet that ran the fingers and mouth at various points during the session was the same agency that spawned dreams and crafted hallucinations.
“All these years, you keep it hiding, you keep it submerged,” she tells me, “and then all these feelings come out. What is it that you want to see?”
Though I know she spoke this to me, it was not I who answered, or at least the conscious part of me, which would have been downright rude if not for the fact that instead of handing (no: not fingering) the message to Libby, the unconscious force that had spoken to her through my fingers and mouth suddenly began to speak to me in the neutral zone of the inner eye. Suddenly, I began to see something.
“I remember a table now,” I say to her.
“What kind of table?”
My immediate view is from above, from the vantage point of a banister in a huge room with passages off to the sides. As I look down I see the a naked woman with her legs spread on a Y-shaped table. A team of aliens were working on her in the area of the gentiles. Were they taking out human children, maybe taking out or putting in their own? The woman seems terrified, despite being rather out of it, but they of course the little Grays go on perusal. The vision suddenly broke off as quickly as it had come, and suddenly I just saw visions of the Gray beings looking at me real close to the face, like huge insects examining an infant, their large eyes raping my mind — an image that has emerged on the bridge of sleep several times since.
My mind jumped again, and I began telling her about how I suspected that they had put something in my eye, specifically due to a morning a year before, before all this alien stuff began. I had awakened one morning with a swollen eye. It was golf-ball-sized, sealed closed tighter than the doors of NORAD and oozed pus out of the tear duct. This same thing had happened to my mother, who was adamant in my case as she had been in her own that it was all due to a mosquito bite at night. At the time I was convinced this wasn’t the case, was concerned that it might be serious and pressed her to call the doctor. Over the phone, she had talked to him, and she told me that it might have been due to “a cut behind the eye.” That sounded absolutely idiotic to me. When I asked her just how in the hell I could have gotten a cut behind my eye, she only told me, in her typically agitated and sarcastic manner, that I should have asked him.
As I told Rupert all of this, I saw an image of myself on a table positioned at a slant. A contraption came down out of the ceiling. There was a man there, as I had put it, who’s eyes were too big. He was holding something in his hand that was attached to the contraption on the ceiling. Then that vision, too, faded to black, and in its place I suddenly saw a creature I called the “bug guy” standing in front of me, his face close up to mine. To me, he looked like a huge praying mantis, and in telepathic whispers he told me that this was all in my head, that I was making all of this up, and that I could not, as I had so hoped to do, remember everything.
They wanted eggs and sperm, I said to her. I spoke about their eyes and how they can use them to see all corners of your mind. How when I was a kid and had my condition, they were fascinated with my legs because my joints were not the way they were supposed to me.
When she asked me why they want to be here, I find myself telling her that our species is on the wrong path and that we’re in trouble, and that if the aliens are trying to help us as they say they are, they are certainly going about it in the wrong way. In answer to what it is that they want to do, I tell her words I do not recall uttering.
“They want to make little ones,” my mouth says. “Little, little things they keep in jars. They walk around. It’s like they’re teasing me. They know I’m helpless against them.”
She then asked what was indisputably a leading question. “They gave you a vision for the future, didn’t they?”
“That was a different future,” I found myself saying, “It’s the old future. That was from somewhere else.”
Then she asked her indisputably leading question, more or less a statement that they had given me a vision of the future, but my answer did not quite follow the lead. The destructive visions to which she referred, and which abductees commonly were shown during their abductions, was not what my mouth had evidently believed she was referring to. Dismissively, I explained that she was referring not to our future as a species, but rather what I referred to as a different future, an old future. It was an old place, I told her. a dark desert with big hills that I must have seen a long time ago, perhaps as far back as when I was still an infant in my crib.
“All right, I’m going to ask a question of your subconscious mind,” she said, and I began to feel butterflies in my stomach, as I felt certain of a question she was going to ask and I knew I was not psychologically prepared for if it was anything other than a big fucking no. As a consequence, I put aggressive conscious pressure on my fingers. As if suspecting this, she added, “and just let your fingers answer. At one time, where you one of them? Yes or no.”
Despite knowing what was coming, hearing her actually ask the question for some reason sent a jolt of fear through me. Quite consciously, I lifted my middle finger, though not in the particular fashion I wanted to lift that finger for her just for asking that damned question. We were not going there. She then asked what it was that they wanted with me now, and my mouth said that they wanted to bring me back because I don’t agree with their ways, their tactics.
After roughly twenty minutes, she decided to end the session and bring me up out of hypnosis. On her way to turn off the recorder, she held out a box of tissues to me and I took a few. When I confessed to her that I had been worried throughout the session that my parents might have heard me, she shrugged it off, assuring me they were doing their own thing, with a certainty that make me curious. It took one more hint, however, for me to grasp a major element in all this, and it came when I asked her if she really thought that this had happened to me; if she really thought I was an abductee. She nodded in the affirmative.
“You and your mother,” she told me.
Naturally I asked her how she could know such a thing, and she claimed to be psychic and to have known that both my mother and I were abductees the moment we arrived at her door. She also added that my mother was afraid of the dark due to something that had happened to her once in darkness, and although my mom has said she does not have very good night vision and things become blurred for her, she is not afraid of the dark. I asked her specifically if she was certain my father was not an abductee. Eyes focused on me, shaking her head in the negative, she asked me why I was so sure he was. I didn’t know. Then she told me that she thought I might be some kind of psychic, and though I think her words were “empathic psychic,” I cannot be sure. As she said it, however, she reached behind her for some papers on a shelf, and I felt an instant resistance, an instant fear, and held up my hand and spoke in a voice to be reckoned with, “No.” This was too much, shit had gotten far, far too weird, and be it truth or bullshit, I couldn’t take anymore. She immediately stopped cold in her tracks, falling back to her previous position. She seemed frustrated, in a way, that I was suddenly so nervous and agitated.
She politely asked, “Well, do you have any questions before we end the session?”
I nodded, as there was one thing. I asked her about the Doctor being I had seen in my initial flashbacks months ago, because I had never read or heard of anyone seeing such a creature, and to find that someone else had seen him would, I felt, add considerable weight to the possibility that I was not going stark-raving mad. I described the creature to her, telling her straightaway that he was not a Gray, and that he was brown or tan-colored, had long, wiry fingers and bulging eyes with whites, irises and pupils, a face full of wrinkles and — perhaps the most prominent feature — a long, unearthly frown. We talked about it a bit and suddenly, when I brought up the frown again, her eyes lit up as if she had an “aha!” moment. She then excitedly asked me if the creature’s frown was shaped like a certain kind of clock. I wasn’t familiar with the name of the clock, but when she described it, I suddenly knew what she meant, and it fit perfectly. I saw in her eyes that she knew someone else who had seen the creature and I suddenly locked up, unable to continue talking about it, and she dropped the subject immediately.
Smiling, asked politely if I wanted to bring my parents in here, as she could explain this to them in a way that would be acceptable to them. With gusto I adamantly refused, shaking my head frantically with a nervous laugh. Telling my parents was the last thing I wanted to do. Not only had I lied to my parents about why I wanted to be brought here and put under hypnotic regression, but I was certain they would think me crazy if they knew the truth. I felt I was worrying them enough and feared what they might feel obligated to do if they got worried enough. The last thing I needed was stronger medication, a new wardrobe consisting of nothing more than a pair of jeans and a straightjacket, and moving my residence to a small room with padded walls. I didn’t want to bring anyone else into this. I wanted to deal with this on my own as much as was conceivably possible.
I asked her if I should come back, and told me that I will when I’m ready, which I found incredibility cliché. While I have tried to track her down since, her and her business appears to have vanished. After drying my face, I took the cassette tape she handed me and buried it in my pocket. There was no way in hell that my parents were getting a hold of this. I managed to dry my eyes and calm myself down a bit before going out to see my parents. I didn’t say much of anything to them, and they didn’t seem all that concerned anyway. I paid her my fifty-some bucks and left the place, feeling not at all that well.
On the drive home, as I usually did in the evening, I checked the skies to find them all clear. In the front seats of the minivan, my parents continued to talk amongst one another, apparently blind to my very existence, let alone my state of mind, which was fine, as I preferred it that way. I had hoped that this evening might have provided some answers, but now I was left as confused as ever. Enshrouded in the darkness of the back seat, I sat alone, bowed my head, closed my eyes, hoping for something to come to me. After a short amount of time, I got images of a vast, desert landscape. There was this man wrapped up like a mummy with green, circular goggles strapped around his eyes. He had a fedora and a trench coat and a smile drawn in his mummified face where his mouth should be. I opened my eyes. Not exactly what I had been looking for, but it would be something cool to draw later on.
Peering out the window, dodging the lights from the cars in the other lane, I saw that the sky was growing ever-darker, and I tried to take a deep breath and relax. I then casually looked towards the backs of my parents again, and that was when something in the rear-view mirror positioned on the windshield between my parents caught my eye. The rear-view was positioned towards my father, who was driving, and should have been reflecting his face, but it wasn’t. The image seemed to move as he would move, as if it were truly his reflection, but it wasn’t his face at all.
What I saw in the rearview mirror was the midsection of the face of the familiar Gray alien with the big, teardrop-shaped head and slanted eyes. There was a distinct difference in this case, however, as both the wrap-around, almond-shaped eyes and the skin of the face was of an iridescent, phosphorescent, neon blue-purple. As eerie as the colors of the eyes and skin were, however, it looked absolutely real, and nothing else in my sensory field was effected.
Adrenaline shot through my system and I looked away, wondering if perhaps it was possible that I had just imagined it. Looking back, I found the unprecedented reflection was still there. From my position I could not see my father’s actual face, however, and I felt too frightened to lean my head up front and take a look. What would I have seen? Was this hallucination limited merely to the reflection?
I had already been on the brink of losing my mind before the hypnosis session, and it was only an act of desperation that had brought me here. I didn’t know how much more my mind could tolerate before it snapped. For the remainder of the ride home, I silently fixed my eyes on my window. Occasionally I would look back at the rearview mirror and see if the image was still present. I did what I referred to as `reality checks’ and everything else was completely and totally normal. The face remained there the whole way home. Then I got out of the car without looking at either of my parents and quickly made my way to my room. And I made certain that I locked the goddamned door.