“And this is not my face. And this is not my life. And there is not a single thing here I can recognize. This is all a dream. And none of you are real.”
— “Head Down,” Nine Inch Nails.
Though I don’t remember awakening specifically, I am sure what prompted my consciousness was a noise. A kind of beeping noise that shot up in pitch and then died over and over. My ears lead the hunt through the darkness that drapes over my locale. I follow it to a room, enter, and hear it coming from a closet with an open door. It should not be open. Someone has been in here. That was my first, frightening thought. Walking towards it, I watch as the LEDs of the EMF-meter on the shelf rise in number and tone.
There is a certain feeling, a creeping terror with the thought of walking into your one-bedroom apartment, your solitary abode, or, even worse, waking up in it during the middle of the night to find that things are not as you left them, that there are clear signs of someone else’s presence while you were away. That was the sudden fear I felt as I walked slowly into the dark room, towards the open closet. I see the line of LED lights on the tiny machine high on the shelf, see one, more, all of them light up and then go down again in time with the rise and fall in pitch of the beeping. I tried to formulate some rational explanation as to how the door could be open and that thing could have been turned on when no one but me should be stepping foot into this apartment without my knowledge and consent.
Then memory is just gone.
I wake up again at some point because it was cold. Why is it so fucking cold? Suddenly I remembered I had been hot before bed and had turned the fan on the wall to the air conditioning setting. As for the former closet experience, it did not strike me until after I had actually awakened and sat down for my first cigarette. It was then that I recalled the incident and realized immediately that it had not happened in the ordinary sense. It was also here that I first recognized that it had indeed an EMF-meter in the closet, one of a design clearly hijacked from the television show, Supernatural. I have no such device, however, nor do I have the specific closet I had seen it in. In retrospect, the EMF-meter seemed to grow more active as I approached it, lighting up and squealing — was the overarching message supposed to be that I was the ghost it was detecting?
Furthermore, what is with the false awakenings lately? I think the most it frighting thing that has struck me about the most recent wave of false awakenings is that despite my degree of wakefulness I seem trapped within a set of memories specific to the setting and which are at odds with my actual experience. It’s like memories came with the reality that were consistent with it, tailor-made for it, as if I had previous experiences, a whole elaborate history in the context of that space. Outside of the false awakening but having remembered it, I have at best vague recollections of this body of knowledge, this context of memory.
If these are not memories of previous experiences in these “spaces” then they are false memories unconsciously whipped up on the spot, and that is amazing, too. This also means to me that one’s sense of memory and reality is apparently even less reliable than I had previously accepted. Indeed, if I can be so easily fooled in false awakenings, why the fuck would it be any different with respect to my more consistent “true” awakenings?