I Still Fear the Silence

It’s 4am and I can’t sleep. Outside the wind is hitting 60, 70, 80mph and threatening to take the world apart. It screams through gaps in the windows and through the large oak trees behind the house. Intermittent showers stab their raindrops like needles through my bedroom window.

I am relaxed but my mind is racing. As my slumbering body sinks into the bed my thoughts rise. The gap between my conscious and unconscious being is stretched thin, and I feel the final disconnect between the paralyzed corpse beneath me and my hyper-aware mind.

My own hypnagogic jerks and sounds mingle with the very real noises of the tempest outside. I am repeatedly kicked back into wakefulness. There is no rest here, only screaming discordance. I look across and beyond. An eternity has passed but it is still 4am. I long for calm. I yearn for silence…

No…. No….. No.

I still fear the silence.

That dream is still very real. It’s been over a year but still it sits in the back of my mind. It regularly haunts me and pulls me back. April 7th 2018 is still just as vivid now as it was then. I dwell on it now in a vain attempt to try and draw my mind and body back together. Surely anything is better than lying here suffering the delusions of my own insomnia?

……. It’s 4am and something outside is howling. I wake up and find the front door of the house is open ….. …….. I try to close it but a hot Saharan wind is pushing against me. This is the UK in April so I know something is very wrong with the world. I step outside. All the sound is missing except for the cries of a homeless guy sleeping in my front garden. There’s the glow of fire coming from inside his tent…. ….. I know better than to see what’s there…. ….. I turn and head East. The wind is pushing silently, fiercely, against me now. I hear a cat behind me. …. Turn. …. …. Nothing….. Behind me. …. Turn nothing. ….. …..

……. Silence ……. Total silence……

….. Then the soundtrack kicks in and I know I’m fucked. The jarring strings tell me Mike Patton is scoring this night. I run…. …. Run…… RUN!!!!! Time warps …… …… ….. Slows ….. Stops.
…………. I wake up again. Is this my reality? The soundtrack remains and I can’t work out what is real anymore…..

This is real. It’s still 4am and I still can’t sleep. Outside the wind is beyond 80mph and threatening to take the world apart. Another hypnogogic jerk as the penny drops and I realize I know the score to last year’s dream. I have heard it. I know the accompaniment to my fear…. …. I know this is real… …. Images from Zak Hilditch’s 1922 race into view. I’m merging characters from the film into my own disjointed unconsciousness. I finally slip my mind back into my sleeping body and fall into my regular uncomfortable dreamworld. My familiar night terrors kick in but tonight I’m accompanied by Mike Patton’s 1922 soundtrack. It plays out, mingling Hilditch’s visions with my own across grey dystopian landscapes and broken minimalist scenes. Characters evolve, grow, and tell their story in my unconsciousness. Nothing in tonight’s dream will end well. It never does. But at least the images I see will, for the most part, be confined to my sleeping state.

Now it’s nearly noon on the morning after, and over breakfast I’m still stuck with the emotional residue of last night. I’m considering other soundtracks, other composers, other ways to accompany or explain what I experienced. I’m musing on Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Fabio Frizzi, Camille Saint-Saëns, Bernard Herrmann…. They’re great. Really. But they don’t even come close to Patton when it comes to scoring the personal relationship I have between terror and silence. He manages to explain with sound what I can only close my eyes and see.

I’m so tired. I am not rested. I need sleep. I need a better sleep. I’ll just close my eyes for a moment. I’ll just snooze a while before I attempt to deal with the day. … I listen as the sounds of the new day unfold…. The wind outside is still raging and screaming at the world to tear itself apart. I open my eyes. It’s still 4am …

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