The secret place

I suggest you read “The story begins now…” if you haven’t read it already, before reading this post.

“The most complex object in the universe, brain, only uses 20 watts of power. It would require a nuclear power plant to energize a computer the size of a city block to mimic your brain, and your brain does it with just 20 watts. So if someone calls you a dim bulb, that’s definitely a compliment.”

                                                                                                                                    -Michio Kaku

The mind is an amazing little piece of shit. More amazing is the playground of the mind. The dreams! The secret place of every individual where you can experience colors which couldn’t be imagined, feelings which couldn’t be felt, senses which are yet to be defined. And no other person, not even God can experience what you have experienced in your dreams.

You may be an excellent describer, but there is no way you can share your experiences of your dreams with someone else. So get this, every living person on this Earth has different experiences of dreams. That’s a lot of combinations of experiences even if all of them dreamt of flying.

Sunset gleaming ahead, tall trees trying to compete with the New York skyscrapers, an atmosphere so weird that you’d think apocalypse was due the other day.

A boring place, a psychiatrist’s office:

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“State your name.”

“Mark Drew.”

“Your age?”

“27.”

“Where do you come from, Mark?”

“Illinois.”

“How many lucid dreams have you had in your life?”

“This was the first one…”

Doctor Kepner started scribbling on the note pad.

This is where the actual details will start, the fun will start. She thought.

“Doc, have you ever been in a trance?” Mark asked, leaning forward in his chair.

“Yes, I have had lucid dreams, I practice getting one on purpose. Mind exercises.”

The doctor chuckles. She was surprised as a patient had never asked a personal question before. Doctor Kepner already thought of Mark as an interesting guy.

Mark shook his head, “No, I am not talking about lucid dreaming, I am talking about a trance. You think I haven’t done my research? Lucid dreaming is where you are aware you are dreaming and you can control your dream, fly in it even. Unlike, in a normal dream we are like zombies, embracing whatever the dream has to offer to us. But in a trance…. It feels like heaven and hell all at the same time. Your mind is reaching heights of being high, but your body feels stretched like a rubber band in all directions. And you know what I love about a good trance, Doc?” The pause Mark gave was totally timed, “The high!”

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“You see colors and rainbows and you can fly and everything good is happening around. The mind is at utmost rest and whatever thoughts come to it, are being translated into the most beautiful of pictures. Even your ‘not so good looking’ girlfriend whom you love will look like an angel“ Mark smiled sadly “Love made her look beautiful”

“I experienced a trance four nights ago.” Mark went on. “Till then all was good. I was really tired and I fell asleep as soon as I hit the bed. But then the lucid dream started. I was in a game and because I love gaming so much, I actually didn’t bother to think that this wasn’t normal. My life was a blank screen and I had two options-The future and the dream.”

“I jumped high to reach the buttons, and clicked on the “dream”. Suddenly I was transported to a street where everyone was staring at me, smiling. I smiled back and suddenly I knew where to go. I entered a huge ass building and pressed the button 54 in the lift. That is the time I realized that my room number is 54, and that this was a dream. I started to panic and pushed the stop button, but to no use.”

“Wait,” Kepner interrupted, “Your room number is 54? As in your dormitory room?”

“Yes”

“And how often do you come across this number in a day?” Kepner asked

“Consciously only once, when I unlock my dorm room” Mark said, rolling his eyes in an obvious expression.

“That explains why you had the urge to press that number and then you were aware what you did was not normal. You were aware of the dream.”

“Yes, I already know that. Can you not interrupt me next time?”

Without waiting for Kepner’s reply, Mark moved on. “So I reach the 54th floor and as I enter in, I see unfamiliar faces, but somehow I feel I know them. They all were waiting for me with a huge congratulations board; I had beaten the rival game company in the sales of our new game. That is when I realized that this was my ambition in life, and when I had pressed the “dream” button, this was my dream of life.”

Kepner started talking again. “The people you saw were acquaintances you come across every day, like in the bus rides or food marts, shopping malls…etc. So you felt you knew them, but not really, your mind had unconsciously stored the faces of these people which you wouldn’t have remembered if you were fully awake. Only a dream can access these spots in your brain.”

Mark was way ahead frustrated with her now.

“For a doctor who listens to his patients, I don’t think you’re doing a very good job. You think I don’t know all that? Are you gonna listen to the whole thing, or are you gonna lecture me as to how you got that certificate up on that wall?”

“Go on…” Kepner really wanted Mark to know why every little detail of his dream was taking place. That is the only way to explain how the story had taken an unexpected turn, to see what was hidden in the small details.

“So as soon as I blinked after realizing that my mind was painting me my goals, I was back at the computer screen. My goals and ambitions were boring as hell. I didn’t want to work in a sophisticated office like that, oh and the paintings they hung there? How did I let them do that? Now I already knew how my goals looked after I achieved them, I decided to press the future button. That was a real pain, it was too high.”

“After pressing that one, I was taken to the same street, and the first thing that came out of my mouth was “Are you fucking kidding me? My future looks like my dream? Common, give me something else on this one, you stupid, schmuck brain!!””

“And the moment I said that, everything changed. All the people on the street, even the person on the billboard was staring at me. I yelled “Don’t you have someone else’s conscious to stalk? Stop staring you bastards” and that same second, everyone looked away. Every damn person. I liked this; I really enjoyed being the God in my dream. And that too in the future part of it. But something told me I couldn’t control everything. But I started playing nonetheless. I spilled people’s coffee, I broke the traffic lights to turn them into disco lights, and turned the day into night…”

“Because the disco lights would look better and would be useful only at night?” Kepner asked following a stupid smile.

“Yes, also because I liked the New York streets better at night. I played some loud music and all the people started dancing. You think I’d let go of that opportunity? I grabbed a sexy girl, who I think I had created for the sole purpose of dancing with her.”

Kepner shook her head with a huge smile; at least Mark had some fun with his lucid dreaming.

 I go on to find the meaning of life and this guy is dancing with imaginary girls in his dream. Way to go, Mark Drew.

“Suddenly the music turned slow and some weird romantic music followed. I looked around to see who the hell was messing with my music, replacing it with Twilight kinda noise.  A taxi pulled over on the curb of  the other side of the road. I saw Lucy climbing out of a car. Lucy is my girlfriend, if I haven’t already mentioned. Yeah, so she climbs down and the girl in my arms suddenly disappears. Lucy smiled at me and I smiled back, I loved her more than anything in the world. And that idiot decided to study law, miles away from me.”

“She got to the pavement and started crossing the road to come to me. As soon as she was halfway there, a car came honking loudly towards her, it was filled with punks, and they were obviously high. Smoke geared up their windows and instead of applying breaks, they ran over Lucy. She was dead in a matter of seconds.”

A long silence followed. Mark was devastated even with the thought of Lucy dying.

Kepner asked questions to distract him from his dream.

“So what happened next?

“I woke up.”

“And have you spoken to Lucy since? You know you must share this with her; she might make you forget this. After all, she is still alive and this dream will become a stupid joke to you after you talk to her.”

“Doc, I don’t know whether you will believe this, but I got a call the next morning. Lucy had been admitted to a hospital for overuse of drugs. I went to visit her the next day, and guess what? Her friends from her college looked so much similar to the punks who were in the car in my dream. They were the ones who ran her over. I think they are the reason Lucy has been declared in a comatose state.”

Kepner shook her head violently. “That is not at all possible. How can you have a dream one night and realize that the dream is halfway true? I think it is a pure co incidence that your girlfriend was admitted of being in a coma. She took drugs, it was all her fault, you cannot blame it on the “future” dream you had or her friends whom you recollect seeing in the dream. And moreover, your girlfriend isn’t dead. Lucy was dead in the dream, but she isn’t in reality.”

Mark was furious at Kepner’s inability to even reconsider this situation. He got up and started pacing around. He yelled at Kepner:

“What good is a coma? She is in a vegetative state; she is only breathing. I think that is pretty dead to me.”

Mark slowed his pace, his face contorted and his expressions gave away the sadness and guilt he faced.

“And I think I somehow caused it…” Mark said in the lowest voice possible.

“What? You cannot make things happen; you cannot make someone die only by having a dream. That is absurd. You might have felt like a God in your dream, but I assure you, YOU ARE NOT!!”

Kepner was furious but she knew the only way to fight Mark’s guilty thoughts were to voice them down. She knew this would be difficult. She has had patients who believed they hadn’t murdered someone, but their minds and voices in their heads told them to do so. These patients were from the jail.

But this was the first time she had come across a patient who believed he had wronged, when he hadn’t. To make someone believe they are innocent is more difficult to make them believe they are guilty.

Mark didn’t know what else to do or say. “You think I don’t know how crazy this sounds? It doesn’t make sense but I am not gonna live my whole life doubting whether I am guilty or not.”

The reason Mark had come to Doctor Kepner was not to find an explanation to these events, he knew any sane person would not believe if he narrated his story. Instead he came to the psychiatrist to confess something which had been on his mind. He hoped Kepner would understand and help him. That was the only way to make his guilt go away.

“I want to suicide…”

That was all it took for her to report Mark to the officials. In the few months that followed, Mark was allowed to visit Lucy only once and had a guard surrounding him at all times. He had stopped lucid dreaming because he was no longer getting sleep after that dream of his.

But he had to do something about this.

Galantamine: The lucidity pill. It is mainly used for Dementia patients to make them aware of the brain parts which are not active when they are conscious. Also used on Alzheimer’s patients for memory recovery.

Getting the pill was easy. The guard wouldn’t stop him from going to a medical store. He was a liability to the officials now. An attempt to suicide has more charges than actually murdering a small town person.

That night he took the pill. And the dream followed…

Same street, same traffic- disco lights, same taxi approaching with Lucy inside. She stepped down and smiled at him. This time the smile was longer, and more meaningful. He was aware that the result of this dream would be the same no matter what he did. But he tried.

He signaled her to wait; he crossed the road and kissed her a long, hard kiss. Tears rolling down his cheeks.

“I am so sorry, Lucy. I will love you forever…” He whispered in her ears.

She wiped his tears and pulled away from his arms. She smiled and said “I know, I will make it all right.”

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She stepped down the pavement and started crossing the road. Mark looked at her; she seemed as if she knew what she was doing. A plan in her mind to bring the punks in the car to justice. But within no time a screeching car with loud noise made its way towards her.

“NO!!” Mark yelled but it was too late.

He couldn’t see what was left of her for the second time. He ran away from there. He broke into an antique pawn shop and pulled out a small antique knife while all his subconscious people were staring at him, he plunged it into his heart. And in a few moments, his heart beat slowed and a black screen gulped the light from the streets. He was dead. But that was in his lucid dream…

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Limbo: An unconstructed space of a subconscious mind. Mark entered the Limbo and was declared as unconscious by the officials, they found the Galantamine receipt and have charged Mark for attempt to suicide. They are waiting for him to wake up so that they can put him behind bars.

Mark’s thoughts about Lucy dying because of him made him take an unprecedented step. But is there any explanation as to why Mark had a dream where he saw Lucy’s future? Or was it just a thought in his mind that made him dream that way? Had he unknowingly wanted Lucy to die? If yes, that explains the dream he had. Because whatever we dream, are first constructed from our basic, inaccessible thoughts.

But how is anyone ever going to explain how Lucy went through all that only because of Mark Drew’s dream? Was it a co incidence? Or was it not? Was Mark capable of doing much more with his lucid dreaming that he is currently wasting all of that in a Limbo?

Years after this incident, miles away… Lucy gets up from her bed with a clear intention in her mind.

Ah! The mind, what a silly little thing, yet what a powerful machine.

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