An Enduring Nightmare

The Devorian

The street before me was utterly still and silent as I ran its course, a few spectral lamps being my only source of illumination from the night that settled on the neighborhood like inky, pervasive smog.  

“Help, please!” I would occasionally cry out to the looming houses as I passed them by.  No answer would ever come. So I ran, on and on, because I knew somehow – though I never dared to look – that not far behind was my nighttime stalker, keeping pace with me all the time.

This is a recurring dream I had as a child, for years on end. The details would change ever so slightly over time, but it always ended the same … my finding no solace from whoever was pursuing me. It is gone now, back to wherever those pernicious bad dreams go, yet the memory of how it made me…

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The Sixties, Man.

The Devorian

By those who lived through its interval, the 1960’s was a time both loved and loathed with equal measure. For every handful of good moments there was another handful of the bad ones. One thing is for certain,though: it was a damn hard era to forget. Oh sure, those of us who had reason to (not a small number) tried their best, but invariably met with little success. And why was that?

You see, the Summer of Love was more than just a tiny tick in the timeline of existence, it was a feeling, a vibe (if you can dig it) that became difficult to explain to later generations because you had to be there to know. It wasn’t something that was necessarily grim or pleasant, or both, it was just there. Pervading society and culture as well as every individual. Something that, unlike Haley’s comet or a blue moon…

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I’m Not Senile. I’ve Always Been Insane.

The Devorian

Time is a warping juggernaut. Age, its ill-begotten offspring.

Perhaps you’ve felt it, my dear. Perhaps you’ve felt the weariness, the aching in the bones; the strange sensation that somewhere within you, an audible tick, tick, ticking can be heard, marking every last second. I’ve only just realized: the ticking has always been there, the only difference is that it now has grown loud enough for my ears to perceive.

It’s enough to drive a man insane.

I was born October 19th, 1943. I have known life, in all its grim glory, I have known fear, I have known despair. These elements have shaped me, weathered me. I cannot begin to tell you all the ways I have had to change myself. Devore, of course, is not merely who I am now, but a compilation of who I have been. Strange, but the truth nonetheless.

Here I am now, in…

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I’m Not Senile. I’ve Always Been Insane.

Time is a warping juggernaut. Age, its ill-begotten offspring.

Perhaps you’ve felt it, my dear. Perhaps you’ve felt the weariness, the aching in the bones; the strange sensation that somewhere within you, an audible tick, tick, ticking can be heard, marking every last second. I’ve only just realized: the ticking has always been there, the only difference is that it now has grown loud enough for my ears to perceive.

It’s enough to drive a man insane.

I was born October 19th, 1943. I have known life, in all its grim glory, I have known fear, I have known despair. These elements have shaped me, weathered me. I cannot begin to tell you all the ways I have had to change myself. Devore, of course, is not merely who I am now, but a compilation of who I have been. Strange, but the truth nonetheless.

Here I am now, in the twilight of my life, surveying my crinkled and sunken old mug, listening to my internal clock as it draws ever nearer to midnight. Yet I must not give in, must not succumb too early to what is already coming. Why, I ask myself? Well… a little voice says, would Hannah want you to? Would Cleo? The truth is: I don’t know. I don’t know, because they aren’t here to give me purpose anymore. I have been running on autopilot for so long, it’s all I can do but to white-knuckle for the remainder of the flight.

That is the advice I offer to you, my dear: hang on.  The times are taking their toll on us, on the world. It will get worse, but hang on, because eventually the turbulence grows tolerable. Or perhaps we only grow used to it.

Until then: tick, tick, tick.

An Enduring Nightmare: Epilogue.

Perhaps a few of you remember this post I made over two months prior. It went something like this:

The street before me was utterly still and silent as I ran its course, a few spectral lamps being my only source of illumination from the night that settled on the neighborhood like inky, pervasive smog.  

“Help, please!” I would occasionally cry out to the looming houses as I passed them by.  No answer would ever come. So I ran, on and on, because I knew somehow – though I never dared to look – that not far behind was my nighttime stalker, keeping pace with me all the time.

I discussed a recurring dream that frightened me throughout childhood. By far, this seemed to be my most popular post, and I thank those who read and commented – the nightmares shared were beautifully frightening.

I would like to add an afterword of sorts, however.

I happened to be listening to a 1986 broadcast of American Top 40 (with Casey Kasem, no less), and in a little side note to introducing Heart’s ‘These Dreams’, he mentioned a study that talked about the four most common dreams. I’m afraid I can’t find the study myself –not for lack of trying- but I do remember that, ‘coming in at number one spot’ in the words of Kasem himself, was the very dream I had posted about.

I found the whole thing fascinating, anyway.

(In Memoriam, Casey Kasem.April 27, 1932-June 15, 2014.)

Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’: Prophetic Visions?

The nights are dark and rather lonely at the Devorian abode, and – strange to say – the longer one lives, the less sleep one is able to get. So, to fill those long evenings I prefer to sit at my desk and write whilst the crooning of Paul and Art pervade the empty space, my good-natured companions through the decades.

It seems I was in a musing mood when ‘The Sound of Silence’ began to play last night, for though I have listened to that particular song at least 500,000 times since 1964 (then it was ‘The Sounds of Silence’,  not entirely sure what the motives for change were), but never had I actually analysed what I was hearing. There was a certain few lines that struck me as uncannily prophetic:

People talking without speaking
(Texting, social media)?
People hearing without listening
(Self-centeredness, brought on by social media)?
People writing songs
That voices never share
(Good Lord… could it be that thrice-damned EDM ‘music?)
I’m sure I’m not the only one to come to this conclusion, but … there you are.
Screenshot 2016-04-04 at 2.21.15 PM