Forty Two

Maybe because I am making my way towards this birthday milestone, the number has been on my mind recently.

Way before I ever read the hitch hikers guide to the galaxy, the number held a mystical enchantment over my psyche.

In my formative years I was plagued by recurring nightmares. Whilst most could be diagnosed or rationalised as elements of an unfortunate childhood filled with emotional and physical violence, there was one that continued on throughout my adolescent years and well into my thirties.

In this dream world scenario, I am forty two years old and making my way through the laneways of Melbourne with friends — whom I cannot ever actually see clearly nor identify outside the dream but who I perceive to be close. We are jovial and making our way between venues when I was hear something from inside one of the alleyways that makes me think someone needs help.

So I leave the group and make my way down the alley to see who needs assistance and *flash* my world goes white and with a sensation that my life has ceased I usually awake with a start.

Why this nightmare? Why that age? I have never been able to interpret it.

I still have the nightmare, though thankfully less often than my younger years. So vivid are the images that I can practically replay it at will, but no matter my attempts to alter the scenario with lucid dreaming, cognitive behavioural or meditation techniques, the attempts have been fruitless.

I am no longer the naive and superstitious youth I once was, but I have wondered if it is a premonition of apropos shearing my thread on the wheel of fate.

After all of these years, it still triggers my thanatophobia every time I recall it.

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