Do Humans Have Canine Dreams?
Thoughts of a rabies victim
Something canine and inhuman in nature rises from the surface of my thoughts to the touch of my flesh. It is intense and hidden, crawling under my bones with a lingering scowl. I can feel the blood in my veins trickle faster, slow down and then run in brief bursts of spasms, so much so that I can see unearthly, inhuman things with open eyes. It’s been four days in this hell hole and perhaps the dingy ceilings and old, grey walls are bearing down on me.
I attempt to walk up and down my room and subside the unusual agitation. But it is as if the movement catalyzes all that I’m trying to rid. It is binding my being with another soul, a more menacing, unrestrained individual who is not me. But then, deep inside the pools of our own darkness, we each have a ghost that is not us and yet, is within us. Perhaps the ghosts are rising to the surface in these ungodly circumstances when I am stuck in an alien place amid an incessant torrent of rain and stormy winds.
I will get back out and about soon, I’m sure. As soon as the sun is out and the day is clear, I will have time to reflect and clear the brown mist that is slowly clouding my memories. I sit down on the bed, bring out my journal and try to pen down a few incoherent lines. My hand shakes uncontrollably, so much so that when I finally resign the attempt, there is nothing but a few monstrous incongruencies on the blank paper. That sums my comprehensions at this moment, all as baffled as the utter unintelligibleness of my writing. The brown mist rises like an angry whirlwind on a hot, summer day and brings with it pangs of fury. And then the itching starts. It begins from the knee-caps, dim and rhythmic with a hellish premonition of an eternal quality, and gradually spreads in circles. I rub my legs, scratch the torso and then I claw my head. I claw my head so hard that it feels like my scalp is going to explode and a plasma mass of itching fluid will flow out.
Before I cut myself open to calm the maddening frenzy, it subsides. The pain and the restlessness are not so bad as their unpredictability. It’s the ninth day now, the weather has cleared but I fear the shadows. I fear the clear day and the sun that denudes me so bare that I can’t stand the thought of walking out. I want to stay here, inside, among these safe walls and the damp room. Last night, I thought I saw someone roaming around the halls. I went looking but then there was so much noise and darkness, and a strange tapping sound that aroused a pain that I've never known before.
It began in my eyes, deep within, so deep that I could feel only the fringes of its origins. And then it seized my being in so sharp an agony that I banged on the stone walls and hit my head with the glassware. The wounds and concussions are bad but there is no salvation to be had.
There was blood and bared teeth in the ceiling. They gleamed like sentinels of another hell, in another life, another world. I saw my daughter clasped to the door, weeping, and my wife bent on the flowers in the window. They were weeping and looked old and worn-out. The plastic knobs on the doors melted when they touched it and then they started laughing like maniacs. Their smiles turned into snarls and they bit me, bit me on the eyes and in the arms, under the nape of my neck at the back. It all hurt and itched when the laborious night whiled away in tortures untold and inexplicable. I have come to bear with this, the nightmares and the daymares, and their endless worsening.
I saw myself in the mirror this morning. I couldn't see anything but twisted shapes and sounds in a dirty film of silver. It was as if I had dissolved into thin air, and then frozen there in an indefinite shape and that’s what I carried about when I walked.
And I feel wet. All the time. Something keeps falling on my shirt and my chin and my hands. It’s slippery, wet and it keeps the pain permanent. My vision is discolored I suppose, for the twos and threes and the doors and the windows are green and wet. There are no days or nights. The universe throbs and aches in a tormenting rhythm, always and forever. It never stops, never ceases, even when I close my eyes and whisper in dim, drooling nothings.
There was rain today, again. I felt like a satan in hell, hung from the toes of my feet in a world of agony. It was torrential horror, pelt after pelt of fear, incomprehensible fearful pain, shards dug through my skin and impaling my soul on a hundred thousand blades. What are the grey structures which surround me? The sounds of breathing are so unfamiliar and I am almost just born. It is the theater of the devils, dancing devils which wrap all around and over me and my pain sears through every pore on my skin and under. There is no salvation and there is no end. It’s the promise of excruciating tearings from limb to limb, over and over again, always happening within and never without. Without, only wetness remains. On my yellow fingers and the black finger-nails. They lied when they said the sinful shall go to fire. They are liars who need to be burnt alive and killed with a knife through their guts and their heads split with my bare hands. This shall go on. This must not go on. Forgive me. Help me. Save me from this butchery of my soul. But nothing can restore my how’s and what’s now. It’s all gone now. Brown mist and salivating madness. A puzzling, prodding madness.