It's peculiar because that's how this dream begins. I wake up from some unsettling dream and I'm having a panic attack. To make matters worse, I can't calm down after I wake up because I discover that my room is a horrible mess. There are papers, folders and books strewn about as if someone had trashed the place. I'm not a particularly neat person, but waking up with this chaotic sense of disorder is very distressing. I'm also dumbfounded as to where all of this stuff came from . . . it wasn't there when I went to bed.
I get out of bed and kneel down on the floor to examine some of the items more closely. As I pick up some sheets of paper I know what the handwriting says even before I read it.
These are my thoughts. My memories. My experiences. But none of this makes any sense, everything is out of order and out of context. I start trying to sort and categorize the mess, but there are too many pieces and every time I begin with one area I am distracted by another. And then something in particular catches my eye . . . it is a drawing of an adventuring party sketched by one of my friends. It stands out because it is one of the few items not in my own handwriting. As I pick it up a sense of absurdity begins to sink in. I haven't seen this person for nearly 20 years, yet for some reason I am sure I just saw them the other day.
I begin to realize that I'm not in the right time. This was my room when I was 18 or 19, but it also my room right now. Simultaneously holding both perceptions of myself is very confusing. I am absolutely certain I am conscious and awake . . . everything I touch and examine feels real. I have all the sensations of being fully awake and fully aware.
Suddenly I hear voices coming from the adjoining room. I don't recognize who it is and I can't really make out what is being said. I walk over to the door, which is closed and then I notice there is no doorknob. How am I supposed to get out? For a long time I just stand there, unsure of what to do. I want to pace around my room, but I'm afraid of tripping over my thoughts and memories. After a while I realize that I can probably reach under the door and get a hold with my fingers . . .
I slowly open the door and peek out into the living room. There are a number of people sitting around having some sort of conversation, but I have no idea who they are. They don't seem to notice me, but I'm going to have to walk right through the middle of their conversation to get to the other side of the house. I work up my nerve and walk quickly out towards the center of the room. I keep my eyes lowered to the floor, but I can feel everyone staring at me. The voices become a deafening roar and it feels like something heavy is pressing against my chest as I make my way across the room. Time seems to slow down to a crawl and the room seems much longer than I remember. I realize I am still having a panic attack.
Somehow I make it to the other side of the house and it is deserted and quiet. I am grateful, but I can't seem to calm down. I am sweating profusely. I head towards the bathroom to splash some cold water on my face. As I reach for a towel to dry off, I notice something odd with the side of one of the lower cabinets, but I can't exactly describe it. The texture of the material is wrong, and the longer I stare at it the more it begins to resemble pitch black empty space. I kneel down and reach out with my hand to touch it and honestly expect my hand to pass into it like it has some sort of hidden depth. It doesn't though, and it feels smooth and cold like glass. I stand up to hang up the towel and notice my reflection in the mirror. I look transparent. Curious, I reach out to touch the mirror, but my hand passes right through it. My reflection wavers. I waver. I doubt the sincerity of my own existence.
"This isn't real" I say, and then I wake up and I'm having a panic attack.