Journal Entry - 23:17 21 August
I, as all people of rational mind do, have a singular fear. One that each person, if endowed with the proper vocabulary, could sum up in a solitary word as their greatest. I imagine that I am not the only person that suffers from it, as there already exists a term for its classification, but I am certain that it is not common. I know of no one else personally, in which it strikes terror. It is an inevitability for every person on this earth. It is my bane, and I must face it each and every day.
It is not pain, nor is it death. I have faced both on more occasions than I can count, and emerged steeled from the experience. It is not shame, for I have conquered that as well, in being an open man, with nothing to hide and little to lose. It is of no creature, for my combination of cunning and strength allows me to defeat or evade even the mightiest of beast. It is not of drowning or falling or flying; for I can swim, have exceptional balance, and have already flown more distance than the earth to the moon. I suffer, nearly intolerably, from Somniphobia. For those of you not fluent in Latin or at the very least, medical diction, I can say it in a much simpler fashion. I fear sleep.
It is to me a fate worse than death and there are nights, more often than not, that I truly wish that it was the grasp of the cold fingers of death that would take me rather than the simple embrace of sleep. I am capable of highly ordered and complex thought. I understand that sleep is a natural and necessary process for the rejuvenation of both the body and the mind. I understand that it is, though it can sometimes be delayed, unavoidable. I understand that a fear of the unavoidable is irrational. I am unquestionably a rational man. I am capable of understanding the paradoxical circumstance that this creates. Yet still, trembling as an unclothed child left alone in a blizzard, I fear it.
I would gladly end this cycle, by reckless behavior, or even my own hand, so that I would not face it again. There is too much that remains for me here, however, that would allow me to take that path. There are those that rely on my existence for comfort and strength, adult and children alike, and I would not bear them grief simply to relieve my own. I must carry on in the face of it, not for myself, but for them. They do not know, nor will they ever, the burden I carry on their behalf. Never will they know why I wish my eyes to remain lidless, never will they know why I fight to stay awake, never will they know what it is that I fear beyond that veil.
I suppose that it is in fact not the act itself that I fear, but what takes place during its hold on my body that chills me, leaves me weeping, begging for it to never return again. It is what I see and hear and smell while I am there, deep in my own subconscious, that stirs the panic. The haunting, surreal, and painfully vivid machinations of a world that exists only in my mind. A world that I cannot escape, a world in which I bear sole responsibility for its every abhorrent detail, and yet, a world that I cannot control. It is this place that I fear, and it is the inescapable undercurrent of sleep that drags me down there. Down to a place where anyone, or anything, would fear to tread.
I have seen murder in the most intimate forms imaginable. Slow, agonizing, tortuous deaths the likes of which would cause demons to shield their eyes and cover their ears. Personal and private separations of soul from flesh, each different, and each lasting what feels like the entire life age of a man. The reaper always beginning and ending the absolution by peering longingly, almost lovingly, into the eyes of those that are to become lost. He sees their suffering as beauty, the wailing of their bodies as song, their very life essence as a gift unto him. I never awaken until the taking is complete, and long ago, I stopped wondering what became of these already incorporeal souls. As a child, I wept for them, as though they were real people being undone. As a rational man, I know now that they were already dead the moment they entered my charcoal sleep, as without true life as anything of even the waking imagination.
I have seen murder of a much grander scale and kind. Cataclysmic events, taking countless lives all at once, unstoppable forces against which no living thing can brace. They are always brought by the hand of a single maker, ruthless and cold. Those taken here do not physically suffer for long, but the moment before the torrent of fire is always known to them. It is in that moment where the terror of their impending doom takes hold, and it is in that moment where they are forced to linger while the one who has called their fate down upon them, basks in the radiant warmth of their abject fear. Reveling in the unmitigated power he has in this moment, he allows time to distend, as he watches their attempts to take shelter or flee or reconcile the imbalance of their lives poorly lived with their chosen deity. I never awaken until the devastation is complete, and long ago, I stopped wondering what those people thought in the moment before the sky burned down. As a child, I shared their fear, as I lived in a world where this was indeed an imminent threat. As a rational man, I know now that cataclysm by man or nature or God would likely come in a flash, with little time for worry and despair.
I have seen murder of a scope even larger still. Sight of all the cosmos, laid out to its near infinite edge. Then, a tear in the very fabric of space and time bursts forth, to reveal beyond a darkness even deeper than the places between the stars. From this extraordinary fissure booms a voice, speaking a language never meant for the ears of man. The words themselves have form, as great columns of energy, streaking across the serenity of the quiet and the dark. They cause stars to explode and collapse, and galaxies to violently collide. All that is, was, and could ever come to be, laid to ruin. The voice, unrelenting in its onslaught against creation, continues its pronouncements until there is nothing left of this grand tapestry but the void itself. The voice does not seem to think or feel or care about what it has done, the all of everything it has erased. I never awaken until I am left to pause for what feels like eternity, to contemplate nothing but the utter void, and long ago, I stopped wondering what became of all that was. As a child, it was too broad to fully comprehend, and I feared it for being such. As a rational man, I know now that only a malevolent deity would carry the capacity for an act such as this, and in such a being I do not believe.
It stands now one minute before midnight and musing upon what I have written I have come to a conclusion. Cathartic it has been, to uncover this truth. I no longer fear the sight of these events, as I have seen them for nights a thousand times ten. Their visages, I know now, as a rational man, are mere illusion. I can now come to bear upon them with this new found clarity, and from it, re-classify where my fear truly lies. It is born from the perspective in which I always see them.
In my dreams,
I am the reaper
I am the maker
I am the voice.
I do not fear sleep. I do not even fear what I find there. I am not Somniphobic.
What I fear is the possibility that these horrors that linger in my subconscious may somehow find their way to the surface and see the true light of the waking day. I fear that the world may one day be forced to face a man, practiced in and driven by irrational thoughts that would be a threat to every living thing. I am capable of highly ordered and complex thought in my waking mind, I fear as to how I might apply that to what lurks beneath. I know of no term that applies here, so I shall create one for my own using.
I fear my own subconscious.
I fear myself.
I'm growing tired... time to visit fear once again... and hope for the sake of all that I awaken still, a rational man.