Dreams, Delusions, Delights, Darkness

Laura - Briarcliff, New York
Entered on June 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Nighttime is when the ghosts of my imagination run wild.

I envision spiders creeping along my walls merely by glancing at a shadow.

I see cats in the folds of my clothing and faces in the bumpy texture of my bookshelf.

Occasionally, when I feel the urge to truly haunt myself, I will see sinister masks dangling from the ceiling as my eyes remain unadjusted to the darkness. On weekends, when I am prepared to doze off from exhaustion, I hear a drum line against my window as moths pelt themselves into the invisible barrier. The percussion section is not limited to my outdoor friends though – three alarm clocks tick along systematically, biding their time before rudely waking me in the morning.

I find that the darkness enveloping me at night is ideal for the cogs of my brain. If I cannot see something clearly, I cannot identify it with a distinct voice; this only leads me in one direction: conjecture. Using my experiences as a focal point, I am only left to grasp warily at figments, shapes, and pieces. More often than not, illogical answers form in my head, as flowers bloom between the pages of my homework, and twinkling lights mature into the tooth fairy’s extensive family.

Of course, while my imagination runs wild as I lay awake in the dark, it does not cease upon the coming of sleep – rather, it transforms itself onto a whole new level. In dreams, I learn to breathe underwater; I learn to test my wings for flight; I learn calculus and physics and engineering and more. I am not restrained by the physical limitations of my body; I am free to roam where I wish, experience what I want, and when I find myself falling into something unpleasant, I take the fail proof road of waking up.

It is because of all this that I believe that nighttime is the ultimate canvas. Some artists select their mediums and their paper to get to work – I work in the proximity of my own brain. My office hours range anywhere from 9 P.M. to the crack of dawn, but once my imagination starts, I cannot stop it until I crash into something unpleasant – a bad dream, the blaring of an alarm clock, or a sunbeam of morning light perhaps.

I believe in the awesome power of night to conjure universes beyond my own – by losing the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality, I can immerse myself in far more than the literal.