The Other

By Jane Cowen

Lucid dreaming appeals to people because it allows for control. Picture being the director of your own deepest dreams and fantasies. All those dusty mistreated longings for aspirations you once deemed too hard or too impossible to aspire to. Now lie in a state of calmness and stillness.

Listen to your breathing and completely wipe your mind of any nagging voice and push that Jiminy Cricket conscience to the back of your brainwaves. That sense of escapism is what you long for. Some relief from the haunting realities you’re desperate to shake off.

You can’t do it, can you? You can’t just sit still and not think. Right now you’re thinking about not thinking. And now you’re wondering if you turned off the light in the en suite. Yep, it’s off. I’m distracting you, I can tell. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s not working out, I know. But what can we do? You’re stuck with me and I’m stuck with you.

Why do you even want to escape? Aren’t you having fun with me? Aren’t you used to me by now? Drip. Drip. Drip. The damn tap is leaking again. You’re fidgeting and Jiminy is trying to be the hero again, don’t work I ripped out his voice box this time. He won’t be bothering you anymore. It’s time to grow up.

Stop pretending you’re in control and stop reading Alice in Wonderland. It doesn’t help to be a child trapped in an adult’s body, that’s just an excuse to be weak. But then again, that seems about right for you. The weakling, the damsel in distress.

Why are you struggling anyway? You have a great job, a good apartment, even the loving yet completely oblivious husband. It’s embarrassing how ignorant he is. Seriously. Get a fucking clue, man. How can he not know about me? I’m with you all the time! It’s him that doesn’t notice you, or what you need, or your struggles or insecurities. But I see them. I know you inside out. I remind you of your flaws. Why can’t you better yourself? Why can’t you take the hint?

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

You hear that? It’s time slipping by like sand through an hour glass. Grain by grain it’s passing by. It’s our anniversary soon! Almost two years now. Time flies when you’re having fun. Why did you throw the clock against the wall? Drama queen.

I know, you just want time to slow down. To stand still so we can really appreciate one another. Live in the moment. But we’ve been taking it so slow lately. It’s like you don’t care as much. I notice how you get moody with me for no reason. You fly off the handle when I ask ‘what are we gonna do now?’ Or ‘what are you waiting for?’ Why is that? Because it can’t be something I’m doing wrong!

It has to be you.

Yes, I take it back it’s not me, it’s actually you. You’re the problem. You are boring me. You’ve taken up too much of my time. Two years is way to long for me to stay in one place. And you know monogamy isn’t my style. Are you seriously crying? Get a grip, woman. You’re pathetic. You make me sick. You’re worthless and unworthy of me or your idiot husband. Why don’t you do us a favour and take a hike. If you keep screaming like that you’ll burst a blood vessel.

But hey, knock yourself out. Oh I just gave you two options there… Want a third? You could run a nice hot bath to calm yourself down, get some essential oils, some candles? Just let it all wash over you. Or just smash your mirror, whatever works.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

What are you doing with that shard of glass? Checking your reflection. Vain bitch. Not much to look at anyway. I think it’s better with the shattered mirror. It’s much more bearable to look at your pathetic self that way. Ouch you cut yourself there, be careful. The bath is ready, come and relax. Don’t forget the glass. The water is pretty when it runs red.

Trust me, you won’t feel a thing.

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