My mother told me she was from the past. She was schizophrenic. It’s a brain disorder. Makes you see, and hear things that aren’t really there. Most people have heard about it.
Now, this might not make a lot of sense. It’s a story that was told to me when I was a kid by a crazy person, but she was my mother, so I’ve thought about it a lot.
There was a man a long time ago in 1932. I imagine him with a bushy mustache, and a bowler hat, and all his clothes are brown. One night while he slept someone came in his room and cracked him open with a hatchet, bowler hat and all. Now his clothes were red. When his head split open, all the nightmares poured out and became real. Goblins. Ghouls. The Things-That-Go-Bump. They all flew into the sky put out the sun. After that there was no day and it was always night.
“See,” she said, “we don’t live in ‘now.’ The whole world is still back in 1932. We just don’t realize it because we’re all asleep. In the real world, it’s always nighttime. Nothing we see with our eyes is real. It’s all a fake crazy dream everyone is having. Together. A collective unconsciousness. Nightmares used to come as we slept. Now things are backwards, so we are always asleep. An adaptation to keep us safe. Keep them away. Once the nightmares come out they can only hurt us when awake.”
My schizophrenic mother told me she was from the past. It’s probably best to not believe her stories.
She told me she knew this because the man next to her woke up, and then she she woke up. He woke up first so the nightmares were already killing him. She picked up the lamp from the table next to the bed. In an attempt to knock herself back to sleep, she bashed herself, and bashed herself, and bashed herself in the head, over, and over, and over again until her pretty face was a bloody pulp. Like a pie eating contest gone wrong. Her face was cherry pie now. A mess. She was still awake and now she was all gooey. Once they’d picked the man’s bones clean, they went for her. They started clawing inside; through her stomach to her guts. The pain was so intense that she passed out and didn’t wake back up.
Schizophrenically, my mother told me she was from the past. Said it was hereditarily passed. I don’t think we should believe her. I mean…she used to say a lot of strange things.
The more I think about what my mother told me, the more I wonder if she was right.
I woke up last night
At the height
Of a Great Depression.
The bed that I woke in
Sat in a room that had
Three walls and no roof.
I rolled off and underneath.
I stayed and hours passed.
I had no shoes
I had no food.
I wore a bowler hat.
The sun was gone
And the nightmares shone
Their glowing red eyes down,
Like spotlights, from the skies,
Searching me out.
In time, falling weary,
Sleep was finally found.
It all makes sense now. Now that I know, I’ll never wake up again.
My schizophrenic mother was from the past. She’s been dead most of my adult life, but she still remembers to call.
In fact, she called this morning.
She told me to tell you it’s safe to wake up now.
But if I were you, I wouldn’t believe her.
She was schizophrenic, after all.