I was on a stage with an eager audience watching my every move. My heart raced inside my chest as I tried valiantly to remain composed. A microphone was placed in front of me, as a pianist to my side was poised to begin. Once the first chord of a pleasant melody reverberated over my ears, a sense of peace came over me and I opened my mouth.
An unholy screech echoed and amplified around the darkened theater. I closed my mouth and it stopped. It did not take long for everyone in the theater to make the connection and heckle my short performance. I tried again, knowing that my singing voice could not be this horrid.
Alas, the banshee screech came from my vocal chords. The heckling continued with the displeased crowd descending on the stage. The pianist had all but fled from sight. As for me, well, I was paralyzed in horror. My confidence in my talents and the reality were clashing in harsh dissonance. I could only close my eyes as the crowd came closer…and closer…
Suddenly, the pressure disappeared. I opened my eyes and they were gone.
The stage, the theater, the piano.
All of it, gone.
In its place was a hallway with many doors. Each door would slam shut as I passed.
Slam! Step. Slam! Step. SLAM!
I jumped and turned around to see ‘me.’
‘Me’ wore a mask like I wore clothes. It smiled, it frowned, it sneered.
“What are you looking at?” ‘Me’ snarled.
“Me,” I replied blankly.
“Me? You? Do you even know what they mean anymore?”
“They’ll know you’re not ‘me.’”
“Good, I’m tired of being ‘me.’ I want to be you.”
It giggled. It cried. It sobbed.
“Why? So you can lock me away again?”
“No, so I can be whole again. I find being one isn’t the same without the other.”
I held out my hand towards ‘me.’ ‘Me’ looked on hesitantly, surely, intensely.
The alarm blares in my eardrum. I almost throw my mobile at the wall before I regain some self-awareness and shut it off.
Pieces of my dream start fluttering away but an image of a hand sketched out stays at the forefront of my mind.
“Even my inner demons need comfort, huh?”