Thursday, July 23, 2009

who's out there?

Jake woke up grumbling. Ravaging through the bedroom like a midnight beast sheepishly looking for prey. This is generally the way Jake walked. It gave the illusion he had some sort of unassuming command over a room, like he wasn’t trying. But I knew what no one else knew, that he was trying. That he tried harder than anyone else.

Sarah was only some-what startled by Jake’s peculiar behavior at this hour of the morning; she stretched, yawned and strung her body back along Jake’s bed. She clung to the bed sheets with her finger nails like a cat.

Why doesn’t she see it like I do? Why doesn’t she just keep her eyes open a few more minutes, why doesn’t she watch Jake stare at himself in the bathroom mirror? Why can’t she see it like I can? If only she paid attention, why don’t girls like that ever REALLY pay attention? He’s more broken than she is, but she’ll never know because she always stretches, yawns and goes right back to bed.

Jake is staring at himself in the bathroom, wondering how a man blessed with a physique like his could be awoken by the same nightmare three nights in a row. In the real world, nothing scared Jake. In fact, Jake scared others. He was a tall, athletically built twentysomething with a career and a corporate ladder to climb. He had the ambition and he had the looks. He was already raking in a killing by comparison to the rest of his college buddies, so what was it that wouldn’t let Jake sleep at night?

It seemed that in Jake’s dreams, he was not as sure of himself. Sometimes, Jake would hear a voice in his head. During the day, it was easy to ignore – he cluttered it with small talk about his recent bonus or his new golf swing, but for the past three nights, when Jake and the world slept, the voice grew a face. The voice he could drown out during the day was commanding Jake’s attention in his dreams.

Three nights in a row, Jake woke up in the same cold sweat. Three nights in a row he would awake foggily, and with the same rehearsed carelessness he did everything with, saunter to the bathroom, green with the same envy as Narcissus. Then the face off began. It was here the voice the voice in Jake’s head and Jake himself wrestled with each other. What either one was saying to each other, not even I could say. My powers of observation don’t extend to the telepathic.

Ah – wake up, Sarah! Your precious lover does think twice, he does know fear; he is human like everyone else - like me. So you see Sarah, if he has fear in his heart, if he has doubt, how is he any different than me? How is he better than me?

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