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Sounds of Slumber and of Things More Sinister


I sit here at this cluttered computer desk and contemplate what playlist I should put on, what grouping of songs match my current mood. I'm caught somewhere between masturbation and murder, feeling 100% alive and regretting it. Feeling ever so masochistic, I need music to further this current ache into something more defined.

The Canadian duo of Tegan & Sara is wavering out of my speaker, light and airy. It contains a certain element of the coy sensuality I'm looking for, but not the melancholia. Not really paying attention, I scroll through iTunes and click on Sigur Ros. The Icelandic post-rock act can usually act as a default, but today it's not quite dirty enough. Too epic, too beautiful. Hmmm... perhaps Massive Attack?

As the song "Angel" begins, I recall the past 48 hours. I haven't been sleeping well. I've surrendered myself to a series of occasional naps these past two days, a troubled and restless slumber. For reasons still not quite understood, I've been plagued by nightmares recently. Now, you must think upon this; I write horror and urban fantasy. I spend my days imagining situations and events so disturbing they can not truly come to exist in this reality. I daydream atrocities and desecrations. Now attempt to try and conceive of the things that would awaken me with a jolt in a cold sweat. I have seen things in my head that would make the Devil weep these last few hours.

I'm nodding off. Massive Attack, although somewhat correct in essence, is too slow, too much a lullaby. PJ Harvey doesn't work. I find the romanticism of the music, although dark, much too sweet. I switch over to Tool to see if the esoteric screams and ramblings of Maynard will suffice.

I haven't experienced nightmares often. I haven't had them in years, not really any of substance worth mentioning. I did have them for a few days almost a year ago, shortly after my cat died. He was quite dear to me and I know I hadn't been properly mourning his passing. However, once I confronted this thought the nightmares ceased. Now? Now I have no idea. One has to fully reflect upon the slight barrier that sits between the sleeping subconscious and woken world. What am I trying to tell myself? What is this feeling, this dread spiked with desire?

Tool becomes The Afghan Whigs, but they are far too upbeat despite their grimy sound. Type O Negative? No, too ridiculous. Red House Painters? No, too delicate. AFI? No, too polished. Ah, perhaps some Nine Inch Nails.

Lighting up yet another cigarette, I peer down into my slowly emptying pack. I'm smoking too much, too fast. I do this when writing, when thinking. Or when getting utterly wasted. Or, in those instances, when I'm anxious. I try to take another gulp of coffee, I'm already half way through my second large mug. My stomach is churning with a potent mix of the drink, bile and nerves.

No, that's not entirely correct...

It's not fear that I'm experiencing. It's fear that I fear succumbing to. No, I feel raw and passionate, enraged and enticed. Rough sex and dirty talk. I want to whisper words of dominance, see eyes pleading for combat, touch skin that's slick with lust and hear the mirthless laughter from behind the curtain.

Not Nine Inch Nails. Not Radiohead or Vast. Not even Murder By Death.

I turn off my iTunes as I come to realize it. There is no playlist, no soundscape to match this. Indeed, there is no word to describe this. The nightmares have not been there to torment or threaten, they've been sent to inspire and influence. It has been about villainy, about things both abhorrent and abominate.

The nightmares, they've been about me. About all of me.

And I feel fine as I walk to my bedroom to embrace slumber...