Death Comes Ripping

The dreams started when I became a young man; a time of isolation, frustration, and trying to process death. I had become fascinated by our inevitable demise. and started reading books like Man Is The Prey, a tome which documented various ways in which the animal kingdom took it’s vengeance on man, whether charging rhinos, lion attacks, or the 10,000 deaths during the Viet Nam war due to mosquitoes carrying disease.
The turning point into this morbid foray was when Angie, a 14 year old girl, killed herself while on vacation with her parents. She did this because she had a crush on me and I was disinterested, because I had my sights set on her best friend. Angie had warned me in her long letters, but I didn’t believe her.
After that, something turned off inside of me.
The dreams were infrequent, set in different locations and times, with years between. They have continued so long that I have lost track of their volume. I did not see myself in them, but instead was always looking through my own eyes. In each one, I was older and had not seen the location before.
Death would come suddenly in them, but the process would last long enough to be experienced. Usually it was some kind of bodily failure- a heart attack or stroke, things along those lines. I would be helpless and sink, terrified, into Death’s arms.
Though the dreams were vivid, they did not haunt me openly, instead lurking in the fog of my unconscious mind, right on the edge, waiting for my conscious mind to occasionally catch a glimpse of something without a clear, definitive form.
I would have a dream, and then some time would pass. A week, months, or years would go by, and then suddenly I would find myself in the place of the haunting, all too familiar, whether a car or an apartment, and then the dream would leap from the shadows into full color memory, throwing anxiety fear, and terror at my mind, causing my heart to race, my lungs to feel constricted, my legs weak.
I would have to pull over, or drop to my knees. grasping and gasping to stay in the here and now, before it would slowly pass, leaving me wondering, “What in the hell was that!?”
Then nothing for a period. Then another dream.
Repeat process.
Eventually, I started to adapt. When Death would strike out at me in the waking world, triggered by the onslaught of the scenery of the dream, I started to defy him, sometimes by prayer, others by cursing.
“Fuck you.”
It happened again recently. I was in the apartment alone, when my actions and thoughts grew quickly familiar, conjured up the dream memory, and fear rushed at me.
I took a deep breath, exhaling a wall of vitality toward Death.
“Not today.” I said quietly, clenching my teeth.
“Not today, you mother fucker.”

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