In the dark, my eyes play tricks.
They think they are doing me a favor. They believe that they are doing their job. They do not understand that they are useless when there is an absence of light. Instead, they fill my mind with pictures: a cacophony of what should be there and the ever present possibility of what might be there.
I have seen this room every day for the last decade, yet my memory tells my eyes one thing and my eyes interpret that thing in their own way.
The wall that I perceive to my left is there, but the perspective is wrong and has been warped.
I know that the cedar chest is no more than a foot to the left and yet my memory has moved it further away and has placed a man upon it. His tired, hollow eyes staring at me as he rests his elbows on his knees.
I swear that I can perceive the outline of the air conditioner unit in the corner, but the white noise and its’ proximity to two walls bends the sound in such a way that it seems elevated almost 10 feet above the floor. The box that I know I have placed upon it to hold the curtains closed has unfurled its’ wings and has set eyes that glow like embers of a dying fire upon me….waiting.
The most unnerving sight, however, is what my memory knows to be the pile of unlaundered clothes at the end of my bed. Unreasonably, it now stands before me, a faceless man. The makings of what might be a brimmed hat upon its head. His hand has slowly raised and a perceived finger points at me silently.
The sound of his movement is concealed by the white noise as he shuffles and drags his way around the foot of the bed. His pointed finger seems to maintain its line, which may be the center of my face, and he comes to a stop before me. Even though he doesn’t move forward any more, his hand inexplicably towards me.
As I feel his extended finger brush what must be my aura, I gasp. With my heart hammering in my chest, I slam my eyes shut.
They’re really not doing me any favors.