Another day dawned too early. I felt like I hadn’t even slept. I knew I had though, by my appearance in the mirror and the raw, unidentifiable taste in my mouth. Staring into my reflection, I became aware of a dream that had troubled me during the night. It took place during a time when I was uncertain about most things in my life. It was a time when I could not look at myself in a mirror and smile.
The dream began in a large room. I remember thinking how I wish my own room was like it, with sumptuous furniture and bedding. On one wall, there was a mirror so grand that practically filled the space. I was drawn to it and oddly enough it only reflected half of what was projected into it. The longer I stared the more I felt myself being put in a trance. I was captured in my own gaze and without warning, I suddenly found myself inside the mirror looking out. No voice came from my throat, no scream echoed back. I was a prisoner; I could find no escape and I was alone.
I turned around there was a very long hallway with many doors lining the walls … Each locked door had a sterling silver doorknob and a nameplate above. There was a name on every door. I found my sister’s name, then my parents. They all had a door of their own. I searched for my name but the more I walked the longer the hallway became. I saw names of people that knew me as a child and names that watched me grow up. There were names of friends and faraway acquaintances that I thought I had forgotten. There was not a door with a name I did not recognize. The hallway seemed to stretch for a miles. I finally came to the last door and saw that it had no name. I thought it was strange that everyone had a door of their own except me.
I tried the doorknob and discovered that it wasn’t locked. I opened the door carefully stepped inside. All I found was a small chair and a lamp. It looked as though it had been left on for a considerable amount of time because it was quite dim. The room wasn’t quiet. There were voices all of which I could easily identify. There was not one voice I didn’t know. Soon they were all laughing at me. They got louder and louder until they blended together and I was unable to tell them apart. Then as suddenly as it started the noise stopped and the room became deathly quiet. Even my own voice was stilled.
I decided to leave the room and went for the door. The light was getting dimmer and I had no intention of being alone in the dark in a strange place. The door was locked. As I turned back to the lamp, without warning it went out. I pushed and pulled on the door with all my might but to no avail. I finally found my voice and screamed for help to no one. I groped my way back to the chair, sat down, exhausted, and cried myself to sleep.
When I awoke, I was still in the chair, but now I found myself outside the door. I looked up and found my nameplate where the empty space used to be, and the door was locked. I made my way back to where the mirror was supposed to be, running faster and faster determined to smash right through the glass. As I drew closer, I suddenly stopped and then before I could think, I was pushed out of it. Gone was the amazing bedroom, gone was the grand mirror. I found myself on the floor of my own room. Dazed and confused, I finally realized that the dream was over and I was really awake. All together too soon.
I’m older now and the hallway is undoubtedly longer, but I sleep better knowing that my name is among the doors. I never did quite figure out what that dream was about but it will always be a part of me.