She woke with a terrible frustration. Anger and bitterness clawed its way out of her soul and into her mind. Lying in bed she wrestled with her thoughts, “why must the sun shine so strongly on my slumber?” and “Why must I wake to this?” It was the same dream she had woken to countless nights now for years, the same bitter feeling. She rose to wrestle with the day, her mind wandering to recap; in the kitchen, in the shower, on the way to counsel through the park she had left her mind tangled with the night’s implications, the same terrible dream, irrational and biting as always.
The death sentence for some minor infraction, the diagnosis of a terminal illness, finding herself trapped within a sinking ship gasping for breath.
“So no,” she spoke with the same quiet tongue as she had always before, reserving the weight of her thoughts for her mind alone, “not the same dream but the same feeling Every couple of weeks it happens again, when things are going well it wakes me up so angrily and ruins my day.”
“You feel trapped?” Her counselor spoke, half asking half stating the fact.
“Trapped?” a pause to think. “In what?”
“In prison? In Death? That’s what I meant to ask you.” Her counselor replied.
Their sessions rarely yielded the fantastical results her loved ones had claimed should come. As unsatisfactory as they were they did, however, often peak curiosity in her mind and thoughts. At the very least they gave her words to ponder.
‘Trapped?’ What was most striking about this thought was the knowledge that life had been going pretty well lately and so any reason for feeling trapped seemed to her to be illegitimate. How could you be trapped in a good place? A good family, good friends, good work, a good home; none of it great but none of it bad, good was where she had found herself.
These dreams. This feeling. Like marching out of court with a death sentence or reassuring the doctor of your confidence in the face of a diagnosis. She remembered hearing once that the knowledge that we are going to die is a gift which sets ourselves apart from the creatures. Despite its inevitability however, most seemed to skirt about their days in ignorance of it, herself included. Except for days like this; days when she woke to that bitter feeling and from those dreadful dreams. She looked out the window at a sky with thick gray clouds, upon trees of wilting flowers and down towards silent passersby’s.
“What do you think?” the counselor spoke. “Do you feel trapped in your job? or maybe there’s something at home bothering you… Finances?”
She stood up with an awkward rush and grabbed her jacket, head still lost in thought.
“Trapped here maybe.” She spoke under her breathe. Thanking him for his time she opened the door and stepped into the hallway hoping for a breath of fresh air that didn’t come. The rest of her day was uneventful, her night and her week too.
‘Trapped in this place maybe,’ she would think to herself as she went about her days, her mind lost in thought.