I was back in my old neighbourhood again, the one I grew up in. Only it wasn’t as run down and forgotten anymore. The old low-income housing complex was now replaced with modern freehold townhouses, and the old plaza I used to frequent was now a huge assortment big box stores, all with bright neon signs and grande entrances.
The dimly lit pathway that lead to the park I used to get high in, was now the entrance to yet another newer executive complex of 3 story townhouses. I began walking towards one of the houses, there was a for sale sign on the front lawn. A young stylishly dressed professional woman opened the door and smiled at me. She was giving me a tour.
I gathered from the decorated walls, that she was a designer. There were articles about her framed along with pictures of her posing with influential Muslim women wearing beautifully ornate hijabs. Fabric samples were pasted along side framed articles and photos, in between wall sconces and art.
We walked through the living room. It was a small, eccentrically decorated living room. The television was on, and there was a guy curled up on the couch pretending to be asleep. His hair was spikey, he had big black ear plugs in the holes of his ear lobes and had a stylishly scruffy 9 o-clock shadow. We walked out to the backyard, before stepping out onto the patio, I looked back at the guy on the couch, he opened his eyes and then closed them again quickly.
Next we were walking up the tall staircase. I noticed a gigantic piece of art going up the long wall. It was a Giraffe, quite realistic looking too. We toured the upstairs room by room and began to descend the staircase to the main floor again. I looked at the Giraffe on the wall and was startled when it’s head emerged from the wall and stared at me. It began making threatening noises and moving its neck closer and closer to me. She grabbed my hand and pulled me down the stairs and into her living room, apologizing for her art.
As we were standing in the living room gathering our thoughts, the giraffe slowly entered the room making the same noises that he was making to me on the staircase. I knew he was going to attack. It was eerie and terrifying. She pushed me to the side and began to walk closer to her art, trying to reason with it. Suddenly the giraffe attacked her and took her to the ground, he went for her neck and I saw blood pooling onto the berber carpet. She whispered “it’s okay, just go” to me and I ran out of the house.
“Selina…. Selina… Wake Up”
I shot up from my hospital bed with intensity, sweating in my gown. My two doctors were standing over me with a head device and a remote control.
“Don’t be afraid. This helps us understand your mind. That screen on the wall over there will display your thoughts and play them as a movie for us. You don’t have to think about anything in particular… Just be yourself and don’t worry about what is displaying on the wall, it’s all perfectly normal.”
I breathed heavily, still in shock from the art attack in my dream, as the doctor placed the contraption on my head. I swallowed hard and stared at the wall as my thoughts emerged and the movie began to play.
The doctors stared at the wall intently watching the movie of my mind unfold before them, fascinated and making notes. I closed my eyes and went somewhere else. I didn’t need to watch what I already knew. Perhaps to others it would be shocking or interesting or strange… Not to me, it was normal, comforting, and even safe.
My thoughts drifted back to the giraffe, attacking the woman who showed me her house and her whispering “it’s okay, just go”. I realized, that it wasn’t a dream, it was a story, and she was a character in my mind… She was showing me, not her home, but her mind… her soul. I opened my eyes and glared at the doctors who were currently peering into my mind. But not by my choice, I had no say in the matter. I wanted to protect my soul.
I clenched my eyes tightly and thought of nothing… Blackness. No thoughts, no words, no conversations, no images. Nothing. The screen went blank. I sighed in relief.
“I’m sorry, you’re not invited” I said to the doctors as I threw the head piece down to the floor. “Not today”.