As we stood and watched the dogs walk in water barely deep enough to cover their ankles, I wondered, Dare I speak up? Dare I ask my parents about the Dreamdarkers? If I do, at least asking them alone would provide me the most sympathetic audience. They could be my sounding board. If I say the word and they look at me as though my head split open and a sea serpent wriggled out into Kingswell Lake, at least I would know not to bring it up with the others. On the other, it would only serve to confirm I’d lost my mind and cause them to question everything I say in the future. Or am I overanalyzing all of this? It’s just a memory. Doesn’t the situation warrant some latitude for drifting between the insanity of the real world and my own personal crazies?
Dave, you’ve lost your mind. Shut the hell up already. We know the Dreamdarkers are real. Does it matter if anyone else knows? And would it help one bit to tell them if they don’t already know? They probably wouldn’t admit it if they knew and would totally freak out if they didn’t. Most likely, they’ll think they’ve lost their minds and that it’s a synaptic misfire caused by too much strain on already weary brain cells, that they knew but didn’t know, know what I mean? Let’s just leave it alone and keep it to ourselves. If it winds up being important later… Well, let’s cross that tightrope if we get to it.
I shook my head as though avoiding some flying insect buzzing around my ear. While that could have been true, I did it in hope of stopping the internal disagreement that increasingly worried me. I wasn’t accustomed to internal monologues mutating into internal dialogues. Having two different opinions discussed openly where only I could hear them smelled of trouble. Part of me seemed reasonable and thoughtful; the other part seemed uptight and argumentative. Had I already lost my mind without knowing it? I couldn’t be certain. I always carried on internal considerations as running monologues, yet I could never remember responding to those thoughts, especially when such responses were contradictory to the point of being quarrelsome. Even so, I increasingly felt torn between a belligerent self-assurance and a pensive introspection.
I was growing angry—or angrier. That much I knew. I felt out of control, as if the world had knocked me down and started kicking me. Such feelings could be blamed for the sudden dichotomy in my thoughts. I wanted to flee; I wanted to scream in primal defiance. Neither side understood the concept of harmony. Instead, both spoke out of turn and over each other, and both acted like the only right opinion available. Without proof I had gone off the deep end, I felt safe presuming the debate raging in my head represented nothing more serious than a man under pressure who felt torn between two extremes. The circumstances warranted a touch of schizophrenia. Or so I kept telling myself.