Existential Terror and Breakfast: 8

Epiphanies taste better with toast.

Author’s note: Due to the very boring nature of the details of other people’s dreams, the specific details of Malcolm Steadman’s dream has been redacted to keep the reader from losing interest.

Malcolm Steadman will dial the suicide hotline in 76 days.

A wisp of steam rose steadily from Malclom’s Coffee as he slowly adjusted to his day. Sleep had mostly escaped him the night before, and what little he was able to catch tormented him. That was not hyperbole. Malclom was fully aware of the irony that the sleep he desperately needed he didn’t want, at least not until he had started dreaming. His dream, dear lord his dream. Malclom shuddered at the thought of it and accidentally spilled some coffee on the front of his boxers. The burning sensation was preferable to the horrors of his dream. In a moment, Malcolm would lament that his dream paled to the realities of his coming epiphany.

The thing Malcolm couldn’t shake as he slowly sipped his coffee was just how real his dream felt. When he dreamt¬† that he was holding a [redacted] and carried it to the …[redacted]……[redacted]… orifice, was it not as real feeling to him now as his coffee had felt that had just burned him? Sure, Malcolm Steadman knew that he was awake currently, but he was equally confident of that fact during his anxiety dream. His dream than was just an extremely convincing lie that he had fallen for. Now that he was awake the absurdities of him bounding over an [redacted] so that he could …[redacted]… and sup milk from the wombs of terror and …[redacted]…[redacted] were obviously the materials of a very disturbing dream and had no place in the reality that he now resided in, but he was absolutely spell-bound and convinced of them as they occurred. Could he be a fool to that same spell now only to find himself waking for a second time? No, Malcolm was convinced that he was awake, but that was not the problem.

His senses, the tools that he relied on to inform him of his environment, had lied to him. His sight in the dream informed him of the [redacted] cupcakes that were not real, his tactile senses made said [redacted] cupcakes feel like ice, and even his taste had colluded in the deceit and made him think they tasted like [redacted] …[redacted]… your mother. Each one of these senses he depended on to get through the day and he had trusted them completely and now he had just learned that they were liars! He was not foolish enough to trust someone who had lied to him even once, did this mean that his senses were not to be trusted?

Malcolm’s coffee was getting cold.

He was incensed now. Malcolm felt truly betrayed, he could not think of anything more intimate to him than his senses, and they were deceitful liars. He decided to go over his dream fully and recounted that in it he was …[redacted]… …[redacted]… [redacted]…[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]…the demi-moon…[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]…? And that he…[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]…! …[redacted]….…[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]…and…[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]…horsehead…[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]……[redacted]…was attached to his father by an umbilical cord. It was pretty obvious as to what Freud would say about that.

A growing panic had gripped him now. If Malcolm could not trust his senses, then he could not trust anything they told him about the external world and therefore the external world could be lie. His now lukewarm black coffee may not exist. There was now nothing in Malcolm’s life that he could trust to be real. There was no memory, no matter how fond to him or vivid in detail that he could trust to be real either. Without a basic trust in the information that his senses gave him, everything around him fell apart into an existential insecurity.

Malcolm had forgotten to breath for an entire minute.

If he could not trust his senses all of reality as he had understood it could be false. If that reality was in fact just a false manifestation in his mind than Malcolm Steadman was alone. Truly and horrifically alone. If the external world did not exist, than the people who populated it did not either. Malcolm’s entire life experience and the people that he had held dear could easily be a cruel joke. What logical ground did he have to stand on to argue for an external world? A deep wave of sadness had washed over Malcolm now, cleansing him only of his most basic of confidence. Not only could the world around him be a retched construct, but it was one that he had no control over. He could be the only thinking thing in existence, and he was not even the god of his own reality. These falsities would play out in front of him regardless of his consent, and no amount of effort would make him less alone. Reality could be a monstrous vignette playing in front of him independent of his wishes. Lies. All of it lies.

All of this because Malcolm had dreamt he was [redacted]. God damn Descartes.

Malcolm drank his cold coffee and did the dishes. He still went to work that day, or at least he believed he did.

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Rev. Fitz
Michael Fitzgerald (Rev. Fitz) is a writer, illustrator, and amateur Electrical Engineer who lives in Seattle.

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