HYPERVIGILANCE

 

‘You’re awake. It’s different this time. You can sense it. You’re there. Childhood. Or somewhere else. You think your eyes are open, feel them trace the outlines of objects, vague but familiar — yours — within the walls of your room, shrinking then expanding, as if they were breathing, like you are, there, now, on a quiet night.
A caliginous lustre washes over everything.

 

But the still night, still as the grave as the saying is, is never truly silent. When you stop, as just now, to listen, the noises begin again, strangely loud, those whose turn it is. You hear the groaning of the house which shelters you. The pulse of an electric fence. An iron gate grinding against the track running below it, the wind rushing between its bars. A dog barking in the distance. A car driving alone down a dark road.

 

A caliginous lustre washes over everything You try to speak. But you can’t. Try to cry out — can’t. The jaws are locked, like the gate outside. Your teeth grinding, you feel the pain move from the incisors towards the neck, as it descends. You fall from your bed, begin to crawl, remembering that every life is many nights, night after night. You move through yourself, chasing marauders and murderers, rapists and rogues, wives and widows, but always meeting yourself — awakening and reawakening into another nightmare of history.

 

And you’re awake. But it’s different this time. You can sense it.’

 

An uncanny correlation exists between an act of violence and the dream. Each instance is a perturbation from the norm, a disruption: a crime is an event experienced against the background of a non-violent, zero- level, bringing us within touching distance to the Real; a dream, another occurrence which punctuates the peace and comfort of what we feel to be the innocuous nothingness of sleep. HYPERVIGILANCE explores the intersections between violence and dreaming, particularly within the context of the country we call ‘home’, the ever-rising levels of brutality which belong to it, as well as the effects these have on its citizens — dreamers and sleepwalkers, warriors and worriers.