Friday, December 22, 2017

This Morning's Terrifying Hypnopompic Hallucination

Nightmare by Henry Fuseli

This morning at precisely 5 am, I woke up to the sound of my alarm and learned the really hard way what a hypnopompic hallucination is. Trust me when I say that it may sound interesting, but you really don't want to have anything to do with it. From the article linked above:
Hypnopompic hallucinations are often discussed along with hypnogogic hallucinations. Both of these have to do with hallucinations occurring as people enter or exit sleep. When people are just on the edge of sleep they might experience hypnogogic hallucinations. If a person is about to wake, he or she could have a hypnopompic hallucination. 
What makes hypnogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations different from dreams is that they tend to lack a story. Moreover the hallucinations may vary. People could experience a physical feeling, a smell, a sound, or quite frequently an image or sight. 
The image could be a simple line, dot, pattern, or it could be a full person, animal or other. It is important to add that whatever experienced, the perception of something not there can feel very real. (emphasis mine) Hypnopompic hallucinations might make people bolt out of bed, and then feel very disoriented, or they sometimes create the sensation that the person is paralyzed and cannot move. 
Hypnogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations are characterized by their “realness.” They also have a tendency to disrupt sleep. While they might suggest a person has sleep disorder, the hallucinations do not have much to say about the sanity of the person having them.
Lying on my left side, at the sound of my alarm I woke up to see the perfect face of a strange little boy staring at me, less than twelve inches away from my own. The reality of its existence could not be questioned. I struggled to cry out in my shock, but it vanished within a second leaving me with a pounding heart and a mind too stunned to comprehend the experience.

This will show up in one of my future stories.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

David Lynch's Short Film, Rabbits (2002)

“In a nameless city deluged by a continuous rain… three rabbits live with a fearful mystery.” 
(WARNING: David Lynch's short film, Rabbits, has been used in experiments to create unease in voluntary participants. If you suffer from any type of psychological illness, neurosis, anxiety, or depression, I believe I am not speaking in superlatives when I advise you to skip this one.)

In 2002, director David Lynch released a short 42 minute film entitled Rabbits. The actors are played by Scott Coffey, Laura Elena Harring, and Naomi Watts while dressed in cheap rabbit fur suits. Lynch claims the film is actually a comedic parody of a sitcom. Really? 

The stage is a simple setting of a living room with three actors whose dialogue is occasionally interrupted by the laughter of an unseen audience and ominous thunder that blurs the screen. However, the background music, the nonsensical, non sequitur dialogue, the occasional appearance of a demonic rabbit head and a large torch add an air of surrealism to an already disquieting performance. 

The result is a brilliant, if nightmarish film that attracts as much as it repels. If you google the name of the film along with the director, you will discover a plethora of websites attempting to explain the film's meaning and though some do a more credible job than others, I believe that searching for meaning in Rabbits is a fool's errand, much like trying to find ultimate meaning in Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem, The Hunting of the Snark.

Below is a link to the YouTube video of the performance. It is divided into about 8 acts with three of them being poetic monologues. Enjoy. If you can.