I Dreamt I Had Cancer

by Chua Han Au

Falling asleep is no longer closing your eyes due to fatigue, instead, it is the deliberate move to pretend that drags you to slumber. However there are times when pretence is futile and the inability to sleep can be due to constantly thinking about a terrifying and malevolent entity. Those prominent dark characteristics — the gashed ceramic faces of marionettes and uncanny smiles. Not to mention the eccentric brows that seem to be in perpetual dismay and the sinister mocking navigating its way through the hall towards your bedroom (many of which are just your mind playing tricks). Of course, there are instances when it’s simply not a self-created terror, yet pangs of fear palpable enough to serrate your vulnerability.

Bubbles of screams explode into silences. Hints of trepidation leak from pores as previous encounters with these horrifying and most possibly morbid entities come to you in a surge faster than current. Often, your mind remains watchful but you’re dead at your feet.

They say that the phantasmagoria of horror is merely a manifestation of subconscious thoughts. True enough, the innate fear we have might just be a manifestation of things that are not fearful, but entities that we have put masks of ghosts on. A fear which is synthetic, yet capable to remove one from his most raw and purest form.

I still have to say that the inadvertent constant thinking is not a twisted fascination about the occult. It’s because we fill the heart with too much fear.

Fearful of moment when your sensitivity might perhaps be misinterpreted as being overly concerned about trivial matters (the significance of which can never be fathomed by others). Fearful of the moment when you start to doubt yourself — if your chuckle in response to a seemingly hilarious joke might be perceived as perfunctory (when truth is, you are being honest; while the rest are being pretentiously engaged).

All of these fear — synthetic or innate — come together and manifest into something dark that stays within the soul and haunt us (in our dreams). I suppose this is why I dreamt that I had cancer.

The dream was not lucid, but what remained apparent was the fear of having to deal with cancer. I thought that was the end — the end of 17 years of my life on Earth. I felt bereft of all emotions. My parents then were indifferent, showing no apparent concern about my condition and treated it as though it was acne. I was alone, and having to deal with this fatal disease was beyond belief. Harking back, it was a world nothing but fear and colour nothing but grey.

Dreams are just one of the results of having excessive fear. The fear too restrains me from exuding my most enthusiastic and spontaneous personality. I am aware of my capability yet the fear suppresses it. While trying my best to put down the armour, something disallows it. Besides, I take things too personally. Little gestures seem to encompass a meaning that is far deeper than just simplistic salutations. Compliments seem far more contrived when they come from an acquaintance. I fear too much. Yet I let it seep in, allowing it enervate my body, leaving nothing but mere vulnerability.

Have you ever feared about being too happy? Constantly. Cherophobia. You forget to relish the moment then, fearing that something tragic is imminent. It’s twisted. It’s bad and it takes you out of your constant state of happiness. Yet, it always reminds you that you can’t be too happy lest catastrophe befalls.

Hitherto, I am learning to see and understand myself. Hopefully, the fear mitigates and doesn’t become a permanent phobia. I don’t know what’s happening but everything enters me more deeply and doesn’t stop. I am no longer who I was. But something stays: I am solitary by nature and I know that the melancholia only grows, never diminishes.