Slate and Chalk

Slate and Chalk

A Story by DannyLynne Riley

For as far back as I can remember I have been a dreamer. Not the kind of dreamer that one might speak of in a cliche, whose head is always in the clouds while spinning dreams of success and literary grandeur and I suppose I am that too, but here, I am speaking of the ability to dream inside of someone else, to record an experience within yourself that does not belong to you.

Imagine yourself in a dream state. As you drift off you are a blank slate floating in a universe of chaotic chalk shards... white Crisp solid and often sharp they slam into you, sometimes so hard that you think your slate will shatter into a million pieces of course you haven't any way of predicting that before its all over with you will wish with everything you have for that very thing.

Most of the time the markings upon your slate are illegible just random nicks in a senseless experience. but there will come a space where you are grafted into the orbit of a piece of chalk not so random. It seems beautiful at first, this lonesome sheath, pulling your slate piece into it and just when you are so mesmerized and spellbound by the wonderment of its truth it begins to write its horror onto you. You struggle to wake from it...but you cant...You open your mouth to scream but even the ability to do that would be a kind are trapped and there isn't anything you can do to make it stop. It will write itself out until it is finished and only then will there be release. You might have some vague idea of what is happening to you...just one more recollection in a catalog of memories that are not your own and you hate everything that propels this overwhelming experience  into you... you hate the night that it rides on to reach you... you hate yourself as the vessel that can not contain it... you hate your legs that are too weak to stand up under itI you might even begin to hate the chalk itself unloading your heavy blame upon it all the while realizing that the shard of chalk is as much a victim to this experience as you , the slate, are. And the images it imprints upon you are never good for the human experience is never given permission to leave its own realm. It is the intensity of the experience itself that causes it to bust out, to seek help in another reality and most of the time an experience that packs that much intensity swings towards the darker side of the pendulum.

I was in the 5th grade when I summoned the courage to tell my best friend. I was so terrified she would dump me back into the lost and found bin of friendship which is where she found and pulled me from to start with and where I spent most of my grade school years, either that or strolling the playground with my arm looped tightly through the teachers. Terrified to stray for Children are highly perceptive. Even if they cant put a name to the weirdness about you...  still ..they know it is there. But to my great shock she was intrigued "that is so damn cool can you teach me" I was in Gods name could something that left me shaking under my covers all thru the night only allowing myself the luxury of sleep until the sky beheld the pale evidence of the soon to be rising sun how could this be anything close to cool. I wanted to grab her and hold her tightly to me as I wept against her but all I could do was give her a shrug and say "You wouldn't want this... its stupid".........and back into the lost and found bin of friendships I went and its where I stayed until like Alice I fell thru the looking glass into the wonderful wide world of designer drugs. But, as horrible as drug addiction can be, it provided me with an oasis of reprieve from this nightly affliction. I often marveled at how many people did drugs to open up there minds, to expand their conscious closet...while I did drugs to make sure my closet stayed closed and shut up tight. I never spoke about if for years. The people in my family knew. My Mom and my Gram -Mom, who was also cursed with this lovely gift, they always knew and loved me in spite of myself. But somewhere inside ive always known that the secret of it has played a huge part in keeping me sick and it has only been during the last year that I have talked about it with my closest friends, my counselor and my children (who also share my experiences although in lesser degrees) and in so doing Ive dropped the false belief system that there is something dreadfully wrong and possibly evil about me. I may never have all the answers I need and most of the time I'm left with more questions than I am  anything else. Who knows why these things happen and for whatever reasons things like this exist but sometimes they just do...sometimes its just the way of it and sometimes that's really all we need to know. I am still haunted by horrible dreams too sinister to mention. And I never get to know what has really happened to the people in my dreams. For years I thought I had this curse because I would somehow play a part in solving the mystery of what happened to them, like some kind of psychic detective. But nothing like that has ever come to fruition. The more plausible theories I've forged go something like this; that whatever plight they had suffered whatever it was they endured they could not contain it in its entirety even in death they needed someone to share the psychic load of all of the left over memories and emotions and the force of whatever their experience had been....and something like that can only occur through vessels who sail as floating slates amidst Dream Time and somehow try make sense and ease the burdens of the pieces of chalk that slam into them.


© DannyLynne Downtown Journals

© 2013 DannyLynne Riley

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Added on September 3, 2013
Last Updated on September 3, 2013


DannyLynne Riley
DannyLynne Riley

Eugene, OR

I was born in Springfield Oregon...but grew up in the Southern regions of the country. At age 15 I entered into a world of prostitution and heroin addiction that nearly claimed my life. Through it .. more..