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It will end, eventually, but not yet. It seems never ending. It devours you. You want to scream, run, curl into a tiny ball, cry, and disappear all at once. You don’t know what to do, because you are no longer in control. You don’t want to feel this way. Nobody ever wants to feel this way, but it doesn’t let go of you without a fight. This is nightmare stress, but wait, suddenly it’s daytime. The nightmare stalks.

I think we all feel this kind of stress at times, this nightmare. I am feeling it at this moment, actually. It’s proof that this nightmare feeling does not only occur only because of catastrophic events. I don’t know where it comes from, or exactly why, except that it is very real. It takes over the mind, until the mind literally can not think of anything else. This stress is not at all rational. It is confusing and overwhelming, which is why it is so hard to get away from. It’s as if you are stuck in a flooding sewage field with mortar falling all around you as you watch your friend drown, as described in  The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. You can’t escape.

What intrigues me about emotions, especially this one, is that it is possible to cause others to feel it with art.  You simply have to watch, listen, and read.  When we listened to on the Transmigration of Souls the other day, it left me extremely unsettled. While we were listening, the music became full of tension. It was stressful to listen to, that tension. It was loud and and didn’t feel natural. It was something you listen to and can’t help but feel, because it almost attacks you in a way. You want it to stop, and it will eventually. However, at those high moments of tension you can’t do anything except take the nightmarish blows of sound that are attacking your ears–pulling desperately at your soul.

I see this nightmare in the character of Lianne from Falling Man by Don DeLillo. She has this stress inside of her–turmoil. It is in Keith too, I think, in all of them. It is hard to pick specific parts of the book, specific quotes, because I think it’s more the effect of the book in general which portrays the stress. The book in itself, how it’s written, is confusing. It’s disjointed and jumps to point of view from point of view. It’s as if the book is desperate to try and make sense of the situation–trying to make sense out of something that will never make sense. Everyone searches for that ‘sense’, but it cannot be found. The search desperately continues. The tension and confusion takes its full. The nightmare continues.

But it will end.

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