I don’t believe in hell. That probably didn’t need to be stated given my status as a devout atheist but nevertheless I thought I would clarify. I don’t believe in hell. This is unmistakably a dream and not some mythical dark land conjured up to help keep the errant and often devious souls in check during life. Still as a dream its constructs do frighten me to a certain extent. Regardless of my beliefs or lack thereof, I still seem to be somewhat susceptible to unconscious thoughts of hell. It’s frustrating that my unconscious has been thus far unable to comprehend and agree to the logic behind my conscious atheist outlook. But the thought that comforts me most of all right here is the fact that I am still able to entertain ideas, thoughts, and notions. I am still analyzing stimulations that enter my mind, which means that my brain is still working and therefore I am still decidedly alive. The grasp of consciousness is always a good sign that you will at some point reawaken and rejoin the ranks of the living. That’s all the comfort that I require right now.
Almost as suddenly as I give in to the rest that beckons me I find myself ripped from the reality of the law library and transported to some other place entirely, a place that I never wanted to find myself. I am walking through a vacant room, floored in dark brown-stained wood and ceilinged with that holey asbestos material typical of high school classrooms and recreational gymnasiums. The ceiling is at least fifteen feet high if not twenty. I feel as though I am in a dance studio or an auditorium of some sort. But there is absolutely nothing in sight, no walls to judge distance and no objects to potentially engage with. Where the hell have I gone? Ever curious and given to intrigue, I start walking in a direction unknown, looking for clues. My footsteps emit echoes as I slowly venture forward, forcing me to believe that maybe someone somewhere is hearing my steps and issuing a rescue plan. But I could just as easily be completely alone here, unaccounted for and completely off the radar of those who would selflessly be called to save me. That would be a shame but not something that would be totally unexpected in my particular frame of mind. I’m not unequivocally deserving of rescue. I know this.
The wooden flooring in here is undeniably impressive; it’s all stained wood and it has obviously been laid with skill and precision. It must have taken years upon years to finish it with this type of expertise. And here I am walking upon it like a maverick with callous disregard for those who may have suffered here before me. But I excuse my rudeness largely on the notion that I am and will remain a cavalier, indiscriminate and largely inconsiderate character lost in the trappings of an unfinished detention that I have come to recognize as such. I don't care that I'm an asshole. It matters not. Maybe this place is limbo, a unremarkable hell-land that will busy me until I gain some perspective. But more likely it’s a type of jail that my unconscious has deemed me fit and deserving of. Regardless, it’s really not my place to think of all the others that may have walked this interior before me. I’m here alone now and that’s all that really matters. This is my playground until I escape.
The echoing sounds of my footsteps as I walk along the finished wood brag of the remarkable vastness of this formidable place. It could be that this is the universe, the universe that we as humans have been unable to fathom since the beginning of our species. But I sincerely doubt that I have unlocked the mystery that so many others have tirelessly searched for, that so many others have given their lives in pursuit of finding. And since I’m still most likely alive right now it is doubtful that I have found any metaphorical keys to the kingdom. And on the off chance that I am in fact dead, then I suppose I would have to admit that I was wrong in my stance as a devout atheist. But that can’t be right. My philosophies have always come from a place of logic. I would never have stood for anything less. So it must be that I am not dead, just dreaming, dreaming of a hollow place that I cannot escape from, an unsanctuary that is holding me captive in a dizzying and humorless cage. I’d rather not delve into the symbolism of that unconscious choice at this point. Instead I would just like to recover my consciousness and get out of here fully intact. Of course that may take some external stimuli that I am unable to control. But someone is bound to rouse me from this sleep eventually. I can’t be doomed here forever, can I?
I get the feeling that the walls would be white here if I could actually see them. I’ve been walking now for what seems like hours and still there is nothing but wooden floors and asbestos-laden ceilings as far as the eye can see in all directions. Suddenly and I will say somewhat miraculously, I can hear a voice in the distance calling out to me. The voice is male or at least what I perceive to be male. He is trying to garner my attention by repeatedly calling my name but it’s proven a much harder endeavor than he must have first realized. I feel like he is on the heels of giving up. But he persists to his credit and I am trying to answer. I want to be awakened. I’m hoping he will eventually succeed in waking me, freeing me from the confines of this dark place. I’d be forever grateful.
But I'm still waiting, waiting, waiting...