It's not that I'm crazy. My subconscious is my nightmare.

My daydreams consist of ruffling textbook pages and blue ink pens scratching against paper.

My dreams at night are filled with rancid beings, humans at their core but monsters at heart – a hard heart, cold to the touch of my fingers, immovable to the push of my palm, unstoppable against the shove of arms, the kick of feet, the squirm of my shuddering body until it ends. I wake with a scream. Every night I wake up screaming. It's one of the reasons I still live alone.

The other reason is that my apartment is always dark. The blinds are closed, the shades are drawn, and the red chiffon curtains billow at the puff of air from my desk fan. But sometimes the desk fan is not at the desk. Sometimes it's across the living room, perched on the edge of the slippery leather couch. Or sometimes it's in the kitchen, blowing high-speed wind at the fridge. Last time it was whirring under my bed, which only prolonged my screaming session for the night. Today, it's back on the desk, puffing air at the red chiffon curtains. Its moody behavior makes me want to wag a finger in mock anger, but I'm not angry or amused. And that would be crazy.

They all move, from the knives to the pillows to the toilet paper. They're all over this noisy one-bedroom apartment. In July, I moved into a place near college, university, school – whatever you want to call it because school in Japanese is "gakkou" and the point is...

The fan just moved again.

Now it's on the floor under the glow of the lamp. I swear this place is haunted or something. The glow of the lamp is eerie, and it fills me with dread. I wish these things didn't happen, I wish that I could leave, but if I do, then what? Who will take my place? How can I subject an innocent bystander to this treachery? No, no I can't do that. Not when I can communicate with it, not when it slips into my nightmares, sliding across the slinky rings that pierce through my subconscious to hold it steadfast to my mind. I drudge through the exploding firework of colors, the stench of decomposition and beyond the incomprehensible howling – a manifestation incongruous to my symphonic orchestration of misery and isolation. People hooting, lights exploding against a black night sky, picnic sheets on the ground, someone whispering, "You're so lucky to have been born on the fourth..."

So lucky to have been born...

So lucky to have...

So lucky...


Lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky ucky, mucky, mucky, rucky, rocky road ice cream, that's funny.

Your heart's not beating, it's getting cold.

Your heart's not beating, you're becoming cold.

Your heart stopped beating, you're dead cold.

I wake up screaming. The voices hush. The fan is whirring. It's right on the edge of my blanket, staring up at my sweaty, convulsing face. Its speed is on high, my voice is still screaming on high, so I clamp my mouth shut. I yank the cord out and trash the fan, shoving it deep under the third garbage bag sitting in the kitchen. Then thinking better of it, I snatch it back, slam its head against the counter – again, again, again until there's only plastic bits and pieces left to shovel into the pail to the bag to the bin.

But now here I'm pacing, looking for a calendar somewhere because as soon as this semester ends, I'm moving out. This place is crazy. Things move on their own. Voices whisper around the edge of the fan, but I had blamed it on the whirring. Now the whirring is gone, I can hear them clearly – "crazy" – this place is crazy – "been a year" – it's been less than four months, the semester isn't over – "never had a semester" – need to go to class, but then there were – "your worst nightmare" – yes, yes, my nightmares – "is in the mirror" – shut up!

I need to find a calendar because these voices are wrong. It's only been four months. They can't lie to me. I have a phone! Yes, I have a phone, and they have calendars, so in there somewhere, and God, it's blindingly bright, but if I scroll down, yes, there it is, it's October!

Let's focus – "go ahead" – focus! I moved in July – "after your birthday" – and then classes began in August, – "August when" – and now, it's October – "October what" – what do you mean, October what?

October 2016. it has been a year. More than year.

So I put the phone down and turn to the mirror. Orange, white-capped bottles line the dresser top. White stickers with typed print: a trial dosage of clozapine, 6 mg/day of risperidone, .5 mg twice a day of lorazepam.

It's not that I'm crazy. My subconscious is my nightmare.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. All resemblance to actual people, places, incidents, or things is completely coincidental.