Tinnitus echoes around me, but there are no hallucinations, no music and no falling sensation. I notice an odd vibration, but it isn't me vibrating, it is the tunnel itself. The tunnel to the world of dreams.
Then splashes of rain. Tiny droplets fall on my naked body. They are so cold and uncomfortable I yearn just to pull myself back into the real world.
"They aren't real." I tell myself. But in response the dream challenges me more, pasting gooey liquid on my face, slowly and deliberately. It is thick, wet and uncomfortable.
"It isn't real." I remind myself, but now I am really starting to wonder what the hell was going on. Am I awake? What is happening?
My balls suddenly become irresistibly itchy.
"It isn't real." I say to myself out loud. "Don't scratch yourself, you'll wake up."
"Don't scratch, it isn't real."
But I can't help it. I have to scratch. Reaching down I scratch my balls and the sense of relief is immeasurable. But something else happens too. The act of bending over has sent me into a tumble.
I tumble and tumble.
The dream tunnel is opening!
I tumble further and faster and the tunnel seems to get longer and longer. How am I going to know when this will end? I check my senses and realise I can still hear the tinnitus echoing around me. Am I trapped here in the dream tunnel?
Then after what seemed an eternity I roll across my bed and crash land on the floor of my bedroom.
The noise is gone.
I am in Wonderland.
I run out of the bedroom, past my brother and sister and leap over my dad, floating high in the air. On the other side of the room mum tries to catch me in a conversation but I skip past her and continue down the corridor. At the end I see the exit of the house. It is a glass door which is closed, and there is green grass on the other side. I decide to fly straight through it and out into the dream world.
I fly fast and wait for the feeling of seeping through the glass pane, but instead find that when I hit the door, the glass is gone and I fly straight through. Keeping up my momentum I fly high up into the sky, turning slowly with my arms out to admire the beauty of the night scene.
"Wonderland!" I exclaim triumphantly.
The night is spectacular. The blanket of stars covering the sky is so thick it feels like we are passing directly through one of the spirals of the Milky Way itself. A lonely lighthouse stands silently on a rocky outcrop to my left and in front of me is a small mountain covered in dense green jungle. The vines and foliage is interspersed by rich purple plants, with tiny flowers that pucker up to forest canopy as though they were fairies dancing on tiptoes across the leaves.
I fly closer, trying to get a better image of the flowers, but my eyesight betrays me. I still have sleep in my eyes and no matter how many time I rub them, I cannot get a focused image of the flowers. Perhaps it is a part of their magic.
As I fly higher up the low mountain I realise that it is covered in luxury pools with clear water. I can see the blue tiles of each pool through the water and they are terraced into the mountain as though they were rice fields.
I let myself bomb dive slowly into one of the pools, nearly overshooting my target. The water feels wet but has no temperature. It is perfectly clear and I can swim easily through it, breathing underwater. I see a thin twisted black net discarded at the bottom of the pool.
After a while I surface and do some freestyle across to top of the pool. The pool is so large now there are small choppy waves and it feels like I am swimming in the ocean. The simple activity feels so good I don't want to stop. I feel like I could do it for four hours, but probably no more.
When I reach the end of the pool the dream dissolves.
I am awake, back in the real world.Wonderland
Roger Keays is an artist, an engineer, and a student of life. Since he left Australia in 2009, he has been living as a digital nomad in over 40 different countries around the world. Roger is addicted to surfing. His other interests are music, psychology, languages, and finding good food. Click here to subscribe to his weekly blog, or stalk him on Facebook and Twitter.