I am ALEXANDER WAINWRIGHT.
My trips to CyberSpace are like popping down the rabbit hole. Anything can happen from the darkly absurd to the heart rending and sublime. I’ve met all sorts of famous personages from any time and place. I’m convinced CyberSpace is a very real place. It has its own physical laws and the people have different customs and abilities. Care to come along?
My story begins here. . .
A wave of weariness swept over me as I was cleaning up my paints in my studio. I sank to a stool. As in an idle day dream, a Victorian style house loomed up in my line of vision. At first it was no more than a faint, drifting image but then it became a stark and imposing one.
Within a moment, I was on the porch turning the handle of the front door. All was very solid and real to the touch. The handle gave way and the door creaked open. I entered.
I found myself in a grand foyer looking upward at a double staircase. It was real and yet unreal. What I saw at first glance often changed dramatically as I progressed through the trip. For example, this grand staircase suddenly became much narrower as I walked toward it.
Shadows fell across the upper steps and I sensed more than saw an indistinct figure ascending to the mezzanine. Strangely this figure did not appear to touch the stair carpet but instead glided mysteriously upward.
In an instant, I was transported upward with no recollection of passing anything on the way. I blinked. As if in a dream, an entirely new scene appeared. I was in a room tucked under the eaves of an attic. It was filthy and littered with junk from another time and place.
At the far end of the room I saw a figure which I assumed was the same person I’d seen on the stairs. His back was turned to me. At first I thought he was looking at himself in a mirror but then realized that was impossible. There must be two men—twins perhaps. I am no psychologist but they seemed to me to represent some sort of split or tear in a personality.
I said, “Good afternoon, sir. I’m Alexander Wainwright. I’m not really sure how I came here. Perhaps you could tell me where we are.”
The figure did not move or respond to me in any way. Could I be dreaming? I looked down at my hands and moved them about. I reached into a pocket and felt my wallet. All seemed in order. I did not feel as if I were asleep and yet—I felt as though I were in some kind of a dream but not dreaming.
Abruptly, the man left the room. I raced to the top of the stairs where he was about to descend. He said to himself outloud, the attic will need much work, I fear. But I rather like this house. It’s not bad at all. An attic can be closed off until it is finished.
It was very odd. He took no note whatsoever of me and seemed to be speaking to himself alone. A strange thought occurred. Could I be dreaming his dream? Or was I a character in his dream? Unused to such perplexing questions, I shook my head in frustration.
As I watched him descend the stairs, immediately I felt as if I had abandoned my own body and inhabited his. Who was he? And was it his dream or mine?
On the next level down, he said to himself--this is interesting! It’s like travelling through the psyche. Every step downward takes me deeper into it.
After a moment’s silence, he continued— as I descend, I am going deeper AND further back in time. It is beginning to look very mediaeval. We passed by several bedrooms on this second floor.
Just as he was about to descend to the main floor, he said–good grief! I am so unsure of my relationship—professional and personal—with Freud. If I tell him of this dream, he will be sure to interpret it as though I am wishing his death—at least professionally.
I, Alexander Wainwright, began to shake. I grasped the railing for fear of losing my balance. Surely the man whom I followed was not Dr. Jung? How could I be in Jung’s dream which took place well over a century ago?
Before continuing to the main floor, this man whom I had taken for Carl Jung, slumped to a chair on the landing. I could hear his slow and measured speech—from here, the main floor looks quite different. It’s more of a public space not a personal residence. Like a gallery, library or perhaps a museum which is open to all.
I looked over the banister. I had to agree. One might well expect to see a man taking tickets to a museum filled with sculptures and treasures.
The man paused and lit his pipe–Yes! Just like a trip through the psyche. The further down I go, the more impersonal it becomes. This is not where we store our everyday happenings or events—the unconscious which Freud describes. He thinks that sex is the one and only consideration of the unconscious! Utter nonsense! This is like a library of mankind’s experience and knowledge to date and open to all. What shall I call it? I think—the collective unconscious!
He continued his march downwards to the main floor. Suddenly we were in the kitchen. It looked as if no meal had been prepared there for at least a century
Jung said—I must go directly into the cellar for there I will learn the truth.
I was literally powerless to separate myself from this man. I was sure he was Jung. I recalled reading years ago something about this dream which he told Freud as they were crossing the Atlantic to tour America. Wasn’t it the one in which he walked down through a house finding that he was going back in time? In the cellar he found something which greatly upset Freud.
I have met many famous people and have had many extremely interesting adventures in CyberSpace. But this one was very complex. While I have met Chagall and Chekhov, Salinger and Dostoevsky this is the first time I have actually felt like I was inhabiting another soul—and none other than Dr. Carl Jung.
We passed through the kitchen and down the narrow set of stairs to the cellar.
A dank mustiness nearly overcame me. The floor was made of dirt. A filthy carpet was laid over the floor in front of a door. Dr. Jung eased the door open.
I cannot see a thing. Where is a lamp? Jung said.
I saw a gas lamp on a nearby shelf. I took it down and found matches with which to light it. Once the flame flickered, I passed it to Jung who simply nodded and held it up high. I opened the door.
Good God! [That was Jung] For the first time, he really saw me. He looked terrified. What will Freud say? I cannot tell him this!
Just as I had read, this is where Jung’s dream ended—with his coming upon two skulls.
If I tell him the truth of this dream, Freud will think I want him dead!
It was at that precise moment Freud appeared. His face bore a peevish expression like a father disappointed with a son. They began to converse awkwardly and hesitantly–soon to be estranged father and son.Suddenly the three of us were standing on a ship deck. Was my vision fading? Perhaps the dream was coming to an end.
It was then I remembered! Jung and Freud crossed the Atlantic together to present their research in America. With plenty of time on their hands they analyzed each other’s dreams.
When Jung told Freud of his dream of the house with the two skulls in the basement, it was as Jung had feared. Even though he told Freud he thought the skulls were those of his wife and sister in law, Freud remained suspicious that his protégé was wishing his death—at least professionally.
I watched the two of them with growing sadness. Jung seemed to grow more desperate to conceal his true thoughts. He knew he wasn’t fooling the old man whose suspicions had begun to eat into him.
I have been on quite a few trips into CyberSpace, but this one is the first in which I entered a dream of another person—none other than Carl Gustav Jung. Jung always insisted that dreams were real events and so, perhaps this tale proves his point.
I could write volumes about how this experience made me feel. However, it is more succinctly summed up by a painting by the great artist Magritte. I scarcely knew if I existed or where I was in time and space.
As for Freud and Jung, I was convinced that no matter how many doctors studied the psyche, they would always be subject to her mystifying and tempermental moods and ways. Despite that, it was an experience of a lifetime to peek into Jung’s mind filled with a thousand mirrors multiplying all sorts of frightening figures hiding in nooks and crannies.
If you’d care to read some other adventures just click on the names below
These blog-sized short stories by Alexander Wainwright are written to invite you to get to know him better. How? By purchasing the novels of The Trilogy of Remembrance–The Drawing Lesson, The Fate of Pryde and Night Crossing in which he is in constant pursuit of the muse. They are available from the carousel below or anywhere online.
Want to interact with Alexander? Tell him where he should go and whom he might meet in his next Cyberspace adventure? He’ll write the blog-sized short story for you with the place and people you suggest and then credit you for the idea in the publication. Sound like fun? Let me know in the comment
Mary E. Martin is the author of two trilogies: The Osgoode Trilogy, inspired by her many years of law practice; and The Trilogy of Remembrance, set in the glitter and shadows of the art world. Both Trilogies will elevate the reader from the rush and hectic world of today and spin them into realms of yet unimagined intrigue. Be inspired by the newly released and final installment of The Trilogy of Remembrance, Night Crossing. Presently, The Drawing Lesson is a Wattpad Featured novel which you can read in its entirety right here Wattpad.com[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]