Afraid of the dark
Published on page A11 of the October 31, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
ARE you afraid of the dark?
Well, I am. But it was only recently that I began to be afraid of it.
I used to be night person. I enjoyed walking in the cool night air. I could stay up till dawn watching concerts or plays, doing org rituals or lab work, reviewing for exams in the "tambayan" [hangout], fixing exhibits, eating, drinking or just chatting with friends or classmates. Nighttime was also the best time to be with someone you loved and who inspired you in every way and lying on the open field just watching the stars.
Silence. Darkness is usually accompanied by silence, and silence gives us dreams that are mostly chaotic. I often imagine myself getting caught by a vampire, who drinks my blood and takes my breath away, but also shares his immortality and powers. I want some powers that vampires have, but I can have them only in the dark.
Power. In the middle of the night, when everything is dark, don't you experience a sudden surge of power? You feel the power of the mind, you can fully concentrate and ideas overflow, especially when you don't need and least expect it. It's the best time to make plans for the next hours or days.
But have you ever cried in the dark and under the sheets? When you feel deeply hurt, the only way to express it is to cry in the night, shout against the darkness, and wish you were asleep and at peace, feeling the silence of the tomb.
These were the things I loved about the dark, but a few days ago, I began to hate it. I found myself alone and the silence was suffocating. I started breathing heavily as if there was less oxygen in my blood. Numbness crept over me until I could no longer feel my own flesh. Then I woke up and I began to cry.
The experience was truly terrifying. I thought I would never awaken. I was afraid of sudden death.
I am afraid of the dark because I am afraid to die. I fear seeing darkness forever. I fear the idea of not continuing to live. I still have things to do. I cannot die now.
Joyce Lou G. Penales, 25, is a BS Biology graduate of the University of the Philippines Los Baños.Copyright 2006 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.