Exploding Head Manifesto

By | 1 November 2016

0. a television soap opera and someone getting mugged

you know the tropes already: a guy in leather and a bandana and a too clean t-shirt and a bit too pretty and a knife on the screen of your tv set above the dvd player if you still have one next to the flowers next to the mantelpiece the graduation photos and the babies the coffee table with the local paper whereas

1. when I was a teenager I was asleep

and someone fired a gun next to my head

2. You’re having sex (that person you’re really into from the coffee shop) in the forest under a waterfall like an advert for tropical holidays and then a door opens in the waterfall a wooden door and there’s a doorframe and letterbox and a doorbell and a man is there ringing the doorbell and then you wake up and the doorbell is ringing in real life the world is full of men from Porlock

dreams are fussy about tying outer reality in with the narrative and they don’t care so much for logic they’re literalists but they’re anti-Vulcans

3. I opened my eyes and there was no-one there and when I went downstairs where the others were round the kitchen table they claimed to not have heard anything let alone a gunshot so it must have been a “nightmare” but there was no narrative, no dream at all

4. so it was less a nightmare more a gunshot in the night which nobody else heard well you put it down to just one of those things and when it happens again — and again — over the course of the years you put it down to one of those again and again things until you read about Exploding Head Syndrome aka loud noises in your mind when you are falling asleep or just waking up which must be what’s going on with me except it happens when I’m deep asleep and not dreaming

5. on a message board I read about a guy who heard a single bell a mournful condemnatory bell at moments of peak stress but for him it’s when he’s awake

6. I get tinnitus sometimes I’m a water sign I’ve had uber-vivid dreams but not lucid ones I’ve had premonition dreams too I get a bit itchy when people describe themselves as sceptics but it’s just code for being on one team, not being stuck genuinely in the middle, which is Fortean I guess, I guess I’m a Fortean. The problem with Exploding Head Syndrome is nobody really knows what causes it so I’m just throwing out things which might be relevant to a researcher one day and they’ll find this on a Google search and something I say might solve the puzzle once and for all the only bone I’ve broken so far was in my toe when I accidentally ran into a door when you accidentally run into a door people tend to talk to you in a gentle voice and they write to your psychiatrist or they did in my case

7. I was mugged for real three hours ago in real life shit I was so scared — that’s what a vivid dream is like filed away in your consciousness as actuality rather than safely stored as just a dream which on waking becomes distanced like watching a television soap opera and someone getting mugged


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