by : Alessandra Grosso
Welcome to my story. This book is a mere collection of nightmares, without any pretensions but to let you enter the intricate folds of my mind. I think everyone has experienced nightmares in their life, whether asleep or awake; I can well say I am an impressive expert on sleeping terrors. Close-eyed nightmares are my personal curse: I have been having them since I was a child, and I could never explain the reason why. My childhood was always related to the fear that something catastrophic was about to happen, either to me or to the people I loved. I usually felt something akin to a cold breath on my neck that made my hair stand on end; that icy, slimy hand touching your back which makes you startle, aghast. Oftentimes my vision went completely dark, so that I had to go and lie down on my bed in order to feel more at ease; yet, even entering my bedroom I dreaded what would happen when I finally closed my eyes. Things did not improve at all in my teen years: every time, soon after a dream I woke up in a sweat, shivering. After such nights I obviously had to face life again like everyone else, though still doubtful about my future; but it was whenever I had personal choices to make, that the nightmares worsened. At those times my life easily became hell; I closed myself off entirely and always wondered what I had achieved so far and what I wanted next from my life. Over time I have come to write my dreams down in order to understand them, alongside my wishes, to see if they come true. This has helped me shed some light more than once. But back to nightmares. I then thought to myself that I would tell you all about my terrors, embellishing each one and including them in a collection of every spine-chilling thrill I have ever experienced. I apologise for this chilly gift on my part, but my mind likewise is as cold and messy a place. It is the mind of a woman, of a fighter who openly faced evil, and chose to talk about it. Though my words could sometimes wound the more susceptible souls, I do not mean to claim the moral high ground over any of you. Everyone has their own worldview; we feel and shape everything around us accordingly. And after all the ordeals I have endured through life, I now strive to use my inner eye in order to create a more fruitful vision of the future. I would like to see a future full of dreams, studies, travels: dreams are basically wishes our hearts make. As to nightmares, though... Close-eyed nightmares have always been my speciality, and there are several reasons behind this phenomenon, but the main one is probably that I am a tolerant person, yet emotional and sensitive; over the course of my life I have in fact experienced both thorns in my side and many a rainy day. But I have always sought light to illustrate this part of me, so I will tell you of my favourite poem: Mother to Son, by Langston Hughes.