A Thought About the Companion in the Star Trek episode “Metamorphosis” (1967)
This cloud of consciousness has obsessed my imagination since I was a boy. Thought floating about a strange planet. Thought needing company. Disembodied thought as sinister.
When ever I wake up at night and have difficulty returning to the warm and delightful cousin of death, my body often slips into sleep without my consciousness. I become two: my mind is here, my body is gone; I’m up, my body is down. Though I’m thinking, I see and hear nothing. I’m very much alone in the dark. Strangely enough, the darkness doesn’t bother me at all. Indeed, it is a calm state to be in—kind of like a sensory deprivation tank. What worries me, what makes me panic is the fear that my body might not return from sleep, that it might sink into some dangerous depth I cannot reach. To get my body back is a struggle: I yell, I pull, I shove, I scream. It usually takes three tries for the body to return. I open my eyes and ears—the pillows, the bed, the room, the city, the world, the galaxy, the universe.
My body wanted to go; my mind forced it to remain close. My mind is the sinister Companion of the astronaut it’s imprisoned on this strange planet.