Wednesday, August 03, 2011

No Basset Puppies For Me

I woke this morning with a start. I'd been dreaming...

In my dream, my mother had made gifts for my sister and I: long scrolls of paper, charting our lives.

Charts which also included how much time we had left to live.

"Your sister's is longer, because well..." she said to me.

"How much longer do I have to live?" I asked.

"Nine years."

Nine years?! I've only got nine more years to live?!

Dream logic knew my sisters was a lot more than that; the difference wouldn't represent just the 18 months between us. And that difference was due to my lifestyle, my poverty. (Now that I'm awake, I include smoking in my earlier death sentence; but there's still judgement in that Judgement Day.)

Dream logic also knew that if I only had nine years, how much longer did my parents themselves have?

In the dream, I looked up and my mother was no longer there.

Just the white scroll.

I was alone with the terrifying white scroll.

That's when I woke.

The orphaned me had no desire to scrutinize the scroll, even if only in a dream state.

So painful was this dream that I sat up, panicked, and, in an atypical move for this anxiety-ridden person who usually seeks the comfort of her covers, I moved as quickly as possible to leave the bed. I put on clothing quickly and fled the miserable taint of that room.

It was not safe to stay where such things remained in the air.

I greeted my husband with a, "I had a bad dream." The confession of a child seeking comfort. He responded by rubbing my back while listening to the damning of my own sleeping psyche. When I finished, he too pronounced it bad, as one would to a child. "That was a bad dream."

But still the dream's horrible aura surrounded me.

Being a writer, all I can do to shake this is to write.

That, and see my counselor at the pre-arranged appointment in a few hours.

At first, I thought distraction might be in order. I looked over the myriad of blogs and writing projects, searching for something to sick my teeth into. Something with less fangs of its own, so it couldn't bite back.

But nothing pushed the icky clinging film away.

I couldn't even turn the fangs of the dream back upon itself, using my fear to fuel a fire and make a political or cultural rant.

Turning fear into fuel has long been one of my tricks; when it fails me, the panic gets worse.

So here I am. Pondering my fear of judgements. Poverty, smoking, working from home, sins of the mother who lost her child...

I've no strength to logically debate the judgements; perhaps the indictments are true and I lack the moral fiber to defend myself -- or my acts and I are indefensible.

I choose to believe I am just too weary, struggling from the suffocating feelings. Fear can suck a place of all oxygen, you know. Knowing that can't really save you, for even if the hallucinations and other effects of oxygen deprivation aren't real, they are all you have. Reason doesn't matter. Especially when the low oxygen levels prevent you from retaining a coherent logical thought.

No, at these times, all you can do is ramble, through talk or written word, through art, until you expel enough of the bad air inside you out through the open window of creativity and communication.

If that doesn't work, all that's left is crawling back to that bed and hoping your own will to survive is proactive enough to generate a storm in your head which will blow everything bad away.

I should have been dreaming of basset hound puppies. That's what I was thinking, wistfully day-dreaming of, before I fell asleep. (Since the loss of my dear Ween last November, I struggle to make the little anxious dog my therapy companion animal; but she prefers the hubby. And she's annoying. She's not a sweet soul who loves, comforts, adores -- and absorbs tears while providing the prospective that life is good. So I've been wishing I could get a male basset hound... Their size and temperament being a good fit with the rest of the family.)

But no matter how loaded with adorable basset dogs and puppies my head was, they did not enter my dreams to comfort me; instead there was judgement, loss, and death.