Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Midsummer Slumbers

Another great day to donate! Two marathons and two charities! Let's raise a combined $6,500 for cancer research through Fred's Team and low-income seniors with Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.)!

Donate to H.O.M.E. here. Donate to Fred's Team here. More information here and at the top of the blog!

I woke up in terror and smacking my lips. Looking through the window I collected my thoughts and took the glass from the table. A few sips and the dark sky and I turned back into the couch.

This summer is hot, far hotter than past years. I am going by feel as my charts show another story. After each run I mark the pace, mileage, and temperature. And last year was significantly warmer. At least, according to my charts. But I think I’ve found the modifying variable. My commute increased by 1100%. I wake and run earlier now.

This year my bedroom is also much farther from the living room and the living room window unit faithfully (when used) pumping in cold air. And last year I didn’t have a roommate so committed to “natural” living. I came home from work at 10pm this week and it was 90 degrees in my bedroom instead of the usual 87. Now after brushing my teeth I take my pillow and sheet and camp out under the fan in the living room.

Running outside the city. Who could have bad dreams with beautiful mornings like this?
Perhaps it is the heat. Or maybe it’s something I ate. It could even be something more mysterious, but I’ve been having some rather terrifying dreams on the couch. In the dreams, some vivid and lifelike, others more surreal, I see scenes of death and sorrow, pain and sadness. But worst of all, the pain comes directly from my happiness and joy. As an example, in one I have called a dinner celebration together with all my friends. But the night ends in savage death.

Looking at them together, while the stories and details are very different, the consistent theme is that my happiness kills those around me. My joy turns to death. Everything I touch turns wrong.

This is a bit ironic given the ending of the last blog post.

I don’t know what these dreams mean, if they mean anything. They are probably just a bit of poorly digested food. My digestive track has its share of problems. But now that I’ve had a few such dreams, all identical in theme, I have to wonder.

Lately at work I feel as if everything is going rather poorly. I took this postdoc – this gamble of years – knowing that the odds were against me. But if you can’t bet on yourself then who will? And still, anything can change, of course. My work could start working and results could be exciting. But I’ve done this work long enough to start reading the signs. And I am seeing the signs of failure.

Failure isn’t bad, of course. But I doubt anyone who has done it really enjoys the process. Perhaps that is what is weighing on my mind. After a long day, on my commute home, I look back over what I did at work and I often see all my poor choices. I have felt many times that every choice I make is wrong. That feeling often bleeds out into the commute itself. But that is not fair. There truly is no right choice between the bus and the subway.

So maybe in my dream I am working through my feelings that all of my choices are toxic. But then why is it my friends who suffer and die in my dreams? And why is disaster born out of moments of true joy? For that is the hardest part.

In short I don’t know.

In the most vivid dream, the one with scary reality, I woke after I fell apart under the weight of sorrow and was committed to an insane asylum. It was my joy that had killed and it utterly broke me. In the one last night I was screaming, screaming in terror and impotence as I saw from far above my friends shot and bleeding out. There was no justice and could be none. It was the police who were shooting. Yet I was the ultimate cause of their death. And I was unable to save them. All I could do was scream. The words in my mouth were a paraphrase, “Oh that God would come down.” But in the dream they meant, “why won’t God come down.”

I woke up with the words still ringing in my ears and smacked my dry mouth. With a few sips and the dark sky I turned back to the couch. I wondered about the dream. I wondered at my fear of joy. And I wondered at the heat.

No comments: