I thought I had gone and done it.
This was it.
I’ve given myself a brain aneurysm.
I’m having a stroke.
I’ve induced a migraine.
Crap, I really screwed up this time, I’m paralyzed…
But no, I could lift my legs and wiggle my fingers. I opened my eyes and could move them around the room, and I did, cautiously. Everything seemed to be okay, though one of the lightbulbs was out. I was on my back, you see, because that’s how are when you receive acupuncture, laid out on a table like a slab of meat, or in my case a peculiar vegetarian knockoff, like tofurkey, and the ceiling was in my direct view. I couldn’t move my head to the side because I had needles in my left one, and I didn’t want to screw those up and do any more damage than I was sure I had already done. So I laid there, vulnerable to the thoughts in my mind growing increasingly louder than the background chiming music, thinking, “what the hell is up with my head?”
Is this a pressure point we’re hitting?
Why at the crown do I feel like I’m being stabbed…?
My hair band!
I realized before I laid down I’d forgotten to uncoil my tight bun and was pressing right down on it.
I still couldn’t move my arms to pull the band out (needles in the wrists, best not to mess with those), but I was able to ignore the pain and at least finish the session, relieved that I was not indeed dying as I’d convinced myself I was.
“It’s a dream! It’s a dream!” I could hear your dad saying, but I couldn’t come to, it was that deep of a sleep.
Your father is used to them by now, the occasional mid-night screamings. In fact he handles them quite coolly, like he’s practiced in a fire drill, shake gently, speak firm, “Babe, BABE, wake up, it’s a dream…”
What do you expect of an active imagination, I say of the nightmares, which isn’t quite true because the dreams aren’t actively imaginative at all. In fact they’re usually quite realistic. My monsters are people. When I lived in Tribeca and had recurring ones about terrorist attacks, my scenarios were quite real.
Last night I dreamed your father was taking a picture of me and a group of people (I can’t remember whom, I might not even have known them, how that happens in dreams, you’ll see). I guess it was a Polaroid for he instantly looked at the picture and pointed out that it was strange, because instead of me and the group there was a picture of a little boy. In the dream I started seeing this boy everywhere, and I quickly learned, “Sixth Sense” style, that only I could see him. He was my little ghost. I would open my bedroom closet and see him standing there. He was little, but older than you guys are now, maybe around four or five. He wore blue corduroys and a grey sweater vest. He had brown eyes and brown hair. He carried a whistle.
I remember being a little afraid, not sure if he was a bad ghost or a good ghost, but I also had the feeling that I was supposed to protect him.
I remember calling out to him, are you okay?!, and asking him if he was to blow the whistle.
In fact that’s what I was yelling when your father woke me, blow the whistle, blow the whistle!…
…And then I woke and shook it off.
And the boy is gone.
Though I’m not gonna lie, I’ve looked over my shoulder suspiciously today once or twice.
I tell you this to apologize. To say yet again there is something I am powerless to: Good luck with your minds, however scary and beautiful.