I don’t know what I am, how I’m feeling about surgery. Scared? Sad? Excited? Nervous? Not sure. I mean, all of the above, really. That’s normal, right? I guess some people have been in and out of the hospital so much that some of their experiences have become “old hat.” Not me, though.
I’m kind of shocked and pissed, really. I worked damn hard to take care of myself; worked out so much that some days, I hurt. I pushed hard and got what I wanted—weight loss, hard abs, tight ass…I had it. Then Ronnie and I decided to trek into the 603’s hornet’s nest. Why? I don’t know. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We thought we could handle it. Well, over time, it handled us. As a result, my health kind of…withered? Not sure how or when. It snuck up on us both.
My friend, Maggie, said going into the hornet’s nest was like coming full circle. “You needed to go in there to close the circle. To complete the loop,” she said. She’s absolutely right. But you can’t live in a hornet’s nest forever.
To distract myself while in the hornet’s nest, I read. This week, I’ve been reading an Edgar Cayce book. It mentioned that dreams are just your subconscious and your superconscious mind communicating things your conscious mind doesn’t know or won’t acknowledge. And one can actually control their dreams by placing them in a “dream incubator.” While this is pretty fascinating, and I haven’t tried the incubator yet, there’s always more I wish I could do dream-wise.
Why? Well, the other night, I dreamt that it was time for my surgery. My tattoo artist from Austin, Paul, had brought me. I don’t know why, but he was there—with my dog, Dexter Morgan—lounging on one of those uncomfortable, vinyl-plastic sofas. I was in a Johnny, wandering around the hospital with my bear, Frederick. There was this doctor there but he wasn’t my doctor. He was very authoritative, he exuded a certain presence. He scared me even though he was kind of nice. I remember wandering the hospital with IVs in both arms. Then, I lie on a bed and just as they’re ready to give me anesthesia, I wake up.
I have recurring dreams, too.
One of my favorites is when me and my friend, Eric, are in Hawaii. Somewhere on one of the islands, we find this deserted lagoon. We swim underwater for a really long time (I can’t swim. I have this fear of water but there I am in the dream, swimming like Michael what’s-his-butt). Then, we wind up in some other part of the lagoon and just…hang out. No one else is around. It’s always just us in this wet, underground cavern.
I have this other recurring dream where I walk up an old staircase and in the wooden wall, there’s a secret door. Once I open it, I see that inside the wall there’s a little cubby hole with all kinds of words and phrases etched into the walls inside. I can’t read what they say but I always feel safe in there. Sadly, I don’t really have that dream anymore. I miss it, though. So, I made a sketch of it to paint. I wonder if I don’t have that dream because I don’t need to go in there anymore?
I have fucked up sleep. On some nights—straight-up insomnia. My brain has been waking me around 3:00am (witching hour) and spinning random thoughts until about 5:00am, then sleeping until 8:00am or so. This has gone on for years but has significantly increased over the past few weeks. And my dreams are so…heavy. I mean, I can still remember dreams I had as a child. Can you? I still see the troll on the bridge from a dream I had when I was seven or eight. I dream a lot, remember most of my dreams, and have even witnessed one dream from my middle school years actually come true. Yeah, it actually happened.
There are other dreams. Fragments of images and people I remember, but I can’t articulate them yet. They’re just flashes from an old projector. I miss projectors. I think I’m more afraid of the anesthesia than I am of having almost all of my lady parts removed. More afraid of sleeping forever than fearful of what they find in there, and they’re bound to find a lot.
I love to sleep, I just never know what I’m gonna see once my eyes are closed. This might be why I like to fall asleep to comforting sitcoms, like Everybody Loves Raymond. My dreams affect my head, my days, my mood. They fuck with me. Ronnie says he doesn’t really remember his dreams. Lucky bastard.
Do you dream under anesthesia? Is that possible? The last time I was under anesthesia was over twenty years ago, so I don’t remember. Talk to me. Silence my despair.