Wednesday, July 16, 2014


me: it's happening again. is someone there? i hate this feeling. help.

Doctor Lysander: i'm here. remember, this is normal, this is what we talked about, your body is still asleep but you are fully conscious and awake. it's a damnable situation, quite, you are trapped in your body, you try to move but can't.

me: i try to move, but can't. i want to move my head, which is in an awkward position on my pillow, to the other side. oh my neck hurts! feels like it's gonna snap. i want to move but i can't. this is hell.

Lysander: not yet. not yet. soon it will be. soon you will move it, just relax and try to go back to sleep. maybe your body will realign, slip back into working order, and you'll wake up naturally.

me: oh i'm awake. oh sweet relief! what happened there? suddenly i lost ten minutes.

Lysander: you went back to sleep, took a ten-minute catnap, and your body, mind, and soul adjusted. the ottoman is bent all to hell, but whatever. let's tackle these three dreams one at a time. first, the box on a stick.

me: you seem well-prepared today. you aren't even using any notes.

Lysander: once you accept, my child, a great burden is lifted off your shoulders. gone is excitable, unused energy and what dawns is energy used efficiently to get shit done. still have your green notebook?

me: of course, but not with me. don't think so anyway. i'm still having blackouts and panic attacks. i lose a lot of time, temporary amnesia, wake up and don't know where i am, though i always seem to be here in your office.

Lysander: all normal symptoms...usually. you haven't torn any pages out of that green notebook by any chance, have you?

me: don't think so. why?

Lysander: nothing. so i worked on these last night while i was in the adjacent room there. the one where you're high up in the sky in a box and the box is precariously teetering on the tip of a huge pole that's fashioned to the ground speaks to your loneliness. you have always felt alone, you never had any friends, right?

me: not a one, real one anyway, except my cat.

Lysander: except for me, permanently. but anyway, blurred lines, not the song, the doctor-patient lines, getting back to my work, which is your recovery: the reason the box shakes to and fro with the wind and clouds and you have an overarching sense of fear is that your scramble to get to the top by yourself is a precarious way to live life. it's never steady, it's always on the verge of falling to the ground and splat! ending. it's overall a very shaky way to live. better to go through life with friends.

me: easier said than done, but you're right. even a loner needs a friend once in a while.

Lysander: it's interesting that the giant pole's tip is facing into your box rather than on the other end, down, piercing the soft mud in order to stay upright and secure. speaks to more insecurity, things are not what they should be, things aren't normal, in fact your quest to be alone is directly affecting your health. the reason the pole is so long is that it's the accumulation of your life-long quest to be alone, all the times you ran away instead of confronting people and making friends the hard way, it's so far away from Earth, where the normal people live. you are high high high up, separated from everyone. the sharp spear of the point of the pole is poking into your basket, your box cannot stand like this much longer, it's being holed like swiss cheese, it's anything but measured and sure and balancing gracefully, it's ready to come apart with you in it, the center cannot hold, your belief system is flawed, your chosen lifestyle is untenable.

me: are you my mother or my therapist?

Lysander: how is your mother anyway? it always comes down to your mother in the end.

me: she's fine. she clothes me and feeds me and i love her. no, not this time, it can't be that easy. she's my only friend, but she's my mom, so she doesn't count.

Lysander: she counts more than you know. she counts forever. thank god for family or all of us would be a collection of isolated sad wanderers scouring the earth for home and meaning. families are instant meaning, instant tribe, instant connection. you didn't ask for them but they are there. sometimes that's a bad thing, but it's a thing, rather than no thing.

me: not all who wander are lost.

Lysander: but most are. watching anything interesting lately?

me: just my normal anime, Death Note and stuff.

Lysander: i'm afraid that title escapes me. my son is still in the kid-cartoon stage, not the adult cartoon one. i understand, though, it was the same with me with baseball cards. son, just promise me i won't ever see you at a convention donning a pony costume.

me: deal. never wanted to be a brony, only a bro.

Lysander: friends are important. they are in fact the most important things in life. not even sex comes close, and i do mean come.

me: this is true. masturbation really starts to lose its bite as the Green Day song so eloquently explains. even biting doesn't help. sex gets more and more perverse. like a drug, you have to keep doing more and more bizarre things to maintain that initial high you felt. when does sex go from a mutual pleasure to you just using the other person?

Lysander: nobody has figured that out yet. it's a very fragile balance, much like a man in a box on a pole. many of the greatest minds have tried to tackle this subject. Lars von Trier's Nymphomanic was a great film.

me: i'm not familiar with him. i'll write that name down, in my green notebook so it's permanent.

Lysander looked sallow at the mention of the notebook. every time it was spoken of his face grew whiter and whiter to match his white hair.

Lysander: the hour is running out. let's get to the epic one. i know the details but summarize it again for me.

me: oh, well, first i'm inside a dank staircase. it's an apartment complex. i notice how beautifully spirally the staircase is, so brown, so ornate. i get myself to a glass case protecting the list of the names of the residents, names on white sheets of paper and their buttons to the right to contact them. then, i'm suddenly thrust into this battlefield. i see all manner of soldiers all gilded up in their military garb, the epaulettes, the hats adorned with felt feathers and strings, they look too pretty to get stained with blood, the swords all gleam silver in the pale moonlight, i even see some strange creatures, green aliens and purple blobs also fitted with their wartime gear. i don't see any battling happening, it's just a rolling panaroma from left to right of all the soldiers of all the countries fighting, well preparing to fight at least. i hear the noises of war---gunshots, bomb blasts, boats sailing on the river---but i don't see anything, don't see smoke or fire or the river. the pervading feeling i have witnessing this spectacle is that it is so so grand, so epic in scale, it's like i can see the entire battlefield of dust and dirt from a perspective in space, from a satellite, and the battlefield is the size of China, and i can see it all in one sight, one site, though i am not in space, i'm on the ground with the soldiers. this war, it's an amalgam of all the wars which have come before and future wars, i see a little American Revolution in there, a little Civil War, a little WW both numbers, and of course WWIII with the aliens.

Lysander: first off, thank god for such an experience. most dreams are flits in the darkness that are forgotten the moment one wakes up. the fact that you retained this big tapestry in your memory is a blessing. secondly, maybe this doesn't mean anything more, maybe it was just one hell of a fucking cool dream.

me: i'm not letting you off the hook that easily. doesn't that diploma encased in glass on top of you mean anything?

Lysander: as far as i'm concerned, i already earned that flimsy piece of paper by my years and years of toiling and going to school. if i actually help anyone with it, that's icing. let's see, the bigness of everything speaks to you wanting to be larger than life...i'm making this up as i go along...

me: i thought you came prepared. larger than life, Backstreet Boys, right? Backstreet's back, alright?

Lysander: points for knowing that. my young son gives you the points. this is such an inexact science, you can't really be prepared, patients like you will always challenge your theories with poignant observations. it's not math.

me: hey, even 2 + 2 = 5, nothing is exact.

Lysander: how Orwellian of you. but i suspect you've heard the whole hopeless thing before. i need to come up with something better, something uplifting, to keep you from killing yourself.

i smiled but Lysander didn't.

Lysander took me by the shoulders and said: look at my eyes. i'm serious now, son, look at my deadly grim eyes as i tell you this: never kill yourself, don't ever do it, not for any reason. if you kill yourself...i'll kill you.

i smiled again.

Lysander (exasperated): why doesn't that ever work with my patients? nobody ever takes me seriously!

me: maybe cos you're an adorable short little elf of a man. you're cute and cuddly. threats from you don't take.

that made Lysander smile finally! he had a nice smile.

Lysander: my stature, well that's something i personally have to work through. see? nobody's a finished product, ever, not me, not you, there's always.................................time. but the dream speaks to you wanting to be a big man, to be legendary, to be among those whose names are inked in the history books for stopping evil across the land, for stopping the spread of destruction, for glittering freedom and hope from above. you want to be a somebody, not a nobody on an apartment residence listing. you want to be a leader of men, a soldier for the cause, part of something bigger and good. i'm making this up as i go along.

me: i know. i could get this stuff from a book at Borders.

Lysander: Borders went out of business.

me: story of my life. not the One Direction song, i am directionless. as i said, i come to you for the fatherly disposition, the scintillating conversation, the Cobain priceless advice, the cheerful face, though you haven't been cheerful lately. what is it about talking to people that calms one down?

Lysander: humans were built in such a way as to seek connection. we are not meant to bottle our emotions inside, it makes us sick. we must let go and breathe ourselves to others, for validation, for a sense of kinship, to join our spirits together. lonerism may be romantic, but it's not healthy.

me: what about loserism?

Lysander: that, my friend, is universal.

me: you know that this good will you're gifting me here is temporary, right? i'll wake up tomorrow with great anguish and no energy to get out of bed and a feeling that there is no progress and life will always suck for me.

Lysander: you won't get out of bed cos your body will not wake up with your mind again. your consciousness is forever in flux. life does suck, son, always will. life is temporary, all of it, so you might as well enjoy the brief moments of glimmers of happy sunshine, however short. it's only fair to your body to balance out the impending doom with a ray of positivity every now and then. think of it as a bandage to patch up the tattered floor of your box.

the egg timer rang. the hour was up. Lysander convulsed and fell to the floor in a spasm.

me: bro, are you alright? i'm the one who has panic attacks, remember?

Lysander: i'm okay, i'm okay, no need to help me up, i got it, i'm fine. particularly draining session, that's all. not your fault, mine. not good to schedule these things before lunch. make it after lunch next time. make a note of it on your schedule, write it down in your green notebook to make it a permanent reminder. you won't forget then...

and with that, the frazzled doctor staggered out of the room and into the adjacent one he always went into afterwards, shutting the door, knuckles dragging the entire trip.

me: hmmm, he didn't remind me to go to the treadmill room this time. thankfully, i know the routine. healthy mind, healthy body. deal. physical exercise, i'm up for it today. i feel good, i feel really good. past misunderstandings are in the past, past problems don't weigh me down, just future hopes. i'm excited. i'm cured! i'm recovered! i want to dance!

i entered the treadmill room and turned the exercise machine to full blast. i turned the music in the room on and to full blast also, counter the rules.

me: i don't care. i want to dance on this rolling treadmill today. and i have the exact right song to dance to. i'm heading in the right direction. nothing but sunshine and connective days ahead. i'm ready to make a million new friends! i'm not even gonna bring myself down like i used to with thoughts that this is all just mania. those days are gone! no more voice in the back of my head nagging me with depression and reality.





Juliette said...

Sup Phoenix *)

I'm not even kidding, I swear on burnt toast and everything, I get that horrible thing where you wake up but can't move! It scares me to death, I panic and can't breathe. I went to see a sleep specialist about it cos I got scared of going to sleep.

Dream analysis: I'm kinda with Lys on the box on the pole but I would say that the pole is you keeping people at arms length. (long arms, like long fingers) and it's hard to balance everything and still feel stable cos the things you are balancing, like mundane routines, disciplines, no parties at weekends etc are just stabilisers that keep you focussed but not focussed on the things that really matter. I read that in the Take A Break Magazine.

Battlefield: I think this is you looking at the world from afar. All the different people in life, dressed and ready to battle. You hear the cries of battle but you don't see any wounded. This is like looking through the world from a screen isn't it? There are lots of harsh things that are said but nobody is bleeding. People seem dressed and ready for battle, cos people always appear like that, but they aren't all fighting. The aliens are your demons. Future worries. I'm making this up as I go along...

Lars Von Trier...! Ha!

2 +2 = 3 sweet Phoenix, tch! You know this.

Loserism - great word!

But you feel positive and are going to make a million friends? I love your exuberance. Nobody has a million friends - just go make a handful of real good, solid, nice ones. You will achieve that easily as you're an exceptional person.

By the way, this post is nearly as long as yours and I think I should win an award for that.

the late phoenix said...

you win, my darling, your award is my party sausage...recipe *)

isn't it, though? it's the most helpless hopeless feeling in the world, it is literally hell, you feel like you're never going to escape. i've never sleepwalked, but i always thought that would be cool to go to the kitchen and eat something and have no idea what you are doing.

i get all my life advice from Nintendo Power magazine.

yes, it's like that Tool video "Vicarious".

i knew i had a Lars bubbling in my head, that's where he came from!

as always, love your analysis. my stories are naked without your deconstruction of them :)