Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[cancer] Chemo dreams, redux

My dreams from Saturday night, summarized.
The first dream

Driving a cream colored rented Cadillac along a freeway through a deep, curving road cut. The sky is that strange mix of stormy and bright. Traffic is moderate but moving very fast. I am suddenly struck blind by something I realize is a stroke. The Child is in the passenger seat, and very calmy begins telling me where to steer. I can find neither the brake nor the accelerator, but I can feel the car swaying and swerving as my 12-year-old daughter guides me. I feel utterly out of control, and deeply panicked.

The second dream

I am in a Portland hipster squat, some 3/1 rental house in NE with about six tenants. I am me: middle-aged, sick, on chemo, and I have no idea what I'm doing with a bunch of 23-year-old cool kids. The place is grungy and moldy and hung with Indian print linen and old tye-dye. A cute young woman with maroon hair and piercings is very interested in me, so we go into her room and start making out. After we get naked she realizes how old and sick I am. It all goes sideways.

The third dream

Now it's a hotel, somewhere downtown. An old railroad hotel, one of those transient places, like a giant version of the hipster squat except occupied by middle aged men too far down on their luck. The street outside is crazy wide, like one of those Communist boulevards with no cars where they parade the missiles every May Day. I find my way to my grungy little room, and there's another hipster chick. She wants to make out, I tell her no, and begin cleaning my medical equipment. Needles, tubes, ampoules, all of it bloody.

I have a little zebra fish in a bowl. The girl persists in trying to get me to go somewhere with her. I finally relent, and realize if I do no one will be home to feed my zebra fish. To spare it slow starvation, I kill my fish with one of my chemo needles. Crying, I leave with the girl.

The fourth dream

I am in the giant boulevard, walking along, deeply regretting that I killed my fish. The girl who tempted me out has vanished. An enormous traveling crane comes up the street, the kind they have at railyards to unload the intermodal trailers, except bigger. Some madman has hijacked it and is hunting me. His threats blare across the city on loudspeakers. I run from one building to the next, looking for shelter, but no one will help me because of the trail of death and destruction that follows me.

It's all there — anxieties about medicine, parenting, sexuality, competency; the sense of displacement and threat. My subconscious can be astonishingly transparent.

Tags: cancer, child, dreams, personal, portland
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