Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dream: A watery sideshow in the present tense

During this time of multiple medications, I've had many interesting dreams and no time or, later, energy to write about them. Now I've had a dream twice, with only a few varying details—or I think I've had a dream twice. The fact I am not sure is somewhat frightening.

In this dream, I am being shown a series of images and told that this is how the sideshow and the illusions work. I can no longer remember all the specific images, although many involve reptiles in a pool of water. In one of today's, a tiny rainbow horse leaps into the pool and emerges unscathed, and it is clear to me how and why. In every case, the situation and the vision are nightmarish, the odds unbeatable, and yet, as the smooth narrator speaks soothingly into my ear and my eyes track the horrible, unreal images, I can see how childish, how simple, how safe it all is, and I wonder at my instinctive fear. My perception is the nightmare, not reality.

We come to the final image, the final test. I am a young girl, pinned down, with no choice but to move forward. I do, into a changing kaleidoscope of abstract images that slowly congeal into the pieces of a puzzle and then the puzzle itself, changing from monochrome to color. I realize I am seeing through a virtual reality device. When I come to an edge, it's easy for me to decide to leap—but where to? Looking down, I see the emblems of at least two comic book superheroes in the tile at the edge of a giant pool in the upper right-hand quadrant. I veer toward it even as my natural gravitational descent begins.

Out of the water leaps an enormous mechanical supervillain—no, a megavillain, too powerful to be understood. "I AM BACK!" he proclaims. I am to understand that he defeated the heroes whose emblems are preserved mockingly in tile.

"SO AM I!" I pronounce, equally pompously.

At a loss for a moment, I fling my arms toward the monster, and his torso is spattered as various mysterious moral weapons strike and sink him back into the depths. Now the pool seems to be attached to a high-end hotel, a place for recreation.

In moments, I have been transformed from a young girl, trapped and terrified, into a savior, merely by my acquired power to distinguish the virtual from the real. Equilibrium is restored, and I no longer have to listen to the insidious explanatory voice or view the disturbing, hokey, yet exotic imagery. I am at peace.

Until I have this dream again.

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