Fin in a Waste of Waters

"These moments of escape are not to be despised. They come too seldom....Leaning over this parapet I see far out a waste of water. A fin turns....I note under 'F.,' therefore, 'Fin in a waste of waters.' I, who am perpetually making notes in the margin of my mind for some final statement, make this mark, waiting for some winter's evening." (from Woolf's THE WAVES)

08 June 2007

More terror dreams

Even when I sleep do my dreams deny me rest now. For weeks, I've been having nightmares. Sometimes every night, sometimes only every few nights. Sometimes, I'm so worn out as to hardly remember my dreams at all (which is unusual for me). I wake up still-tired (sometimes more tired than when I went to bed), my face hurting from frowning...

Of the dreams I had last night, I remember two. The second (which I'll write about first, and probably remember more about as I write), I can't remember much about. It woke me up. I was running in it; running for my life; running from someone, but also running with someone, neither of whom I can remember. All I can remember is the feel of the air full in my lungs, so full that my chest was tight. AH! I remember another detail - it started out at a dance, the sort of event I've been catering, sort of like prom, but for adults; I had gone there in a group that included Rannier & Jessica, and I danced with Rannier - to the event, I wore my old prom dress, but when we started dancing, I wore "the dress" which Jess lent me. I was running with Rannier, then...but from whom? Someone who had been at the event? Again, what I remember most clearly is the feeling in my chest as I ran, lungs so full as I, I remember the feeling in my arms, too - I pumped them harder and harder, practically pushing myself forward by their momentum, ignoring the ache that reached from shoulders to fists. I ran with deadly seriousness; I ran with power - not because I actually had that sort of strength, really, but because I had no choice but to run with that sort of determination. When you run for your life, I think this must be how you run.

And the first dream...the first dream, I write about to purge myself of it. It was terrible; it was frightening, it was saddening; it is as if it still pollutes my body (I'll not skip yoga today; I've been skipping for work, but my seizures & my dreams are catching up to me - I owe it to myelf; I need to cleanse myself of this stress & most particularly this dream). In this dream, I witnessed what for some reason was classified a terrorist act. And weirdly, there was a movie made about it later, which somehow I already knew about in the present-time of the dream, and even then, or perhaps especially then, I wondered how they (they? movie producers, I guess?) could make a commercial film out of an event so terrifying, so sad - just for entertainment value. Perhaps it was that the film had just come out, and it made me remember my own part in the actual events, a memory which was still clear in the dream, if less so now that I am awake. In it, the terrorist - a man from Turkey - killed another man, a man who worked in a garage - I didn't know why this man was so important; I didn't know who he was; I didn't know why the government labeled it a "terrorist act." The beginning of the dream, I saw it as if I were in two positions - I saw it as a newsreel, from the air, the film grainy, drained of nearly all color, a thin dark man, all tendons and muscle, leaping from a car and tearing down the street (a dirty street, gray, lined with dingy shops) - in the newsreel, it looked as if he carried a large gun; but I saw it, too, from the street, felt the air move as he ran by me, and I saw that what he carried was not a gun, but rather, a small pair of white plastic tubes fused together. I followed him to the garage - but when I got there, the act had already been completed. I saw the garage-owner crumpled at the bottom of a flight of stairs (and I knew instinctually that he lived above the garage, and I knew, too, exactly which room I would find at the end of those stairs - the kitchen, linoleum-tiled, white and yellow, small, every fissure lined with grime from the garage), and at the top of those stairs, his wife, unmoving, her hands clinging one to the other at her chest, uncrying, even...and then, I cared nothing for the murderer or even where he was, if he was still in the garage, if I was in any danger - I cared only for this couple. But when I moved to go to her, I was forcibly stopped; I was collected by the police - I was a witness.

They took me to a small room, gray as well, and brown. In it were a few chairs, a couch, a refrigerator, a TV (not on), and it smelled of cigarette smoke, stale coffee, and bodies. It was full of people. Most sat on the floor. All were "witnesses" or "suspects." Witnesses sat on one side of the room nearest the door; suspects, on the other. There were so many of us that I could not see the floor, but I knew somehow that it was thinly carpeted in brown, rubbed bare in patches, and dirty, the dirt ground in. Then I saw Mur. sitting so low on the floor on the side of the suspects, his sad dark eyes the one point of stillness - a vacuum, nearly; a black hole - amongst the flux of bodies. He saw me. And for a moment we only looked - we could not speak. I didn't understand why we were on two separate sides. I looked at the other on that side of the room. Some were strangers, but many I knew, mostly from work. I knew no one on "my" side. The room was airless; I didn't know why I'd been brought there. I wondered where the man's wife was. I waited, I don't know how long.

Then, the police brought in 3 men dressed in black combat uniforms, carrying a case of guns, all exclaiming excitedly that they'd found the guns used in the supposed "terrorist plot." I looked at the case, remembered the white tubes the murderer had carried, remembered the garage owner's body at the foot of the stairs, his wife at the top. I knew that these were not the murder weapons. "No, that's not what he used!" I tried to tell the police. No one heard my voice; as I thought how the garage owner would not get justice, I shouted: "Listen! Those guns are just a cover-up! Those aren't the guns!" No one heard my voice. "Listen to me!" No one heard me over the volume of their own voices; my voice was so small; I could not be heard, as so often happens to me now. I could not will the people to hear me. I looked back at Mur., still not understanding how he was there, how we could not speak, how we were on opposite sides, and suddenly, I saw the same in his sad brown eyes - he, too, knew the truth, but nor would they listen to him. And so we waited, unspeaking, for how long, I don't know, in that room, in forced opposition, when all either of us wanted was to speak to each other...

I woke up at 5:30 from this dream, and fell back asleep into the other.

But today, yoga, and then, at David's advice (David, bless him, who reminds me that it is my health that counts, regardless of the work ethic I was forced into...I literally don't know how to relax; I had chest pains in Paris, trying to relax...), fewer hours catering next week so that I can focus on my research.

I am so...everything - but my complaints mean nothing. On with it.


Post a Comment

<< Home