SWIMMING AWAKE

Here’s a little something I literally dreamed up last December. 

It’s No Alarm Saturday, so of course my conscious mind abruptly surfaces from my dream at 6:30 a.m. Then I remember: though it is Saturday, I did set my alarm because it is the morning of the Hartsville Christmas parade, which starts about the time I would normally be pouring myself a bowl of cereal.

Still, I am awake a full hour early. And it’s kind of a relief. I had been struggling for some little while, dreaming I was back in college, and had returned to my dorm from a trip to find I had been assigned a new room.

I was trudging down the hall from one dorm room to another, a giant Christmas teddy bear tucked under one arm as I lugged a boxful of CDs. I passed the room of a law school friend who happens to be a musician. (Apparently my dream returned me to the days of co-ed dorms, which had not yet dawned when I was actually in college living in a dorm.) He was getting ready to go out to play a gig, and he had a musician friend with him, waiting for him to grab his banjo – Merle Haggard. Not old Merle Haggard: young, Bakersfield-era, 1960s handsome, devil-may-care Merle Haggard, propped insouciantly against the doorframe of my friend’s dorm room.

merlemain

The Hag sized me up as I passed by. He looked at the teddy bear – why, oh why, did I have to be carrying something so atypically girly-girl when I ran into a reprobate like Merle Haggard? And why did I even care? – and disdainfully raised one surly eyebrow. He did not smile or nod or speak. I did not pass inspection. I did not merit his effort. I was not surprised.

Aaaand…I wake up, feeling vaguely relieved (but not yet sure why), and conscious of a pounding headache. I lie in bed, taking stock. This is a BC Powder level headache. As the details of the dream come flooding back, I realize I am relieved because in the dream I was unexpectedly having to put forth a major effort to get myself situated in Life. This morning, I am relieved of that responsibility. I am lying in my own bed, and for now, there is no hurry.

However, I do have this headache. Why? Was my blood pressure elevated during the dream? Is it a stress headache? Suddenly I hear, from somewhere up inside my nostrils, a small “snick.” I feel a shifting of pressure behind my eyes. I raise my hand underneath my nose and experimentally huff out a breath onto the back of my hand. Air (and thankfully nothing else) comes from the right nostril. From the left, a faint wheeze. Sinus. Definitely sinus.

I get up and take the BC and a shot of Flonase, and return to bed, pondering the dream. Its elements are familiar.

  • I come home from vacation facing upheaval over which I had no control, but which requires major effort from me to get re-settled.
  • Music and Christmas décor are important trappings that I want in my environment wherever I go.
  • I am dissed by an attractive Alpha male who makes no offer to help me with my load.

Yep. Familiar ground. Can I go back to sleep now? Wait…do I want to? I can do without that kind of stress.

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