About death. Or the constant avoidance of the idea of death. But death? Maybe death is but a dream, too. About the avoidance of life.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat is not macabre. Not really.
Ring Around The Rosie, however, is quite macabre. This is a song about the plague. It has been sung by children ever since the plague.
And, If I die before I wake.. I remember this. I remember praying those words with my mom before bed. She would then tuck me in (putting my teddy bear and various lambies and other stuffed animals all around me) and kiss me good night. And, I have to say, as nice as all of that was, all I could think of as she plumped my pillow and turned on my night light was the potential dying before waking portion of the program. It left me a little ill at ease.
Last night I had a dream about my own death. It was so real.
Though any dream of any kind is welcome these days. I don't dream like I used to. Or I don't recall my dreams as I once did. I guess people go through phases, but I just haven't had dreams the way a person should for a couple of years.
I know this is true without doing any formal research or anything.
The only parts of any journals that I've kept are those entries that were about dreams that I had. It's honest. An honest account. No editing necessary there. Nothing to feel self concious about. And, as I am not accountable for what happens in my dreams, I felt no betrayal (of myself) was being committed in writing them down. So, I have this pile of paper that, among other things, suggests that I'm a real slob, as writing down dreams is a furious if not delicate operation. One wrong move and poof. It's gone. It just slips away.
So handwriting goes right out the window. These three or four (hundred) pieces of paper that I've kept, written either frantically or sleepily, like scratchings of a true slob, reveals the way two or three key things about a dream might be jotted down, and then might branch out like a sort of tree of words (it's quite like outsider art) into wide ellipses of what I'll call "outer" papargraphs (that sort of swirl around whatever the first few key points of the remembered dream originally were). With further points and notes made in an abbreviated language all my own. Meant to remembered by me (later) and are now (years later) a complete mystery to me. With even the main points being scrawled desperately onto the page. Like those messages you're always hearing about, the ones writen out in blood by the victim,
I was pushed..!
Really ridiculous, the sheer urgency of this particular record keeping of mine.
It's embarrassing. Especially as this all that I've kept of my journals. And the pages themselves are suspect. Often it's onto pages of text books, phone bills or other envelopes. And many, many cocktail napkins. Not that I woke up from dreaming in bars, so much as I often (suddenly) recalled my dreams while being in bars. And if I was bored, and I was often bored in bars (as I often waitressed in bars, which was very, very boring) I would, of course, when having the experience of suddenly remembering a dream, stop everything that I was doing (all just waitressing nonsense) and try frantically to get it onto paper.
I'd just sit down, pull up my sleeves, and start to piece it together. My dream. Whatever it was. And if it took all night, so be it. The customers were already drunk. They could wait.
Bottom line, if I ever post my dreams, I will scan them into my blog in their original state, as the dream itself is not necessarily as amusing as the style in which said dreams were scrawled.
So, last night, I dreamed of my death.
My death dream was not unlike any other party at my mom's house. We all knew that I was dying, and so a get together was arranged. In my dream this was de rigur. It was like Thanksgiving. Just a lot of people that I know roaming around drinking and talking and eating and, for the most part, not addressing the issue of my death.
Even in my dream I understood that this was alright. It's an touchy situation. And I don't like addressing tons of people anyway. Not so concetratedly. As in a party for my death. And, as is so often the case in real life, no one knew what to say. So, it probably goes without saying that quite a few people avoided me at this particular party.
Except for a few people. Those people whom one would expect to know just what to do or say (and we all know such people). Those very people did in fact do and say all the right things to me in my dream. Things like, goodbye. Others didn't. A few were even a little bit rude, like it was just easier to be, and it seemed that they hated this, my death party.
I didn't get too caught up in any of that, though, as I had other things on my mind. I wasn't upset or frightened about my death coming. I had accepted what was going on well before the story line of the dream had began. I walked around barefoot, wearing a long black dress. There came a point where some pressure was building up in my head. It was then that I was (casually) instructed (by someone who knew such things) to poke some holes into my eyes to relieve the pressure, which I did. Surprisingly, it didn't hurt. At first I was afraid that I had blinded myself, but once I realized that I hadn't, I continued visiting and drinking.
The next thing I remember is that my vision dimmed. I was becoming blind (again not by any previous poking of holes in my eyes, but more simply by death itself). By this time everyone had either left, or was sleeping. I sat down on the couch and looked out the window knowing that it would be the last thing that I would see. My death was deffinitely starting. I felt my chest cramp up. Like my lungs were consticting. It was involuntary. I bared down hard and exhaled and knew that it was my last breath. And I was kind of glad that it was finally happening, as all the talk, talk, talking of my impending death all night long had started to make me a little anxious.
Very briefly, I became concerned with whether it would be painful. Or lonely. Or just nothing. I didn't entertain any thoughts of the afterlife. I briefly considered it as a subject to address, then decided that I would deal with the afterlife if and when it happened (as I now had more pressing matters to contend with). Finally, I noted that no longer breathing was as unremarkable as breathing itself. Death was nothing more than a bodiIy function. I decided not to worry, but rather allow myself to be entertained by the fact that the mystery of death was finally being revealed to me. I thought, ok, I'm ready.
And then there was something like an odometer that had characters on it. It was running rapidly. Numbers and dates and times spinning and flipping by. Then, slowly, it stopped. When it stopped, the last part of it said, September 5.
Then I woke up and looked at my clock. It was 12:30 AM. So I went back to sleep.
Next thing I knew, I woke up having over slept an hour and a half, and I had the most horrible fifteen minutes trying to throw myself together for work. And my whole day was crap as a result. And I wanted to cry. I just kept running to the bathroom to cry as well as stop myself from crying. Like I was trying to cry in a reasonable fashion, a little bit here and there. Throughout the day.
I was super emotional.
I just roamed around the studio continually thinking that it was Friday for some reason (and then, over and over again, being rudely reminded that it was, in fact, Thursday), styling things for various photographers, and, all the while (that is, while puffing up santa hats or whatever they were, or putting away candles, or eating my turkey sandwich with too much garlic in the pesto mayo) I was aware that I was having the worst day.
And, if it's possible, it was both hot and cold outside today.
This day. It was bad. But the dream (though it sounds bad) was good.
This is me writing it down.