Saturday, November 2, 2013

chaos in my mind

"Sometimes I think I hear voices. Sometimes faint. Sometimes loud."

My family doctor eyes me coldly before she asks "Is everything okay at home?"

I answer "Yes."

"How about at work?"

I answer "Yes."

"Do you have financial problems? Is money short, things like that?"

"Don't we all?" is my reply.  Doc looks at me as if to say, just answer, so I say, "Only when I have no money." Doc rolls her eyes.

"Are you with someone? Are you concerned that you are getting old?" I take a deep breath and gave a sigh. "Yes but no, and no but yes."

Doc shares her head, purses her lips and wrinkles her nose. I don't think she's catching on to my humour.

"I'm seriously thinking that you are suffering from depression," she declares after a while.

"But, Doc, what about the voices?"

"What about the voices? What do the voices tell you?" she says this with an obvious annoyance in the tone of her voice.

 "Well, sometimes it's telling me about Virginia Woolf."

Doc looks at me like I have three eyes and five noses.

"You don't know Virginia Woolf?"

"Of course I know Virginia Woolf, I read her in college. Is there a history of mental health issues in the family?"

"Hmmmm...." I scratch my chin and think. "None that I know of, but who knows? Although a long time ago," I continue, "we had a neighbour who was hauled off in a straight jacket." Doc shakes her head again.

"Were you related to that neighbour?"

"Hell, no, 'twas just a neighbor. Never even knew the name, I was still little then. Although it could be a relative. You know, my tribe's elders were all very secretive or they were in denial about most things, especially anything about mental health or illness. They didn't like being ostracized." I shrug my shoulders as I say this.  Doctor stares at me like I should be put in a straight jacket myself. She types something on her computer, prints it and hands me the paper - it is a prescription for Larozapam or some damn drug that probably would make me fall asleep and forget about being alive.

"That should help you calm down and get to sleep better." She stands up, hinting the consultation is finished.

"Buff! and here I thought I just have ear infection or some damn thing."

I leave the clinic and thank the nice perky receptionist on the way out.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

analyze this

The last three mornings, I woke up at exactly 6:27 on the clock, from the same dream.

I am walking on flood water, my feet are tired, which means I have been walking for quite a while. Strange thing about the flood water, it is clear; clear like tap water. I hear the jingling of coins and I look around and there are dimes and nickels everywhere.

In the first dream, I hear a voice and I turn my head. I see Benjamin standing against a wall. He's wearing a faded army green golf shirt. I do not see his face, yet I know it is him. I wake up.

The second time the dream repeats, I see Benjamin again. This time he turns around and looks at me. I call his name. I wake up.

This morning, as I go through the dream sequence, I resolve to not wake up so I know what happens. Benjamin's face is serious. He is not his usual self. Benjamin always smiles. Facing him, I touch his arm, the lean yet strong arms that once held me when we were young. He smiles at me, briefly. Why the sad face? I ask. He turns his head and just like that his image fades away from me.

I did not want to open my eyes; I willed myself to go back to sleep. I could see the clear water, it is cold. I could hear the jingling of the coins. I could see a shadow, Benjamin's I reckoned, walking away. I heard a loud ringing. It was my phone. I looked at the digital clock on the table by the foot of the bed. 6:27, the red letters almost fading in the bright morning sunshine.

In the shower, it came to me. A realization. A recollection. It was the same dream I had dreamed when I was still a young girl, barely ten years old. I stood in the middle of the bathtub, water running down my skin like tiny rivers. I closed my eyes, forcing myself to look back at that dream. Was there more that I forgot?

I finished my shower. As I stepped out of the bathtub, I jammed my knee on the edge and I almost lost my balance. I grabbed hold of the towel rack. For a split second, the whole bathroom spinned and I thought I was going to have vertigo yet again. Then it dawned on me: I saw Ben in my dreams eight years before I met him. Why would I have to remember this after fifty years?

My best friend in high school, Carmencita, and I did an experiment for a year. We recorded the times we thought of each other when we were not in school. We kept a log in our notebooks and would compare them the next day. She used her wrist watch, but because I didn't have one, I depended on the radio or the little cuckoo clock on our kitchen wall. Our logs showed that we thought of each other at almost the same time, sometimes a minute or two off. We also logged what we were thinking at the time and ninety percent of the time, we thought of the same things.

Could it be that I have been thinking of Benjamin a lot lately? I couldn't understand why. I didn't want to attribute it to my age. Or maybe he's thinking about me.

I am wary of going to bed, I don't want to dream the dream if it's a harbinger of things to come.