I Am Awake, Wide Awake… I think

When I was about five years old, we lived in nice little place. It was small though for an expanding family. Upstairs were two very small rooms each with a dormer window looking over the front yard. When my 2nd little brother was born, I was moved upstairs to sleep in one of the dormer rooms.

It was scary up there. For one thing, there was the childhood monster that lived under my bed. Sometimes I would try to get the courage to hang my hand down and see if the monster might grab it. I always pulled it back quickly before he could get it.

There was also a small closet which didn’t have any doors on it. The moonlight would change the shirts and coat into very scary shadow people. It was quite frightening to wake up in the middle of the night and have them moving about in the closet. I often pulled the covers over my head waiting for the attack to begin.

But, worse of all was the set of “owl” bookends that I could see every night in the next dormer room that was used for storage. I am going to use foul language here because they deserve it. I hated those fucking owls when the moonlight sat upon them. They scared me more than the monsters and the shadow people. They had the meanest look on their faces and I knew they wanted to fly over and peck my eyes out of my head. If I were to find these owl bookends in an antique store today. I would purchase them, go outside and smash them on the sidewalk.

We outgrow these things, don’t we?

In my twenties, I suffered severe back pain. I could only move by falling on the ground and scooting along my back. It was not a pretty sight. I finally ended up in the hospital emergency room where an empathetic doctor, seeing how much pain I was end, gave me a shot with a needle the size of a broomstick. It, and I am going to use the F word again, fucking hurt like unbelievable hurt. I tried to hit him, but I was on my stomach.

The shot worked but had a side effect. I went home and hallucinated that I was in a den of snakes which were crawling all over me. I was living that scene from Indiana Jones. I would wake up scared to death, close my eyes and it would all start where it left off. It was psychologically terrible

After my second knee surgery (the first one required a two week hospital stay when I was 15 years old), I was sent home with a painkiller. This one was a doozy. I was in a lot of pain. The surgery took longer than expected because the doctor broke the drill bit drilling in my leg bone to attach a ligament he had stripped away. I was sent home too early, needed the painkillers very much. These lovely things made me think that when I went to sleep, the dead people would haul me away to Deathville. Hundreds, if not thousands of dead faces kept coming into my own face, like a stream of faces, all saying, “If you go to sleep, you will become one of us.” This made the owl bookends seem like child play. It seems as real to me today, almost 40 years later, as it did then.

I figured it out. Drugs are not my friends. It is like I have had bad LSD trips without ever taking LSD.

So, a year and a half ago, I needed emergency intestinal surgery which also required pain medications. Once again, I go to Crazyville. This time I see the blueprint of LIFE, which is a very detailed pencil drawing of the entire structure of everything that we can’t see. And to top it off, there is a gathering of every creature in the universe and they all stare at me as they walk by. I would return to this place and visions whenever I closed my eyes. It was disturbing, but better than slithering snakes and dead faces. As I was coming in and out of La La land, I was telling my wife all these insights I suddenly understood about life. She told me later that it really bothered my nurse – as some of my insights included the nurse. Being she worked in a surgery unit and I would think should be used to crazy talk, I must have stretched the boundary some on the patient-health care provider relationship. I was told I spoke in very authoritative and compelling terms. I was scaring people and they were concerned about my state of mind and capabilities.

All these things are burned in my brain. They scare me. Which brings me to tonight.

Allergy season has been brutal in this part of the country. I was losing the battle even while taking Flonase, Benadryl, Zyrtec, an inhaler for asthma, an allergy eye drop, and Claritin. While at the doctor today, he checked me out and prescribed Singular.

There is one type of dream that bothers me a lot. I call it my dream within a dream. I get caught up in a dream trap. You know, you’re dreaming and then in your dream you realize that was a dream, but you’re still dreaming. It is a reality mind-fuck (sorry) but it is. I took my first Singular dose tonight, went to sleep, and I start having vivid dreams, scary dreams, and I “wake up” from the dream but then other scary things happen because I am still dreaming. I was outside in the pasture, and suddenly the afternoon became night, and I became frightened yelling for my wife. She and my grandson come running to me and I tell her about “my dream” and then a tree trunk tries to swallow me up into the ground…while I think I am awake. I wake up, for real…I think. Then I fall back asleep and now three little boys are roughhousing with me and they get rougher and meaner. Again, my wife says you were just dreaming. I am relieved but then the three little boys start attacking me but my wife can’t see them. I don’t know if I am awake or not.

So, at 2:10 am, I get up and start researching side effects of Singular. I think one dose is enough for me. I also will not go back asleep because these dreams are too much for my little ole psyche. It is almost 5 am now and I think I am awake, wide awake.