This is am update for the week..no art yet, though the Hades commission should be finished soon(been too sick to attempt). It's very dark, and very personal and probably not a good idea to read it if you are easily offended or grossed out...This was mostly written for me...but shareing here is a process that helps me more than I ever thought it could.
My thoughts are so scattered...I think it has a lot to do with the new meds I am on. They aren’t helping the pain...not even a little, but they are making me so distracted I sometimes forget I’m in agony in favor of staring at pretty lights or reciting song lyrics from music I haven’t heard since I was a kid.
I’m in school...I have my classes...I’ve looked at the emails with links to my classrooms about a hundred times since I got it yesterday and every time I just sort of...forget to click it through.
I don’t care to.
I don’t care to do anything...I’ve been this way for a week. I don’t care if I eat, I don’t care if I work...I don’t care if I’m in pain...
I just don’t care....
I think it’s safe to say the meds are not working. I don’t know if this counts as a bad ‘reaction’ to them or if it’s just how the damn things work. Regardless, I got more work done suffering through the pain or swilling tequila than I am getting on this drug which the net says is highly addictive and...largely ineffective.
Am going to have to call the doctor again.
That dream is back too. The one where I am put to my knees and shot in the head? The one where it’s usually done by a man in uniform, a Vietnamese man speaking native along with a bunch of other soldiers. All my friends, the men with me are dead and there I am on my knees with this gun barrel knocking into the back of my skull and him just screaming at me.
Sometimes I fight, sometimes I say something clever though the blood is pounding in my head so sharply I don’t actually hear what it is...I just know it’s terribly clever. Sometimes I just take it like a man...which is what I am in the dream...Green Beret, at least I am fairly certain that’s what I am...I’ve looked up the bars and patches that linger in my mind after a wake up and that’s what it is I’m sure.
Regardless, no matter what I say, what I do, it always ends with heat and pain and wet and boots. The back of my head sears when the gunshot pops my ear drums, I’m sure it’s burning flesh I smell from where the barrel was too close and caught the hair and skin all around it on fire when it expelled the bullet. My face pops, like a balloon or a piece of melon hit with a hammer. It’s wet and it feels like sticking your hand to a hot burner or being stung by a bee, but it’s not what you would expect it to feel like when a bullet mushrooms and spreads your cheek and jaw wide open. Bits of bone and bloody skin hit the mud before I do; it’s pretty there with all the reds and bits of pink mixed in with the earthy browns and greens. I lose sight of it after a moment though, when I face plant against the ground I can no longer move my eyes, I can’t move anything at all.
I know enough of the language to know I’m ‘dead enough’ for them. It doesn’t matter that I don’t feel dead, that I can still see the boots as they stomp by, as a few more men are lined up beside me and capped off one at a time. I get to see what it looks like from this perspective; the man with the gun looks mad. They always look angry as they work down the line, yelling, shouting, kicking a man forward, taking out their ankle with the hard edge of a boot heel to make sure they go down— putting them on their knees, making them low before they squeeze off the trigger.
It doesn’t fade to black for a long time...but the pain doesn’t last, it never lasts. When my sight is gone, my hearing remains, and soon I can’t feel, but I can still smell the burnt flesh and the waste and gore from the bodies around me...that scent lingers even after I wake in my bed.
This is the dream that has been coming to me since I was six years old...maybe younger, but the first I recall is around six. Two or three times a year, I have it...and it never fails to shake me up. I wake up sweating, cold, my head pounding and my heart racing and this biting realization that I am going to die, this unwanted understanding that I can’t do anything about it, just that it’s going to happen, that it’s going to be brutal and it’s going to end in boots and black.
In 99 the first variation of this dream appeared. I was taking in the night drop from the theater I worked at-around 3000 bucks-and putting it in the drop box. It was close to midnight and I was robbed at gunpoint. I was assaulted with this weapon, yelled at in a language I barely understood(oh it was English...it just didn’t seem it at the time) and I complied with everything he ordered me to do. I don’t know if I would have gotten on my knees, but I was calculating every option, what fighting would get me, what using the training I had to attempt a disarm would do for me. Even then I sort of knew he had buddies in the bushes...I knew I could take him down...and I’d be shot in the back. I talked my way out of it...I didn’t beg...I actually comforted the guy(I think he was about as nervous as I was), I kept him calm, and I stayed calm...and when he had everything he could take from me and my car he looked at me as if there was something else he needed.
He just stared for a minute...and I asked “You think I can go now?” just as I might some manager who’d just finished bitching me out, respectful, calm, my eyes on his-you wouldn’t have thought there was a gun barrel pressing to my chest-and he nodded. Just like that, he nodded...and stood there as I got in the car. He barked “Go!” at me only once, but it wasn’t needed, I was already moving the car. There was a tink tink sort of noise as I pulled out...and I found out later whoever was with him, those guys hiding in the shrubbery just far enough away that they didn’t know that I’d asked to leave and didn’t know that he’d said yes, they fired on my car.
I spent the rest of the night trying to convince the police that I wasn’t in on it despite the holes in my bumper and side panel. These men had shot every other person they had robbed in the last few months, including the clerk at the gas station they robbed the month after...the one where they were caught and arrested. They shot everyone...but me. They hadn’t all died...but they’d all been shot.
The dream changed after that night. It has had various scenarios all ending with a gunshot to the back of my head and a slow dying after. Last night was the first time there was a warning shot.
The dream was long, so I won’t go into it...but the would-be executioner led me to believe I may not be marching to my death...sent me from the room sympathetically. I moved down the hall and past two white cats with orange eyes that stood up as I stepped around them...I felt it before I heard it, must have been a shotgun because it hit my shoulder and the side of my head with the same round before the boom went off in my ears. I’d been turning to say something to the man, and he hadn’t expected that...I’d fucked up his shot. When he swore, I actually felt guilty that I’d moved, that I was now in burning pain when he probably hadn’t intended that. My ear, my right ear, filled up with warm fluid, the blood from where my skull had been split open from the first shot just pouring into it and down my neck.
I made the conscious decision not to run. I could have, I calculated that I’d probably be shot in the back...I knew the next hit was going to hurt, hurt a lot, I could anticipate it...but I decided it would be better to just...take it. What kind of person just calmly lies down on a tile floor and waits for the next bullet to send them off? Who says ok, this is it, let’s die quietly? I didn’t beg, I didn’t cry, but I didn’t fight either and that bothered me more than anything else when I woke up, because it felt so real.
When you pop your neck, especially by accident, there is a sharp electric pulse you feel that registers as pain. Generally, it will burn and shoot from the base of your skull to somewhere in your middle back. When the second bullet hit, it was this sort of pulsing pain that I felt, it was more as if I’d popped a vertebra and someone had dropped something warm and goopy on my head that splattered over my face and the floor, than what I had expected to be a killing shot. I saw his foot, steel-toed boot, as it shifted around in front of me, as he checked my eyes to make sure I was giving that blank fish stare. I was. I saw it all and yet I saw nothing at all as I began to feel very heavy, as if I’d been awake far too long and my body was finally catching up to the sleep my mind knew I needed.
I went black faster then usual, a slow but steady powering down, like the fan in your computer when it’s unplugged suddenly, slow, gradual and then still. It went black and then I woke up to heard David say, “That sentence should be taken out and shot.” Apparently, he’d been talking to me for some time about something he’d written. It took a few moments for me to remember the one he was talking about...something about the dawn and the horizon, an opening sentence so full of cliché and tired metaphor that he’d both chuckled and groaned when he found himself typing it. I rattled off something clever off the top of my head, something about the dawn splintering into a colorful metaphor of my own. He liked it, though he probably wouldn’t use it.
I was too tired to offer much more as he went on to talk about the short story rolling around in his head, too tired from the sleeping I’d been doing for the last 24 hours. I laid my head on his chest and let my eyes fall on the rifle there, just out of reach, the rifle next to the hallway that matched my dreams to a perfect T, beside the boots my husband wore from time to time when working out in the yard, the steel-toed ones that I always thought of as sexy even when covered in mud and smelling like week old socks. They matched too...you don’t forget something like that, like the last pair of sexy boots you see before you die...or wake up as the case may have been.