Friday, January 4, 2008

Stream of Unconsciousness

"How old are you? Blue turtle."
"How old are you? Go fish. And who thought up blue turtle?"
"Six. I don't know... You have a lot of jobs."
"Yeah, I do. Red crab?"
"You should be tired. Go fish."
"I'm not. Cool, a pair."

I always loved stream of consciousness exercises in jr. high Language Arts class. I loved what magic my mind made when it met paper. I still do. Except... now it seems my mind has been silenced by another, stronger current. A stream of unconsciousness.

I used to keep a dream journal, I swore my dreams helped me guide my waking life. I'd read them over and over and marinate in them, hoping never to forget them.

The first dreams I wanted to forget were after my ex left me. Nightly, he came back and left, in a million different ways. Maybe my mind was trying to work out a way to let go that felt right. An end to the story that worked.

Then they were of love again, but even these were unsettling. My dream man held my hand at the movies and kissed my ear, but in real life we were strictly plutonic and watched by everyone. Then one night he really held my hand at the movies and, much to my delight, kissed my ear and gone were the dreams and on to a new stream.

Do you know where the term "anal retentive" to refer to a controlling person came from? Freud. I learned that when I was studying to be a pre-school teacher. During the stage of early-child development where children are beginning to potty train, some children have such a strong need for control they can't "let go" and well, clench up...

I always think about this when I think of my friendships. No matter how bad they get, I can't let go. I'm not going to psycho-analyze this point, we have another matter to address. But this has been something I have struggled with, and this year I think I let go of a lot of friendships that brought me a lot more pain and anxiety than good. Some of these ended years ago, but in my head, I just now let them end. I had finally pushed them from my consciousness and into the black. No more revisions to conversations and theories on some's ever puzzling behavior, no more hows and whys. Just black.

But as I blocked the currents they burst through other, unguardable avenues.

"Why do you drink that so much? Pink seahorse"
"Cause I'm tired. Go fish."
"Thought you weren't"
"I am, I just don't know any different anymore. I don't sleep good. Yellow starfish."

Every night, when I fall asleep, usually late, someone else is always on time. I never know who it will be, there's one that visits a little more than others, but the table is always set for a dull dinner party in which I know every course by heart. I serve myself up, limb by limb, just as I've done a million times before... in both reality and dream.

It's embarrassing really, that this still bothers me, that it's still, after months, many months, happening. But I don't know what else I can do. It's in my head and I can't change my dreams right? Right?

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