My Little White Room

Every so often, I am treated to a lovely dream by my frenemy, my brain, in which I find myself awaking in a little white room upon a very sterile white twin bed, tucked under spotless white covers–tightly, and unable to move, even though there are no signs of restraints being used to prevent me from lifting myself from the bed to investigate past what my eyes can see: a small white table next to the bed, a glass with what appears to be water, and a window not much bigger than two foot by two foot on the wall to my left that might have the outside world on the other side, but the sun is so bright that everything is blown-out, and thus, not discernable.

Sometimes a human–possibly a doctor, researcher, agent, or any other manifestation of authority–enters the room to check on me. I try to speak, but I can’t. They do no speaking themselves, and reveal nothing as to the nature of my detainment. Usually this person hovers over me, staring at me, saying nothing and performing no examination or other molestation–just delivers a grin that rides the line between sympathetic and pleased. When he or she is gone, I’m left there to ponder what events might have taken place prior to my awakening, what are the circumstances surrounding my detainment. But there is never any true recollection–just speculation and the construction of numerous possibilites that might explain how I landed there. This is usually followed by a temporary bout of panic that either grows to the degree necessary to awaken me in the reality we call reality, or is just enough to seemingly reset the dream–and have me find myself in that same little white room again, for what feels like the very first time. And repeat.

Some might refer to this as a reoccurring dream, but it doesn’t happen with enough frequency for me to classify it as such–unlike say, the dream I often have where I know I’ve only a few days until a long prison term, and I spend much of it trying to figure out how to prevent a destiny I know I’ve already cemented for myself, despite not knowing what actions did the cementing.

I tend not to read too much into dreams–at least not my dreams–and these two narratives in particular are probably only a three on a ten scale that measures a dream’s disturbing-factor, ten being the most twisted ones that leave me not wanting to ever go back to sleep. But maybe, like so many things I think and imagine, that which is disturbing to you–a ten on your own scale–has become commonplace for me, my darker thinking routine enough to no longer see the spectacle of it all. Often the first thing that comes to my mind regarding the outcomes of a situation revolves around a twisted little nugget of a possibility that my friends and family might not have hypothesized if even given a day to dwell on potential scenarios.

Ugh. It almost sounds like I’m bragging, and maybe I am, but I certainly hope you won’t hold it against me–let it feed whatever insecurities you might have just enough to consider, and then put into action, a plan that finds you abducting me and reconstructing my Little-White-Room dream in order to get back at me. On the off chance that you do go forward with this very complicated form of retribution, please note: the bedside table is on the left of me, as is the viewless window, and the door to the room, which has no knob, should be placed to the right of my bed and in the farthest corner from me in what I can only guess is about a 12 x 12 foot room. Thanks!

Death by Cement Truck

My mother is undoubtedly behind many of my most rational and irrational fears. She knows this, and so I’m not worried about calling her out on it publicly. She might remember the date perfectly or at the very least what age I was when she told me, “I want you to be careful today, and stay away from cement trucks. I had a very bad dream about you involving one last night.”

I’m placing her delivery of this particular request to me at somewhere between age twelve and age fifteen. Nonetheless, for the last twenty-three to twenty-six years, anytime I stumble upon a cement truck, the mixing variety, I make every reasonable effort to keep it a good distance from me: cross the street, take another block, slow the car down, protest their use entirely with other frightened rubes warned by their own premonitions outside of city hall. As I said, any reasonable effort.

Cement trucks are not a daily nor even weekly observance in New York City, so as dire warnings go – hers or others – you wouldn’t find it high on my list of things for which I keep an eye out. And to be honest, there have been times when I’ve tempted the fates, and walked within ten feet of one just to prove my mother wrong. Other times, I’ll seat myself across from these mechanical beasts and just study them, cataloging all of the obvious and hidden ways a cement truck my be able to take me out using what I’ve garnered from the Final Destination series of films to develop the goriest possible scenarios.

Of course now that I’ve copped to this paranoid gem, I can’t help but wonder if that one evil person with no TV, out to get me, will incorporate a cement mixing truck into his or her plans for my destruction. Maybe serving up my paranoid thoughts in blog form isn’t a good idea at all. Only me could talk me out of writing more about me on the grounds that it might be disadvantageous to me by outlining for me-haters how to get the edge on me.