Sunday, December 30, 2007
My dad, my mom, my wife, and I had driven to Los Angeles. But there was a problem with the car, so we took a tour bus of the city.
We had heard that if you try to drive the bus by yourself there would be problems, but a driver was already in the seat. So we waited to start.
I sat in one seat. Across the isle and behind one row, my mom, and wife, and my dad sat. My dad was not wearing his shirt.
My mom quizzed me about the Crusades some. I was able to name the first few but not the last. We checked our answers on our laptops and laughed.
The bus took us around the famous sites of Los Angeles. It was not the real Los Angeles, but the "Los Angeles of Dreams." The brown barren hills were so high, the half-cloudy skies were so bright and blue, the water that soaked us was so wet.
Sometime I said "I think Fei is scared," but I heard the words in my dad's voice. I helped Fei across the aisle and she came to sit with me.
Then I woke up.
About three minutes later I realized it was a dream of my father.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I dreamt I was on a game show similar to the Amazing Race. We were in the United States, in a small town that seemed very familiar. I thought I knew the name of the town in the dream, but now that I am awake I cannot place it.
We needed a ride to someplace in the country, but we did not have our own transportation and it looked hard to arrange it. Somehow we spied my grandfather there, and the task ended up having nothing to do with in the countryside. My grandfather could either redecorate a a building to look like a schoolhouse/courtroom (I knew the task's name in the dream, but can't remember it know. Something like "Legal Eagle" or something), or else my grandfather could do another task across the street at the whitewashed firehall. My grandpa started walking at an angle across the state, but I saw that it was hard for him to walk so encouraged him to do the task that was nearer.
The room was dark as he started working, but as it continued the room became well lit.
He went to work, and we were about done before the other team arrived. I went across the room to a stage/closet (I can't remember if it changed in the dream or I merely walked from one to the other) to airbrush some paint. We were done, and I say my aunt and her granddaughter (my cousin). My cousin and I recited the Hail Mary (the only words of the whole dream I remember, and which was odd as neither are Catholic). We were asked to stay for dinner, but we responded that we had to continue with the race.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I had a very vivid nightmare last night.
I was crossing a river valley that was obviously the Jim's (some distance south-east of Old Elm Colony) on foot. It was about 4 in the afternoon. The road went some ways out of the way, so I chose to follow a dirt path that was more direct. The path went to a narrow, rocky part of the river where I could ford, at the cost of getting my feet wet.
I heard childrne's voices while walking over the water.
On the other side I saw that the dirt footpath went into a factory-like building, and the earth was steep around it, so I either had to enter to go through or turn back. I looked back, and the sun was setting. It was around 5 or 6. I entered. I felt I shouldn't be in the building, and I remember hiding from witch-like creatures, but without the magical powers.
After sometime in this building, I had made progress and I was on my way, But there was a hanger-type building right next to the factory. It was dark, and I walked inside. Men in SWAT/riot gear were at two cave-mouths in the hanger, battlign enormous, upright, shambling, 10-foot-tall-plus apes.
I turned to go, walking straight into a man who recognized me.
That was the end of my dream.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Last night I was falling asleep. I was in that period between wake and sleep where time goes fast -- you may look at the clock and it is eleven, and the next moment it is fifteen minutes later.
A woman with big eyes and a big, smiling, but closed mouth was looking at me. Close, just inches away from my face. Her face was round and full without being fat, her eyes were black.
I was looking at her with my mostly closed eyes, seeing her without any features being distinct. Time passed and I was still there, and she didn't move.
I felt the realization later, but the woman does not look like anyone I know. She looked vaguely oriental -- but her skin was fairer than a south-east Asian's, and her features less distinct than a Chinese. Her lips were naturally red, but not overly so, and her eyes were black without being deep. Nor, and again I realized this later, was there a reason for her just to be there. Or just to smile.
She was not heavy. I felt no weight from her. I got the impression she was sitting somewhere on the bed, probably to the left of my knees.
Time passed. And that is what wass strange: nothing changed. She remained there, smiling her closed-mouth, big-eyed smile.
I got up to try identify her and I felt and saw my eyelids open while I was still seeing her. Then in that instant I didn't.
My first thought, or maybe my second, was that she looked a lot scarier than I thought just a second ago. But none of her features were scary: no sharp eyes, no teeth, no grimace, no coldness. Only the smile, still but not frozen.
The room was darker than it had been a second before, too. Seeing her, I had the impression that a weak but warm light bulb was on somewhere on the other side. Then awake, the room was of course black: lit only by the odd electronic light, and the street lamp outside.
But seeing her at the time, I did not feel peaceful, or scared, or relieved, or frightful. Only, and I guess this is why I woke up, just every so more tired at the effort of not closing my eyelids in social obligation not to fall asleep while someone was looking.
I think the same thing may have happened later that night, but that may only have been a memory of the dream.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I woke up this world to blackness. Actually, dark greyness. The entire world was two geometric planes, with the minor (lightly darkish grey) plain intersecting the major (very dark) plain at almost a right angle. I was falling, so I reached out to the lighter plane. But as I reached it fell away, and....
... I woke up on the floor and saw I had pushed my nightstand/table/minishelf onto its side as I fell off the bed. The crash as a broken glass of water I had poured the night before. My reading light was somehow undamaged.
But this real thing, I can't wake up from this.
A very close friend of mine at the university checked up on me today, asking me how I was and (quite seriously) what he should do with my food (I have grape juice which will last for a thousand years, but carrots which were probably bad last week). To the first question, I don't know, and the second question, whatever he wants.
(I am now looking over what I just wrote and note that the first sentence should probably be "I woke up to blackness." But "this world" is there, and the only other formulation that rings a bell is "I woke to this world in blackness," which doesn't quite make sense. Or, "I woke up in this world to blackness." Whatever. I'll leave it as it is.)
The neurologist spoke to my mother after I had left and emphasized that she wanted to see more. I think I know what she means by this: either response to commands or more opening of the eyes. I think hearing this conversation is what got me down. Immediately before that call I was pretty happy.
Everyday I have been looking for one new thing. Direction, not speed, as Tom says, and as most of the people we see say.
Today I saw or heard about the following new behaviors:
- Opening eyes in response to mild physical stimulation. Before today every time my dad opened his eyes was either because of applied pain or when we were talking to him. Today he opened his eyes while he was being shaved.
- Grip of the hand. While not a "clasp," dad can apply pressure to his fingers to close them more firmly.
- Significant motor response to conversation. At about 11:00 I told my dad I had to go, and this agitated him. His heart rate went up and he began moving around a bit more. So I stayed with him and my mother and talked. What I remember next is clear but out of order: he moves his head directly toward my voice, his brow grimaces in concentration, his lips move slightly without tongue movement (it looked like weekly attempting to speak without sound, but I will report the behavior, not the cognitive speculation).
Additionally, two behaviors which make me happy continued.
- Dad appears to be in a steady sleep cycle, with activity during the early morning hours and before noon, with sleep in the evening and mid-morning. The burst of activity after 11:00 AM I mentioned above is the latest example of this.
- Dad also can "arm wrestle" -- apply counter-pressure in response to arm-to-arm pressure in the manner of the children's game. I haven't lost yet, but I had to concentrate to win today more than before.
So what's where I am. Greedy and impatient for progress. It's appropriate that one good site for coma-victim families is waiting.com.
I am back in Nebraska now. I have to teach Wednesday and Friday, and give a test on Thursday, and I take that responsibility seriously. My dad would to: he was a business law college instructor for years on the side, and always wanted to retire to that. (I'm talking in the past tense because his law practice became too successful, so he cut out the teaching so he would still have the same time for his family.)
I miss my dad. I want him back.
Thank you for your kindness.
It smells like spring outside.
Friday, January 12, 2007
I woke up convinced -- with the same level of banal certainly that tells me I can watch HuskerVision from my office -- that my grandfather was alive.
I had a vivid dream of walking in the "crick pasture" with him. There is a creek by his old farmhouse, and he owned owned a "lake pasture" on the old Yankton Trail, but this was a different place. It was a relatively small plot, half a section long at most and perhaps a fourth wide, with an oxbow crick in it.
It was spring.
My grandfather, my girlfriend, and I walked up the crick. He was not in the best of health -- he stumbled a bit as he walked, and his skin was a little thick from fluid, but he was healthier than he had been for years. We walked just out of the mud on a beautiful spring day.
As we turned on the oxbow I saw a bicycle -- with thick blue plastic and sized for a young teenager -- in the mud. I pulled it out so it wouldn't get ruined and we walked along.
I saw a second bicycle, similar to the first, in the mud but also in the water. My grandfather and I pulled it out together, and we laid it on the grass.
We walked a bit farther and I saw a big, plastic, light-grey television remote control in a clump of grass by the creek. I pulled it out, and my grandfather said something I can't remember. (I think he said that there was no need of it, or that it was junk, but the impression I got was not to throw it away). It was much larger than a standard remote control, but didn't have extra functionality. Merely the standard remote control buttons. For some reason it seemed like a remote control from the 1980s, but I cannot remember seeing a control shaped like that. So I pulled it out and moved it farther from the mud, too.
We walked farther along, and passed a few rocks that made a natural dam on the creek. My grandfather concentrated to get his legs through the rough spot but managed fine on his own. My girlfriend followed behind him. For some reason after I cleared the hurdle I turned around and laid down on the grass. I looked up at there was this beautiful bush -- it was a tree, I knew it was a tree, but in the dream I remember thinking it looked like a bush -- that was being flashed by the little creek waterfall. It looked like water was falling up it, and over it. I remember wishing that I had remembered to bring a digital camera because the image was so gorgeous.
Then I woke up.