Monday, August 20, 2012

Tune in, Turn on, Fall down?

What strange night I had!  I hesitate to discuss it since it was SO strange, but like Ray Bradbury and his horror tales, putting it down on paper takes away much of its force. It is similar to the belief that if you know an evil spirit's true name, it loses it's power over you.  So I'll cry out, "Rumplestiltskin" and procede.

The heat wave has had it's usual bad effect on me, but August is making up for years of being less intense than July and hit us with three weeks of heat and high humidity which evaporative coolers just can't handle.  

The effects began early yesterday. As so often happens, I woke to find the world was tilted.  As usual, my eyes insisted that the entire room was tilted down to the right by about 40 degrees.  Oddly, this changed when I moved my head.  Normally, moving my line of sight does not alter the tilt.  Yesterday, when I looked to the right, the room was tilted to the right.  WhenI looked straight ahead, the room  was level.  When I looked to the left, the room tiled down in that direction.

It made walking even harder than it it is when my room is tilted one way.  During a regular event, as I move through the house, the tilt varies with gravity as I move along, although it tilts consistently when I am lying down.  Yesterday was even more chaotic.  I stayed upright, but my wrists paid for it as I veered about.

In the heat wave, I needed a shower badly last night.  I put my wrists under even more strain until I gave up and took the shower sitting down.  A wrist brace eased the pain on my left, and I collapsed into bed.

But instead of simply sleeping, I began to drift.  Normally a delight, this time drifting in and out of dream was disturbing.  I had the oddest sensations and dream drifts I can recall, even including a fever dream or two when my temperature tried to poach my brain.  Shadows became strange and troubling.  They glowed a soft blue and moved and shifted in ways I'd never seen before.  I thought that these living shadows should frighten me, but they didn't.

My fingers seemed to fold backwards like a carpenter's ruler, unfold and then refold again--over and over.  Since I was drifting, I could reach over and hold one hand atop the other.  This stopped the weird sensation.  But soon I was adrift again and could see and hear the clicking of my now mechanical fingers as I dreamed.
It all sounds so 60's psychedelic, but I do not now, nor have I ever, used drugs.  I say again, this is the oddest thing which has ever happened to me.  I wondered if I had food poisoning or if there was some pollutant in the air.  The oddity began to fade, until by pre dawn I began a poem for which I have great hopes.  Then I slept.

Today was a difficult day, but not exceptionally so.  I am 63 and this is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me.  I have no explanation and feel an urge to conceal this bizarre experience, but I believe it will be better to go ahead and open myself to criticism by speaking openly about it.  It happened. It  has never happened before.  I do not expect it to ever happen again.

By speaking openly of it, I intend to strip it of its power to disturb me.  Better to say, "Hey, you want to try to top this one?" and laugh about just how odd an experience I can have.  As I say, and as I sincerely mean, it's good to laugh at yourself.  Otherwise, you tend to take yourself way too seriously.

So, please join me in enjoying the joke.  It is evident that I can freak out from the effects of a lengthy heat wave, I bet you have to take drugs to get the same effect.

Lucky me!

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