Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another poet had hypnotized me and an audience watched as I walked like some kind of semi-purposeful zombie, maneuvering through what looked like a TV set kitchen. I stationed myself at the sink, methodically rinsing slush off my hands. The slush was from a bottle of some liquid that had been frozen and was now expanding out of the confines of the bottle. As I methodically rinsed my hands, the hypnotist made a comment about my age and my deadpan sounding rebuttal indicated that I was actually 80 years old. The audience seemed rather disturbed by this assertion (and I was disturbed by it, too, when I woke up and expended a little too much energy worrying about why my hypnotized dream-self might claim to be 80-if anything, I feel younger than my real age, not older-so is claiming to be 80 in a dream some weird portent of impending death or something?-I HAVE been feeling creepily anxious lately about heart disease and colon cancer and family history of such diseases).

After my age assertion, the audience members started making their own assertions about me-and most of these were negative, pointing out my faults. I was accused of being 'ME! ME! ME!' I was accused of being bitter and disillusioned with the poetry world. There were some other negative assessments about me and my poetry, but I can't remember them clearly. There was an implication of irreparable mental issues and something wrong with my brain function and even though I was not responding to the hypnosis properly, they should probably just let it be, because of the hopeless nature of my brain malfunction. At that point in the dream, they were discussing me as if I was some kind of case study and as if I wasn't there or couldn't hear them or it didn't even matter if I could hear them. Even though I was hypnotized and moving like a zombie, I could still hear them and I knew they were right about my brain. I had some awareness of the word brain pan. I had some vague mental image of a metal dust pan in my brain except it wasn't really a metal dust pan; it was more like a filtering mechanism that was stuck.

This FELT a lot worse than it sounds, I think. It wasn't so much the content of the dream I couldn't shake when I got up; it was the FEELING. Disease, death, mental disorder, being judged-all things I fear to the point of detestation. I hate the idea of my brain malfunctioning in a way that only outsiders could assess, because how would I know because it's MY brain and I am trapped within its confines, but on the other hand, how can I trust others to assess my brain?

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