Saturday, 28 February 2015

Venlafaxine Nights

The craziest most vivid dreams involving the same square shaped institutional building that has appeared in my dreams many many times before.  Part school, part hospital, sometimes a wing of it becomes a really large traditional and exclusive hotel lobby but you have to go through a special door at the end of one of the corridors and down a tatty old staircase to find it.  I'm frequently in a part of the building I'm not supposed to be and always conscious of being found out.  At one point it becomes clear that as well as being my old school and a working hospital it's also a film set.  No sooner do I have this realisation then I am instantly being chased by a previously innocuous teacher wielding a sword who turns out to be a crazed serial killer preying on people wearing the colour green.  Then I'm running through all kinds of Dickensian back alleys kicking over boxes to escape.  This is not part of the film.  It happened because I got distracted whilst trying to find a half drunk can of coke that my best friend had lost.  I somehow felt it was my moral obligation to find it.  So much so that my throat was closing over with anxiety and guilt and I couldn't rest until I had put the situation right.

Then I wake up with my mind racing and my heart pounding.  My thoughts turn to, well, anything. Anything that might provide a distraction from this fog that has descended and seems to hold me in a stupor, so cruelly out of reach of the arms of sleep

"... the hideous dropping off of the veil"

My thoughts turn to Poe and I have a sudden urge to read 'The Fall of the House of Usher'

"There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart-an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime."

But I can't read.  The light hurts my head.  I want someone to read to me.  I long for the soothing tones and reassuring arms of my husband who sleeps beside me.  He is physically and mentally spent from yet another 18 hour day being a breadwinner, teacher, housekeeper, counsellor, nurturer and sole parent.  I'll need him again soon enough so I don't wake him.  I stumble upon 'An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe' on Youtube.  Vincent Price will do for now.

".... a pestilent and mystic vapour, dull, sluggish, faintly discernible, and leaden hued."

Words I have read before but this time I lie there and think about how I want to go back in time throw my arms around EAP and weep into his shoulders. He knew.  He speaks right to my heart with these lines.  He has crystallised my whole experience in these sentences.  The Victorians loved their Gothic horror, and their tales of death and the macabre and yes he knew it and used it to his advantage.  But there was a far superior mind at work.  He had an insight into the fragility of the human mind and the muddy pit it can become.  For all the hammy renditions of his writings produced over the years not one of his stories cannot be explained psychologically. What we now have convenient terms for; schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, paranoid delusions, obsessive ruminations. I want to weep but my body and mind feel like they have temporarily shut down.  I wonder how ludicrous and pretentious these sentiments would sound if I spoke them aloud.

I take out my ear buds in case the baby wakes up and I can't hear him.

I can't remember how long it takes to fall asleep again.

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