Monday, April 20, 2009

fears and dreams


Monday morning blues. Let them be brief...

--My son turned18 yesterday. He and his girlfriend and their babygirl came over for bagels and chocolate pudding pie. We gave him four new tires, how’s that for symbolic? See ya. Stay safe.
--I have a disappointing resurgence of an irritating and mildly debilitating injury. I have nursed it along, including thrice weekly rehab, since January.
--This past weekend I retreated with other faculty from my family medicine residency program. Our annual event. The group has been stable for over 15 years. We’ve recently lost two to retirement and by next fall will have two new members.
--My mother’s cancer chemical number is rising, ovarian. I just loved every minute (even the hard minutes) that I spent with her on her recent two-week visit here.
--I am heavily involved, hours a day, in writing my final for Memoir Class. I am trying to show how it was to be me during the early reaction phase from an indecent sexual assault that occurred in 2007. Not to tell, mind you, and not to summarize! for god’s sake, but to show my life in reaction, acutely and realistically – so the reader can live it on the page. Again and again, until I get it right.
--I have a card sitting on my kitchen table. It tells me I missed certified mail and need to pick it up. It’s hot. Scary. It is from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work, NCBTMB. I sent in a formal complaint about the sexual assault in late 2007. They took my statement by conference call six months ago. I’ve been waiting for the determination. It’s here; I just need to take that card to the post office this morning to find out whom they believe in this ongoing He said-She said saga.

Is it any wonder then, that I had a dream last night that I was under dark murky water, alone and scared? Or that once my feet hit bottom it was heaped up with dead bodies? Men mostly, middle aged and bald, or shaved with growing stubble, naked and muscular, buoyant somehow when I had to kick off of them to get back to the surface. I woke up in a start with palpitations and a long and intense hot flash.

I took an antacid and wandered reluctantly back to dreamland as the trees outside swayed noisily in the wind and the rain dripped down my window.


  1. Wow Janice...this is the beginning a very interesting essay. I especially loved the dread sequence. I think you should add it in your final essay. It shows your reader where you are right now and how you still respond emotionally and subconsciously to what happened to you.

    I also liked the list of allowed me to feel overwhelmed with you about what is going on in your life and about the resposibilities that you are burdened with...the dream was topping on the cake!

  2. I agree with Maryam. This is very interesting. As far as "letting the reader experience it on the page" this is good. I was there with you. A visceral description of dread, nightmare. And really "nightmare" is a metaphor for this whole incident--the incident itself and the aftermath "he said she said" chaos.

  3. And from the perspective of a youngish person still trying to figure out her vocation four new tires is a fantastic gift. I received the same gift in June and for Easter I just received a new muffler. Which is not yet attached to my car...I've been driving around sans muffler for a week. It is embarrasing. I would have received a noise ordinance ticket at home by now but luckily the Pgh police have better things to do than the Elkhart police...

  4. Sounds like times are tough. I don't know that I'd bring all this into your piece as a number of these touch on things too broad for brief mention. However, it's nice to see the rough side of things, if for no other reason than to have them affirm my own problems and know that none of us are alone in that. I hope things turn out for the better.

  5. Each one of these feels like it could be its own essay. but i love how you've pulled it together in a dream. I think choosing a dream like that as a frame can be a wonderful tool in showing any one or two, or even three of your "blues." Definitely come back to this (when you have the time janice). there is a very honest and powerful voice here.


Please feel free to jot down your thoughts. I would appreciate knowing your reaction if any, to what I've written, and/or your feedback on how I've written it. I am actively trying to be a better writer.