27 October 07
Another Propitious Dream
Early morning Sunday, the day before I go in hospital. I’m awakened from a dream, or by a dream. It’s only the third I remember, during the four months since my diagnosis – which is odd, since I’ve been off cannabis for two months now, which usually leads to more dream-remembrance, as pot suppresses this. But I’m hardly complaining; the three have been vivid and deep enough.
Last night, I cut my hair, up in Karen’s bedroom, with Devora watching and giggling too, after returning from her second evening of holy circle dancing instruction, with another to come tonight. How fine, that she gets to spin in the rounds she’s loved so for a decade, in that fine new dress that so flatters her figure, just before she goes to hospital on her own convergent path – four days of injections to stimulate her blood stem-cells to proliferate, aching her marrow, until they spill in plenty into her peripheral circulation, to be harvested over five hours the next day while she reads a book and her blood goes out one arm and in the other as the apheresis machine sieves what they seek, the pint or so of fluffy tan cells they’ll let loose in me the next morning, to seek a home in my dry marrow.
It surely was fun, the first time in … how long? maybe fifteen years? that I’ve done it, hacking away with the orange-handled shears with half-remembered blind sensitivity till the last long lock was bundled with the rest in Devora’s hand and I oped my eyes to regard myself in the mirror, guiding the touch-up strokes, as agiggle as they were. O, they were full of compliments – “How nice you look, how much younger, etc.” – as they’ve been promising for years, unable really to get it, how I could be so relatively content with it looking so messy on top and me so severe with it drawn back as it almost always was. And hardly understanding this myself; but I just liked the way it felt, more deeply than however it looked. And now? Handsome, shmandsome, I can hardly credit their crowing triumph. And I sure don’t look younger to myself, all those graven lines will scarcely go away, even when I’m grinning so. I think I look like a pixie, or aging elf – my image reminds me of my magical friends Gar here and Carla in Sweden, we’d make a fine trio, lurking in the bushes peeking out as Devora’s merry coven swirls around.
But I digress. I was due to lose the plumage anyway, some days after they sauce my innards with the alkylating drugs that will kill nearly all my fast-dividing cells, just as they did for Lorca so long ago – not only the malignant haematopoietic clone(s) proliferating in my bones, but my remaining good stem-cells, as well as my oral mucosa from mouth to anus, launching me to find my place on the bell-curve of open sores; and of course all my hair, not just on top but my furry face and crotch, my chest, my fuzzy forearms so fine for washing the car, and so on, leaving me smooth as a child. So hey, why not trim my head in advance, play around, see if the ladies are right, how I’ll look at this stage of life, and after hospital, as it grows back? I’m embarrassed I took till last night to shear myself, but already this morning my head is cool, slightly chill, I’ll have to wear a cap a lot of the time. Bound together, the trimmed locks look somewhat like the tail of squirrel or coon, some more exotic animal. I promised my angel Bridget, the transplant coordinator, that she’d see me shorn before I went in. I thought to show up tomorrow on fifth-floor haematology clinic with the plume pinned to my waist, dangling down, with the head of my penis peeking shyly through the wavy tresses --- hey, all the nurses have seen enough guys in the buff, why not brighten their day with a chuckle? – but Devora and Karen got all stern on me and forbade it, for no good reason: the folks on that floor already know who I am, with my earnest graphs of my declining, ricocheting blood-lines and all manner of technical questions, so why be shy?
Ah, well. So I was doubly in a good mood when I slipped into slumber at two this morning, having finally figured out (I think!) how to get the personalized bowels of Firefox and Thunderbird transferred from my main machine to my new laptop so I’ll be able actually communicate from hospital, suppressing my panic about how unfinished the mess with camp payroll taxes remains. What wonder this didn’t trouble my dreams …
So as to that. Unlike my second marvelous dream, still to be recounted, which took me days before I could recognize what it so clearly meant, this one’s meaning was so clear that its literal camouflage evaporated almost entirely before I could remember to remember such details, leaving barely more than its essence. I was with a somewhat younger woman. Some older male spirit had brought us to this densely-tangled place, left us with guidance and clear admonition; we did not look longingly after him, but moved gladly on with our task. She was/is near and dear and so familiar – and so essential that I have no sense or inkling of whether she is my sister or Karen, my lover in the flesh or through our gaze, my dear friend Heather who came Wednesday, Yvonne who tends me in her dreams, another so, my own anima. Whatever, whoever; as likely it seems she is all, their confluence, for so it goes in the deep reaches, where we are no longer separate from each other. All I know is that I am deeply and well companioned, down in the marrow, in the primordial jungle that young Darwin beheld with wonder as I looked through his eyes again last evening while transferring files on the laptop – oops, how did that get in there? but I did, and so it goes, this process of stewing – and we are busy at the task already together, clearing the tangles, making space for new growth, bringing the light to warm it, fresh rain. I woke buoyant, bubbling, chuckling like the busy pressure-cooker, so filled with warmth and gratitude I just had to set this down.