A few years ago I actually woke up in the wee hours just like I depict here and decided to write it down. So I guess it’s a rare bit of non-fiction from me this time. Anyway, I dug it up during some hard drive house-cleaning and thought you guys would get a kick out of it.
I know I did.
What the hell was I dreaming to leave me in such a state? I lay chest down with my arms under my torso.
That I cannot remember the offending conjuration is bothersome. With blood flow restricted I’m afraid to move; afraid of the pain that isn’t pain, but merely the noose of pain; constricting, tightening, and threatening more.
It’s that feeling.
But if I do not move, what then? Can I lie here until this condition goes away? I think not. With so much of what this life is, I am sure of this one thing: It will not go away on its own. It might even become greater.
Action and reaction, those are the things of life. Observe and adjust, those things too are staple.
I make to roll, without really rolling; just to test the waters. Stick a toe in. Get a feel for it. And I am glad for the test.
It is like watching a crack form in a dam.
I can move my torso, but my arms are useless appendages. My brain sends ignored signals to mannequin limbs that ache with wariness.
Then a new sensation emerges. A million insect legs riffle their way up and down my arms. And the pain that isn’t pain increases a notch just for good measure (for those who would measure). And I realize that I am all in for this game, this feeling I love to hate.
I am closest to the left side of the bed. So I roll my chest to the right enough to drop my legs off the left side as ballast, using the momentum of gravity to sit upright at the edge.
My numb, paralyzed arms dangle uselessly — my left hand rests, curled upward, in my lap.
The sudden rush of blood excites the insects to renew their patrol with sharpened legs, running now like the exaggerated movements of an upset colony of carpenter ants. I know I should detest these sensations as weird as they are, but I find myself inhaling the moment like a connoisseur.
It is a moment junkies push for; the rush.
I remember to breathe.
The sockets where my arms meet my shoulders ache with a dullness that does not throb, but sincerely persists. And with every twitch of movement I muster, the insects redouble their efforts.
As I make little jerky, muscle flexing moves for that charge — that rush, I realize there is something else — something deeper.
My musculature remains fairly numb, but the skeletal makeup of my arms feels less like bone and more like reverberant coiled springs. And the dancing marching running insects react to the resonations of the vibrating coils intensely.
I am the conductor of this concert of sensations and I am a humble post dream spectator. I am a secretary of the dream interrupted.
Blood flow resumes, the excitement subsides. My physicality maintains a memory of the experience, and then even that fades.
The room rushes to isolation; fast forwards to white noise, casting me into seclusion and my cranial cavity feels stuffed with modeling clay.
I go for a glass of water.
Upon returning, I position myself as I was before; arms across torso, chest down and head to the side.
I wonder how long it will take to have that feeling return. Awareness breeds impatience. Closing my eyes, I look inward.
I want it back — that feeling.
The one we hate to love.