Saturday, November 19, 2005

"You came regular like seasons, shadowing my dreams"

Some random thoughts today before the main topic of my post.

I was driving through Oakland past blocks and blocks of Latino day laborers, and I was consumed by 1) how privileged I am and 2) thoughts about how it is that the poor are among us not because we don't know how to make them un-poor, but because we depend on them. There's a lot for me to think about there.

As I was standing in line at Trader Joe's a woman in front of me reminded me of Lava Lady. Just as I thought that she turned, and seeing that I only had 3 items, let me ahead of her in line. I was touched.


Stress is giving me very disturbing dreams. Last night, I had a dream that there were bugs and leaches in the food I was eating.

I also dreamed about a man who had lived and died in the hospice I worked in during my second year in LVC. I was at the old dialysis facility, and he walked through into the back employees lounge. I was frightened in the dream because I knew he was dead and I turned to ask one of the patients whether they had seen him...and he was sitting in the chair.

I suppose I could interpret, but I'm not sure I want to know what those things are saying (the food one makes me shudder just to think about it). But seeing this particular man in my dreams made me remember working at the hospice (it was an AIDs hospice in 1994-95, so no cocktails - people were dying in droves).

This particular man was a fighter. He had lived with AIDs for about a decade. He was sick all the time, and had dementia but was with it enough that he would try to cover it up. He didn't die easily, either. Most people, in a slow death, will have some hallucinations. His were particularly brutal and we had to restrain him. The night he died, he sat bolt upright in his bed and seemed to be having conversations under his breath. Later people told us they'd had dreams of him that night.

It was towards the end of my time there that he died, and by then I was pretty worn out. Maybe he was representing my exhaustion and how that is showing up in my work in the clinic...I don't know. But now my memories are all full of those men.


To end on a lighter note, my friend, NYC Bette, (and the person who introduced me to blogging) just sent me this link. I've seen it before, but it just makes me laugh everytime.

I'm off to take another bath, then some reading, then to bed. (God's but my life is boring!)


Lord Bargain said...

don't use "boring", use "self-sufficient".

(says the man who sat in on Saturday night eating a sausage sandwich and watching TV)

Carol Gee said...

People stay in my head, too, and shadow my dreams. They are homeless men, women and kids, as well as those day-laborer queues near the shelter. They do not go away just because I retired. I haven't stopped thinking about them, though I do nothing to help anymore.

Mr. Mystic said...

Death, unknown, merciless, unrelenting.

Death, unbiased, mechanical, frightening.

Death, for wicked.

Death for saints.

Death for you

Death for me.

Death until we meet I shall not dwell on thee.

spinsterwitch said...

Mystic - Actually, although working with the dying is not something I know that I can do, there is a quote from a Rebecca Riots' song that sums up my feelings about acknowledging death: "Keep death upon your shoulder, it will remind you to love."

Fred said...

I sometimes dream about classroom stuff. Things like having the same student in every class, having a class of 70 (a nightmare, actually), every face is the same, etc.

I don't even want to start trying to figure all that out. They'd probably lock me up.

Cute link. I like "The Love Bum."