Thursday, November 10, 2005

Play It Again

I was recently reminded of those books that offer you alternate plot lines depending on which thread of the story you follow. I had a terrifying dream that went something like this:

I was standing behind a sliding glass door looking out at a driveway. On the driveway was our new Prius with its magnificent GPS system and with multiple suitcases in its trunk, one of them mine loaded with many of my favorite things. As I watched the car, it exploded, touched off by a bomb planted deep in its belly. Fortunately no one was hurt, but all my things were consumed by the fire of the explosion.

I relayed this dream to my friend Rebecca, not understanding in the least what it might mean. She said right away, “Do you think it might represent your fears about your upcoming surgery?” To which I replied, “I don’t know how it could since I haven’t even acknowledged being afraid.” My BLOG post a couple of days later was about all the fears that I had been saving up, pretending that they didn’t exist. Both Rebecca and my therapist Kathryn today when I told her about the dream seemed to know that in our dreams the walls that hold our real feelings at bay are gone.

Rebecca had an interesting suggestion: Start the dream over again. This time fill your suitcase with all those things that you want to get rid of during the surgery instead of your prized positions. You aren’t really concerned about the car since you don’t get to drive it anyway. Now watch the car blow up once again. It will be a very different feeling. WOW! It would be just like one of those multi-ended stories.

In my session with Kathryn today, I had yet another thought. This whole surgery thing is in a sense a repeat of what I went through just a year ago. At that time some things didn’t go exactly the way I wanted them to go. They wouldn’t let me take my guided meditation tape into the surgical theater because the foam earpiece coverings were disintegrating. Go figure! Also, I found myself alone for much of the afternoon after surgery as I barfed my guts out with morphine poisoning.

So in a sense my upcoming surgery provides me with a way to solve the problems of the last time. I have a spiffy new headset that shouldn’t pose a problem. I am going to demand that someone stay with me after the surgery in case I get sick or afraid or I just want company. This is so like another ending for the same story. But this isn’t fiction. It’s going to be real and this one is going to work so well.

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