R e v e r i e
by Politic X
8: heavy thoughts


By eleven o'clock on Sunday morning, a time when I'm often in the healing stages of repentance, I'm staring down at the world from wispy white clouds.  The airplane is beginning its descent and will soon bring me to a city that may unlock answers to the cedar-drenched forest of my dreams.  I treasure this quiet moment of clarity. 

I would have no interest in coming here if it weren't for Monica, nightmares or not.  I think I would have continued trying to deal with them on my own indefinitely.  And who knows where that would have led?  Maybe I'd kill myself in my sleep.  Maybe the nightmares would go away on their own.  But Monica is waiting for me below, and I'm so anxious to be with her that it feels like days have passed since I last saw her face, not hours. 

She gave me a wake-up call a few hours ago that I didn't need.  I haven't slept since staring into the tiny mirror in the hospital bathroom.  For several minutes, I was unable to move.  I just watched my reflection as realization settled into my eyes.  When I was able to react, there were no tears.  I had my doctor paged and requested an x-ray.  There was simply no reason for an MRI; the shadows present on the gray film showed me all I needed to know.

I didn't tell Monica about it, only that I'm feeling better, which is true.  I do feel better than I did last night.  I don't know how to tell her about the mass that's taken root in the very spot it inhabited several years ago.  I don't want her to worry about the weakened state of my body, how a month of sleepless nights has made it vulnerable to disease.  I didn't tell Monica any of this, and neither have I told my mother.  I need to deal with things on my own, process my thoughts and feelings and know that when the time comes Iím strong enough to tell them what's going on without becoming overly emotional about it. 

There is something else that I haven't told Monica, something that worries me almost as much as the cancer.  I haven't told her about the heightened sense of awareness that's been growing for several days, the fleeting but vivid hallucinations which are escalating in frequency, the line between sleep and waking that's becoming blurred.  I have no doubt that my sanity is questionable right now.  It's been a month since the dreams first interrupted my life, and during this time, I've lost some of my ability to reason.  It seems that I no longer act on my own free will; I just react.  I know where this is leading - I'll be just as affected as Mulder before long.  If I manage to outlive the cancer, I'll scurry underground like he did and give in to paranoia.  And when this happens, William will have lost not only his father, but his mother as well. 

The son of two insane parents, the nephew of two murdered aunts, the grandson of three people who died suddenly - by assassination, suicide and heart attack - William's greatest challenge in this world will be to stay safe.  The burden on my mother is going to be tremendous.  I don't want her to raise him alone, but I don't see any way around it.  If I live through slitting my wrists and arms and legs like the rest of these women did, I still have hallucinations and paranoid tendencies to deal with.  If I keep my sanity, I still have cancer to battle. 

The plane circles over Spokane and I steel myself for Monica's scrutiny.  I won't tell her just yet that anything's wrong.  I want at least a day to appreciate our friendship without the fear of death interfering.  I know any chance I may have had at taking our relationship to a different level was abruptly destroyed when I found the tumor.  I know.  But I've thought about cancer and death and insanity enough for today, and I want to think only of her.  Just for today, I want to acknowledge my desire for her, the fantasy of where she and I could have gone; I want to face my feelings for her and bask in the dream of what could have been. 

Just for today, I want to be a woman in love.


 Posted 10/31/03