I had two nightmares about the Surgeon this week.
In the first dream, the Mathematician went to him to have surgery done. The Surgeon knew who the Mathematician was, but the Mathematician had no idea that the Surgeon knew me. The Surgeon did the surgery wrong on purpose. The Surgeon disfigured the Mathematician and made him paralyzed on purpose.
Then the Surgeon sent me a bouquet of red roses, with a note attached: That’s what you get.
I’ve had this dream before, with another man I was dating…
In the second dream, I rode the subway to watch the Mathematician play a match of squash against a random opponent.
I climbed up the stairs of the gym and approached the squash courts. I saw the Mathematician there immediately, even though his back was to me. He was playing against another man…someone smaller, wiry, fairer-haired.
I thought to myself, That guy looks awfully familiar! Who is that?
And then I knew: It was the Surgeon. He’d found us.
The coldness in the pit of my stomach. The absolute terror.
Did I confront the Surgeon about what he was doing…? My brain was spinning with possibilities. If I outed the Surgeon, I would have to explain to the Mathematician where I knew this man from.
I sat down on the bench and kept my mouth shut. I felt like I was made of wood. The way that it feels when you’re shocked and you have no sensation in your face. All of the information pouring in through your eyes.
The Surgeon is older than the Mathematician, but he murdered him. He nailed him with the hard little rubber ball every chance he got. He hit that ball hard–I could hear people watching the game through the glass suck air over their teeth and wince whenever the ball connected. Every time it did, he would look over his shoulder and smirk at me.
It took the Mathematician a little while to realize that his opponent was deliberately being an asshole. At first he was confused, and then he became angry.
This awful situation was all my fault, and I felt powerless to stop it. It wasn’t simply a matter of me throwing myself on the proverbial grenade.
It was powerlessness.
* * * *
I told these nightmares to my analyst. She reminded me that in our dreams, we are each character in the dream. The dream is an utterly organic vision.
The monster in your nightmare is you.
The Surgeon really would behave in this fashion…except for the surgical mutilation–he wouldn’t do that because he’d get in trouble. But he didn’t do it. I did it. I am the nightmare surgeon.
When I’m with the Mathematician, everything is great.
I am falling in love with this man.
When he’s gone, I get so paranoid and afraid. I tell myself that it’s a bad idea and I need to stop it right now. I tell myself that I have to protect him from myself. I tell myself that he wouldn’t want to be with me if he knew who I really was. I am afraid of wanting to be loved. Needs are dangerous. When you give someone the ability to say “no” to you, you give them power over you. When you are self-contained, you have power. Autonomy.
But this voice is just crazy thinking. It’s not really real. The Mathematician doesn’t really think these things. I am just making stuff up.
Trusting and honest. Trusting and honest and don’t lie no matter what. No hiding.
Update 9:45 AM
Okay I feel much better now.
Why doesn’t the iPhone come with an instruction manual? I’m a moron; somebody help me. I can’t get my photos off of it. They are fun to look at on the phone, but I have to get them to the blog.
P.S. Parrot flew to one of my bookshelves and ATE most of a book. I hope it’s not toxic! Books aren’t toxic, right? They can’t be, or else kids would die from them.
* * * * *
AAARGH I had the most awful dream last night!
I have a date with Spencer tonight and I dreamed he didn’t know about the Surgeon and went to the Surgeon for surgery. The Surgeon did it wrong on purpose to punish me and made Spencer paralyzed, as if he’d had a stroke.
And the Surgeon got away with it, too! He sent me roses and wrote me a note: that’s what you get.
Major panic! I haven’t had a bad dream about an ex like that since John!
I am going to the gym. I have to get this out of my head.
This morning I met my friend, she of the fantastic envy-inspiring hair, at a coffee shop. Then we went to an AA meeting, my other home group, together. Again, I confessed terror and vodka-swilling–meeting the grad director and snarfing gummi bears on the train.
Huge amount of support. People reached out to me afterward–CALL ME NEXT TIME. This was a different sort of AA group, a group for people who, like myself, are not religious and do not believe in God. My other group is important to me but I am also very fond of this group because I am intellectually at home here.
We all went out to eat together. I had a CHEESE!!! SANDWICH!!! AND FRENCH FRIES!!!
Afterward, I came home and worked out my schedule for the weekend. I have only one meeting with a student–it’s the end of the semester, and the others I have are laying off for the Holidays. So, I’ll be pulling double shifts at my secret job at THE SUPERSTUDIO for the next three days. I can’t rest until I finish making my back rent. It sucks, because I hate working nights. Also, there’s a saying in this sort of work–you should never do it because you need to do it. If you go in there needing to do it, it can make you vulnerable to a whole shitstorm of consequences. Need can make you weak.
I want to see my analyst this weekend and bounce some ideas off of her and seek her advice. If I turn money tomorrow, it won’t be a problem. But if I can’t, I don’t think that it would be responsible of me to spend the money on her fee.
I’m wary, because I need to stay focused on my most important goals: not drinking, and finishing my academic degree. I also need! some money! right now! Working at THE SUPERSTUDIO is a timesuck, but more than that–it has the potential to become a TRAP. Moreso than any other place I’ve worked–infintely more. It’s like The Surgeon. It’s fantasyland, baby, it’s drugs. For someone like me, wired like I am? It’s drugs. Or at least, it has the potential to be. (FYI: I never used drugs, I just mean ‘drugs’ in the metaphorical sense.)
I am thinking about how I am going to maximize my earning potential over the next three days I’ll be fucking living there. Because I must have a plan; I can’t just go in and hope things work out for me. I have seen the other employees. Competition I’ve never experienced before–and I’m not bitching about that, I’m saying it in total admiration. This is a totally different level than what I’m used to, and I didn’t fall off of the turnip truck yesterday. I have to develop and utilize my existing skills.
What do I have on the others…? My education, obviously. I speak very well. In formal situations, nothing about my demeanor is rough or uncouth; I can be very convincingly bourgeois. They respond to that.
What sort of energy can I project…? I think, a fascist. I find the politics reprehensible in every way, but that is neither here nor there. As I have joked in the past, I am the Frederick Taylor of Pain and Suffering. Order–we will have order here! Ideological, demanding, impeccable, meticulous–unassailable and effortless authority. The science of exploitation.
In short, I need to take the voice I do to myself, and instead project it outward–much more than I usually do in these circumstances–to the Nth degree. My father’s incredible greed and casual disregard and fearlessness; my mother’s military discipline and OCD. These are a few of their gifts to me–whether they are good or bad is irrelevant in this context. They exist within my personality; if I give thought to it, I can harness them and channel them when I want to. If I master the knack to do so.
I had a dream the other night. I dreamed that I was dressed in my finest clothes, and reading journal articles at my desk. I was taking notes in a notebook. There was a man outside the room, and when I registered that he was there, I told him to come to me. On the floor. I didn’t look up.
When he shuffled up to my desk, I extended my free hand, encased in a brown leather glove, and instructed him to take off my glove. With his teeth. I only looked up once or twice. “Do not leave marks on my glove!” I ordered him.
After he finally managed to take it off, I seized it in my other hand and beat his face with it, hard, until he was crying.
I dismissed him then, and went back to my papers.
Her husband found the boots by accident one day. At first he thought that they must be a secret gift she’d purchased for him, but then he saw that they were not his size! He was confused and a little suspicious, wondering to himself, “What’s going on here? Whose boots are these?” He knew his wife was hiding something.
Working the day shift.
If business at the House was any slower today, it would be moving BACKWARD!
A colleague with whom I am modestly acquainted (that’s as good as it gets for me at school these days) is defending his dissertation today, and I decided to miss it in order to work. Unfortunately, there is no work to be had. It’s crickets and tumbleweeds around here!
Since the day shift is probably going to be a wash, I might elect to pull a double…sometimes we get slammed around 6 when all the Wall Street guys get off work.
I’ve been really good about staying on the wagon, but the bottle of Jack on top of the fridge in the lounge is looking mighty nice. Alcohol, my irresistible but abusive (abusive in the bad sense of the word) boyfriend. Always there for me, doing pushups and pumping iron in the next room, waiting till I come back to him…
Fear not, I have no intention of actually picking up (I never drank at work, unless you count professional conferences or cheese-and-wine meet n greet job talks). Whilst I wait for the monetary bounty that may or may not befall me, I think I’ll fortify my sobriety by watching clips of Dr. Drew Pinsky:
Dr. Pinksy is one of my imaginary TV boyfriends (Dr. Pinsky, of course, is a real individual–only his status as my boyfriend is fictive). WHAT A BABE!!! He has the whole “responsible, mature, accomplished, caring paternal adult” thing nailed down. I have delicious, joyful Freudian dreams of Dr. Pinsky in which he presses my neck to the carpet with his shoe and then grades my homework assignments (I get all As, of course, because I am a total teacher’s pet).
Oh, Dr. Pinksy, why don’t you come to see me? I would be happy as a clam just attending to your suit with a lint roller. Anything! Anything at all! I would defrost your dinner steaks by breathing on them–FOR FREE, it’s my privilege!
At least this speculation has lightened my mood! Now, off to YouTube!