I dreamed that I was swimming in the ocean.  In real life, I don’t like to swim in the ocean unless it’s crystal-clear, like the Caribbean or the Florida Keys.  I’m neurotically afraid of sharks (which I know are crucially important for the ecosystem and almost never hurt anyone) and I don’t like it when something brushes my leg.  I’m also worried that I am going to cut my foot on a sharp rock or some sort of debris.

I dreamed I was swimming in the ocean and felt something brush against my lower leg.

I am a very strong swimmer, but I am not a good diver.  I think I can do about 12 feet..?

I dove down to see what touched me.

There were bodies of women, suspended in the water.  They all looked like me.  There was grass coming out of the sand and women’s bodies above it.

In the murky distance was a monster.  I couldn’t see him, but he had a yellow eye.  I saw that.  He was saving the bodies to eat for later.

I came to the surface and tried hard to swim to shore, but I couldn’t get any closer.  I kept swimming and swimming.  I was scared the monster was coming for me.

Another Night in the Haunted House

       I just had a dream that I was working at the Studio.  I had a long session.  I don’t remember anything about the session, but when I came out, I was very, very tired.  I walked to the locker room and sat down on the couch.

       My English friend, Betsy, was there, and she was putting her things away in the locker that used to be mine.

       I was tired and closed my eyes, thinking I would take a five-minute nap.  

       When I woke up, it was very late at night and the place was almost empty.  It was very dark and lit only by a nightlight and a lightbulb inside Betsy’s locker.  She was still putting stuff away and talking to some guy standing in the corner.  I don’t remember anything about him.

         “Oh, shit, I overslept!” I said.

         “We’re just about to head out,” she said.

         “I’ll leave with you.  Will you wait just a sec for me to grab my things?  It’s dark in here.  Where’s the light?”

          “They moved the switch over to the manager’s desk.”

          I carefully eased my way out of the locker room and looked for the manager’s desk.  It was supposed to be about twelve feet away, but now it was very, very far away–like on the other side of the room, a hundred yards away.

           I started running towards it, but no matter how fast I ran, I didn’t get any closer.  At last, I gave up, and turned around to go back to the locker room.

           “Never mind, I’ll get my things later.  Let’s get out of here,” I said.

         But then I heard Betsy and the guy leaving without me.  They turned off the final light and I heard the door slam shut.  

          I was left in the darkness alone, and I couldn’t see my own hand in front of my face.


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alexej:  Gustave Doré, The Wolves and the Flock of Sheep [Les Loups et les Brebis], 1867. From Doré’s Illustrations for the Fables of La Fontaine.

Gustave Dore, The Wolves and the Flock of Sheep (Les Loups et les Brebis) 1867.  From Dore’s Illustrations for the Fables of La Fontaine. 

     Wolves possess tremendous spiritual power.  They fascinate me.  I identify primarily with birds and herbivorous animals–deer. giraffes–but when I was a child, I would fantasize about being a wolf.  

     I would pore over photographs of wolves in National Geographic and envision the feel and smell of their fur, coarse and hard like armor, with a dense undercoat.  The softness of the ears and the terrible long mouth, full of fangs.  

     I would have nightmares of being raped by a wolf or a werewolf.  These were not sexy dreams.  They were awful. 

     I still have these nightmares today.

     Terror and fascination.  Terror and fascination. 

Even Hercules Needed Help

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    Update 10:15 PM

     Three AA meetings today and I am home, safe, for the night.  I got through the day, functioned well at my job, called three sober women to report that I was alive and not sucking down Bushmill’s and avoiding my Parrot (the last time I relapsed, I covered Parrot’s cage with a sheet so that she couldn’t see me drink.  Not quite sure who I thought I was trying to protect there, lol).

      Something pretty rad even happened when I walked home from work.  I was walking through a park that had a huge statue of Abraham Lincoln in it.  President Lincoln is my favorite president.  Perched on the statue’s shoulder was a hugeass beautiful hawk.  Lots of people had stopped to admire her.  She definitely looked like a much happier bird than the self-mutilated cockatoo I posted down below.  

      Adler, my surname, is the German word for eagle.  An eagle is not a hawk, but they are both raptors.  

      I would rather be that hawk chillin with Lincoln than the sad hurting cockatoo. 

      Finally, because someone asked, the picture at the bottom of the blog post is the great hero Herakles who retrieved the three-headed monster hound Kerberos from the land of the dead.  It seemed appropriate.

                *                         *                    *                        *

Dammit, you 8 readers!  Why aren’t you voting?  It is imperative that blame be assigned and a culprit publicly shamed.

       Yesterday was a truly crummy day.  I had nightmare that I was counterfeiting money to give to my landlord, which is crazy because I would never do that.  That is a federal fucking offense.  And even if I did do it–which I never would–I wouldn’t do it by downloading the image of a $100 bill off the internet, printing it out on my cheap stupid printer, and then cutting it out with the scalpel the Surgeon sent to me in my Valentine (I keep the scalpel by my desk.  Whenever I miss him, I refer to it).  

        Nevertheless, I woke up convinced–convinced!–that I had given my landlord $400 in counterfeit money, and he found out when he tried to deposit it at the bank.  Caught! Busted!

        Guess how much money I earned with the French Fry.  

         Tell me there’s not a connection.

         Feeling a little conflicted about how you make your living, Margo?   Subconsciously?

         My brother injured his back at work.  The doctor says he needs surgery.  He’s been on pain medication for months now.  I am terrified that he’ll get addicted.  If he takes it every day, addiction is inevitable. 

         He has 50% different genes than me.  I pray to a God I don’t believe in that my brother will be spared this affliction.  I know that he doesn’t drink.  He does use tobacco, though, which is a performance indicator.  

         He knows about the anorexia–he saw me at my lowest weight. He doesn’t know about the alcoholism.  I didn’t develop it until I moved away from home–they don’t know how bad it got, or that I’m still struggling with it now.

          Maybe I need to call my brother and have a serious talk with him about this.   A serious, Come To Jesus talk.   He does not want to be where I am now. 

         It will have to be me.  God knows my mother won’t do it–she doesn’t see what she doesn’t want to see.  I could show up for Thanksgiving weighing 80 lbs and drink a bottle of wine by myself at dinner and she wouldn’t say a word.  Denial is my mother’s chief coping mechanism.  It’s not exactly healthy, but at least it is much easier on the liver.   HA!  Watch–she’ll live to be 105 years old, and I’ll be dead by 35.  Self-destruct. 

This Cockatoo did this to herself.  I know why. 

        I’ll make the call this afternoon.  Too early now.   The time zone change.

         I’m going to take a shower and go to an AA meeting before work–regular tutoring job today.  Then I will call my brother.  I love him and I don’t want him to suffer.

         I need friends, and I need help.  I’m scared, for him and for myself.  This killed three of my four grandparents.  I don’t want to die. 

          Even Hercules needed help.  He asked for it and was not ashamed.

         Ask, and you shall receive. 

Cerberus carried off by Heracles | Greek vase, Caeretan black figure hydria

Nightmare: Paris, Poodles, and Parrot

    Miss Margo Note:  This is a nightmare I had fairly recently…the last time I saw the Mathematician, actually.  Boy oh boy, did my analyst have fun with this one.  

     It’s deeply personal, but also pretty funny, in a grotesque sort of way, so I’m sharing it.  Enjoy.  

   I dreamed that I was a prostitute living in Paris.  I had a small French poodle with its fur styled in the elaborate classic poodle haircut.  I used pink food coloring to dye parts of the poodle’s fur pink. 

    I had a pink dress the same color as my poodle’s fur.  I would wear the pink dress when I took the poodle out for a walk.  I saw other women wearing similar dresses and also walking died poodles—blue, green, purple.  Poodles of all different colors.  Their dresses matched the colors of their poodles.

     My died poodle gave men an excuse to come up and talk to me.  They would want to ask me why I died my poodle pink.  Then I would tell them the nature of my labor, and decided whether or not to take them to my apartment.

     One day I received a package in the mail.  I opened the package and found the dried, shriveled corpse of my Parrot inside. She was shrunken; just skin and bones and her feathers. Around the bird’s neck was a tag with a telephone number on it. 
   I called the telephone number.  Someone on the other end of the phone picked up, but they didn’t speak.

      Suddenly, I heard someone knocking on my front door.
      I went to go answer the door.  I was suddenly full of fear.

     It was my murderer, there to kill me.  The one who sent me the package with my dead Parrot. 

      The killer looked like a man, but I think it was really a woman.  It killed me with a knife. 

…Thy Days Would Not Be Long.

One kiss, one kiss of your lily white lips
one kiss is all that I crave…
One kiss, one kiss of your lily white lips
and return back to your grave…

My lips they are as cold as my clay,
My breath is heavy and strong.
If thou was to kiss my lily white lips
Thy days would not be long.

Oh don’t you remember the garden grove
where we used to walk…? 
Pluck the finest flower of them all,
‘Twill whither to a stalk…

          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. 
     His opponent.

     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.

“That’s What You Get.”

   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. 

Breakup Update

     For the last three nights I have dreams complex, vivid dreams.  Very strange content matter.  Some of it was new material, which is interesting.  Although they were not nightmares, the dreams were mostly unpleasant in tone–even the sex parts, and usually sex dreams are awesome. I woke up feeling disoriented and a little upset.  

     The Surgeon backed off a little bit and I thought that the worst was over, and then he sent me something in the mail.  Not sure what to do with it or how to respond (or whether I should respond at all–probably not).  

    I told my friend about it.

   “It’s a bribe!  A bribe!” She declared, reminding me:  “He’s a sick fuck!”  

    Ah, indeed it is, and indeed he is, and I am in a vulnerable position right now, and so very bribable.  

    My emotions cannot be trusted and my frustrated sexuality is being a total pain in the ass.  It is just so unacceptable.  If I wanted to be sexually frustrated, I’d get married.  

    I was advised by another M.D. that I could get the Surgeon off my back in two seconds if I complained about him to his professional organization.  This is excellent advice that I will file away for safekeeping, but it’s a last resort, for obvious reasons.

Startled Awake

     Is there a name for that falling feeling you have sometimes when you’re falling asleep?  As you lose consciousness–that queer, vivid sensation of freefall which startles you awake?  It happened to me twice last night.  Weirdest damn thing.  It’s got to happen to everyone—I’ve seen people startle awake and animals too.  There must be a physiological explanation for it.
     Let’s consult the Holy Sacred Oracle of our day, the Google.  God bless the internet.  How did people ever live without it? 
      Hmmm…my results suggest that the falling sensation is called Hypnic Jerk: “A hypnic jerk, hypnagogic jerk, sleep start, or night start, is an involuntary myoclonic twitch which occurs during hypnagogia, just as a person is beginning to fall asleep, often causing them to awaken suddenly.”
     The English idiom “to fall asleep” is very apt.  I like it.  I wonder how other languages describe falling asleep.  The only one I know is German: entshlafen, which, I think, means more like “to pass.” 

Bizarre dream…but compelling

A husband and a wife lived in a mountainous country.  There was a war going on, but it hadn’t reached their area yet, and it didn’t seem very important to them.  They lived in a big beautiful house on a Cliffside. It was always winter and blanketed in snow.  The wife was of German heritage, but the husband was something else—a different citizen, a foreigner.  He was darker and smiling. 
                One day he had to travel out of the country for business.  The wife stayed home.  While he was gone, a German army invaded the area.  The General conquered the area and set up his headquarters in the wife’s Cliffside house.  The General was an intimidating fascist.  He didn’t throw the wife out of her house, but he made her vacate her bedroom.  The General moved in to the bedroom and his officers moved into the house, too. 
                The husband could not return now.
                At first the General had almost no interaction with the wife, but as time wore on, they established an acquaintanceship.  At first he simply seized her property and did whatever he wanted without asking.  After he got to know the woman a little bit, he still did whatever he wanted, but he told her first beforehand and acknowledged her cooperation (as if her cooperation could possibly be an issue).  He appropriated her magnificent sled dogs and said, “These are excellent animals,” as if it was a compliment instead of purveying the obvious.  He ate the food she made and said, “This chicken is very fine,” as if it was not a statement of fact.  One morning she saw him in a robe, and it shocked her because she couldn’t imagine that he ever wore clothing other than his uniform. 
                Then the war was over.  The General announced that he would be leaving her house and returning home.  The woman agreed, but in truth, she did not want him to go.  For some reason, she was absorbed with him.   Nevertheless, the General left with his army. 
                The husband came back, but the wife never told him that the General had occupied the household while he was away. 
                Years later, the wife suddenly received a package from the General.  He wrote that he remembered their time together fondly, and he wanted to give her a gift.  In the package was a pair of his leather riding boots.  The leather was so well-polished that it shined like a mirror.  The wife was entranced with the boots.  She hid them in her closet behind some long coats, but kept taking them out to look at them and touch them.  She would put them on and walk in them and stand in front of the mirror to admire them.  She could not wait for the General to come back and wear them himself. 

                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.