It has now been nearly a month since Christmas, and more than two months since I last posted in this blog.
Much has happened during that time. I embarked on a nightmarish journey through the world of illness, and I nearly found myself on the other side of the River Styx. Perhaps I dipped my toes into the River Styx. I don’t know. My head was light and woozy from fever and my world shrank until all that was left was inner space… the world of imagination, dreams, and fuzzy, undefined images. One night, I had this dream:
I dreamed that I was standing at a parking lot, near a big body of water. I did not know where I was. I saw my father sitting in the car. He was reading a newspaper. He asked me when I was going to use my boat. I said, now. I thought that it was kind of late, but I didn’t say anything about it. I took a boat from the trunk of the car. It was deflated, sort of like a raft. I knew that I had to re-inflate the boat, but I didn’t think that I could because I didn’t have enough air.
I sort of woke up and started coughing. When I stopped coughing, I was in the boat, which somehow had gotten inflated, but I didn’t know how. So I started paddling in the boat. I saw other people in other boats and I saw houses and places that looked familiar. The lights from the houses and places shone in the water, and I paddled toward them. I could hear meows and voices. But the harder I paddled, the more distant those things became. I knew that either they were real or I was real, but I wasn’t sure which was which. They disappeared and I sort of woke up and started coughing.
When I stopped coughing, I realized that I was still in the boat and that I had done nothing but paddle around in circles in a very tiny area. I came back to shore and my dad saw me pulling the boat behind me. He said, you can go out again. Why don’t you ride in your boat. I looked at my watch. It was nearly . I said that it was nearly . He said, oh, it’s too late. The boat got deflated and ended up in the trunk of the car, but I am not sure how that happened. I didn’t doubt that it did happen because I knew that sequential time was not a factor in Feverland. So my dad drove away, and I started coughing again, and was never sure whether I was in the car with him or not because, when I returned to my dream, I was back in prison.
A correctional officer told me that I had to go to my room right away and get ready for the count. I thought that something was wrong with this and that the prison was not real. The CO told me that I’d better hurry up and get to my room or I would get handcuffed and taken to the SHU. I said that I couldn’t do that until I found my boat again. And then, the prison and the CO disappeared and I was back in the boat. I was not surprised because I knew that the prison was not real in this Feverland. This time, the waters were very choppy, and I nearly capsized. I went back to shore and my dad told me to go back out in the boat. I said, no, the water was too choppy, and all vanished, and I woke up, coughing.
During the time of my illness, my mind took my back and forth in time… back to prison, and forward to the fuzzy, unreal future.
The second antibiotic did the trick, and I recovered… slowly… and, a month later, I am still recuperating.
When I felt better, my parents took me to the mall, where I saw kids on a carousel and large teddy bears, all dressed up and moving. I took pictures of the bears, and they are depicted here.