Posts Tagged ‘nightmares’

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind – Would *You*?!

December 20, 2008
There comes a moment when watching Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, the surreal comedy-fantasy from writer Charlie Kaufman (ok, fine, and director Michel Gondry) when the wonderment ends (or at least pauses) and the wondering begins. Wondering, if such a controversial procedure was available (and safe, and legal, and affordable, and didn’t void one’s health insurance policies, etc), would you sign up for it?

The procedure in question involves erasing certain painful memories, in this case, a subdued Jim Carrey’s memories of his tumultuous relationship with a feisty Kate Winslet. Not just the bad parts – everything. Forgetting the good parts, the quiet parts, the sexy parts (who’d want to forget sex with Kate Winslet?), or that she even existed. It’s a big ask.

We’ve all had that one relationship that seared its way into the very fabric of our being, so that when it ended (badly, as it must) you can’t wash the feel or smell or memory of your person, no matter how many bars of Lux you go through. (Or, if you’re one of the hypothetical lucky bastards out there not reading my blog, you married her. And I hate you for it.)

Well I’ve been there (sorta, just without the feel or smell part), and while it seemed an interesting idea at the time, I was just too ridiculously fond of this person to want to erase her entire existence. But that was 3 years ago, and I still feel as strongly or more so, and the desperation’s making me see the merit in such a solution – for everyone. My cloying neediness has made me a liability, and I worry about my ability to function when around her as what she sees me as: one of her best friends. This closeness – yet so distant from where we were, where I think we could have and maybe even should have been – makes it all the more difficult (it doesn’t help that she fleeting reminds me of Mrs. Winslet).

So after years of hoping and seeing signs and developments that simply weren’t there (hey, I’m not exactly a seasoned pro) driving myself batshit crazy in vain, the straw that broke the camel’s back arrived on July 8th 2008 and culminated with my much-maligned and talked about End-Of-Life-Decision (as cracked.com would put it). After which I did my darnedest to sever all ties with her – for all of 1month. And it was a good month – I cared about nothing, was crass and carefree, the stress and depression lifted somewhat.

But my resolve broke, and we reconnected, albeit now on separate coasts, and I’m back at square one. I awoke late yesterday morning persisted by dreams convincing me that there actually could be a future for us, which buoyed me considerably.

Until I got a surprise phone call from her in the early hours of this morning telling me she’d shelved her long-held dreams to run off to Scotland because she’s found love here, and it seems he could (finally finally finally) be the real thing. Which is superb – as my best friend, I’m beyond delighted for her. But there’s where the schizophrenia comes in, as a part of me is dying a wickedly gruesome and embarrassing death, complete with petulant mewls and involuntary bowel movements. When is enough enough? Has fate not shown me enough times the writing on the wall to turn me into a well-versed scholar? And how can this whiny pining shit coexist with the pillar that’s supposed to be her best friend?

It would be tough – she’s been a critical component of my life for the last 7years, and if nothing else I value her friendship extremely. But, barring a precise lobotomy that would rid me of my pestersome ‘feelings’ for her, would I take the Eternal Sunshine treatment to be rid of it all – and her of me – once and for all? I’m leaning heavily towards a ‘yes’, more so than ever before, because it would be a welcome release (but then who’ll be my muse??) and she won’t have to worry about me going batshit and hurting or embarrassing her again with my ‘feelings’. It’s almost certainly a ‘yes’, but to be responsible, I’d really have to get back to you on it.

Or not, since it’s just a fucking movie. Fuck you very much Messrs. Kaufman and Gondry.

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Nightmares and Dreamscapes

August 8, 2008
I have thrown in a very mild form of sleep paralysis, coupled with lucid dreams, into my already tortured sleep process. For most people, the deepest – and sweetest – part of their sleep is accompanied by REM (Rapid Eye Movement, not the band); for me, it seems every part of my sleep is accompanied instead by VEM. Having spent all night tortured in memory of a certain someone-who-shall-not-be-named – which in turn is fueling my latest script idea that is in itself taking a psychological and emotional toll on me – and thus tossing and turning endlessly, I finally drifted asleep in the wee hours of the morning.

I dreamt of old school chums and a happier, quieter, simpler time revisited, before being dragged to the present with a dream where a flatmate and I boarded the wrong subway – one headed out of service and 2 hours out of our way (just like the Toronto Transit Commission to do that). I awoke with a start, except I wasn’t fully awake. My eyes were open somewhat, and I was staring at the coat rack near my bed. But I couldn’t move for the life of me.

And then the room started moving for me. Chugging along, exactly like a subway car, rocking back and forth as it sped down the line. And I knew I had to be dreaming but my eyes were open and I couldn’t move. Then we arrived at a station, and the wall behind my head started to part, like subway doors, only in slo-mo. I struggled to crane my head backwards, but I couldn’t quite get a look behind me; instead, I saw the slowly expanding shaft of light shining on the coat rack as the wall facing it parted.

And I was struck with a sudden, mounting sense of dread.

I tried to reach for my cell phone beside my head, to call for help, but I couldn’t coax my arm to move. Still I stared at the growing shaft of light as the ‘doors’ opened. And then, from inside my head, I felt a mounting pressure, on the right side of my head (my migraines are typically associated with the left side of my head) and it spread from my temple across my eye and down past my cheek to my chin. A squeezing sensation, as if some entity inside my head was determined to crush it without paying attention to the other half of my face (and don’t go throwing ‘Two-Face’ associations at me – it was the left side of his face).

At that point I started to scream. Or at least tried to. Nothing came out at first, and then a low, mournful groan started to escape from my throat, growing at the same rate as the shaft of light and the pressure on my face (like a tumor with a hard-on on growth steroids). And the groan increased ‘til it was a low frequency sound that was as chilling and unnerving as everything else around me. With one final effort, I struggled to move. But this time just my leg.

And it worked. My right leg jerked slightly, with just enough behind it to rock the rest of my body, which jerked me awake. Well, maybe ‘awake’ is the wrong word, since I felt awake enough earlier. But it sure as shit snapped me out of it.

Everything ended abruptly. The pain, the light, the groaning, and I was lying exactly as I had been a nano-second earlier, staring at exactly what I had been staring at, the coat rack. And all I could deduce was that, because my sleep process had been so hijacked and tortured by someone-who-shall-not-be-named, maybe that translated into this surreal experience. Certainly the most interesting thing to happen to me last night. I wonder now whether people will start to believe my assertions that I’m the brink of insanity.