It occurs to me

August 12th, 2005 at 11:36 pm by james

It occurs to me, having just spent three hours of my Friday evening reforecasting the IT budget for the next eight months, that although I never have actually swung birches, Robert Frost was certainly onto something there. I must be in a comtemporary-American-pastoral-poetry sort of mood. If I was a contemporary American you’d be in real trouble right now because I’d be trying to write it.

Snow falling and night falling fast,
O, fast in a field I looked into … but I plagiarise; onward and upward …

I have been struggling for several weeks now with what I’ve decided is hayfever on the basis that a cold that lasts this long is usually terminal. It has been interrupting my sleep (snorts of laughter from Michelle) and causing me untold psychological distress – I have a deep-seated hatred of not being able to breathe through my nose, which dates from early childhood (I mean the hatred, you know the nose does). One side effect of my nasal syndrome is a form of night-time snorting which I’m sure is absolutely peculiar to me and has driven Michelle to sleep in the loft. I stop breathing (sometimes for a while), press the tip of my tongue to my palette and use the back of my tongue to force air through my nose; very effective without actually having to wake up and blow your nose. Somewhat disturbing, of course, if you’re not me and might be concerned that, say, I’m dying in my sleep. Also, the whole point of not waking up to blow your nose is compromised somewhat if your partner shakes you vigorously by the shoulder to check that you’re still ‘there’, as it were.

The other major side-effect has been very vivid dreams. I don’t usually remember my dreams, but somehow the shallowness of my sleep (or something) has changed all that. Two, in particular, remain with me from the past few days. In the first I was in a pool which was a sort of square, grey granite-lined inlet of an enormous lake with turquoise water. Looked a lot like Sun-Moon Lake in Taiwan, if you’ve seen that, but it was in America. And it was warm. There was a ledge at surface depth that I could hook my elbows on and just relax in the water (now that I’m writing this I realise I’m lucky I didn’t wet the bed).

So anyway there I was relaxed and hanging out in the pool with my therapist. Oh, did I not mention her? She was a version of a person I know well and respect, but in a very different body (that I haven’t met, but perhaps suited the environment better). She had an interesting approach, starting with, “So how are you feeling today?” and progressing to, “How do you feel?” followed by, “James, why don’t you know how you feel?”. Not a quick progression, of course, and quite stressful because I clearly didn’t have a clue how I felt and everyone else in the pool could hear her asking and me not answering.

The next night (I think) I dreamt I was walking to work. I was walking up a street with leafy trees along it and looked up to see horses – complete with shirts, ties and smug expressions – walking past me in both directions. I noticed how proudly they held their heads and started copying them, instantly curing my I’m-a-lifetime-keyboard-jockey posture. Except it didn’t, of course. But at least I can imagine horses while I walk to work and start strutting with knees high, shoulders back, neck stretched out and tongue lolling. I always get a seat on the train …

I’m sure I would have dreamt last night too, except there was a team of mosquitos in the room who seemed more interested in playing tag with each other than eating me, which meant I had to keep getting up to kill them because they weren’t coming to me … you have to sleep, perchance to dream.

2 Responses to “It occurs to me”

  1. gill adlard Says:

    I wouldn’t let Michelle read this if I were you, she might get second thoughts about the wisdom of spending the rest of her life hitched to a carosel!

  2. michelle Says:

    never mind the carousel – what he fails to mention is that he used my pillow to wack the mossies which i suppose is fair enough if i am sleeping in the loft leaving my pillow to lie languishing….;)

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