Dream # 1:
Shortly after his surgery, while taking prescribed opioids, Patient A. begins a series of vivid dreams. The first night he dreams of walking through his house, cane in hand. In the spare room is the new rug, a gift from his daughter, a design with red slashes alternating with wavy green-blue lines. When A. walks across the rug he is engulfed by undulations of the blues and greens, swept away by waves above the red slashes, which are now fireballs fragrant with kerosene. For a moment he floats serenely on his back, looking up at the sky from a soothing expanse of sea, his cane in his lap. His daughter’s voice echoes in his ear, reminds him that he needs to walk to avoid blood clots. Though he can no longer see the fire, the sea smells overwhelmingly of kerosene.
Patient A. walks with his cane outside to his deck. Two robins hop along the lawn below, pecking for worms. Their eyes are X-ed out, as if in a cartoon where the X’s indicate unconsciousness or death. The robins are joined by several more; they watch Patient A. as he shuffles with his cane. Above the robins’ heads rise cartoon dialogue bubbles, with hostile messages inside. “Stop looking.” “We don’t like you here.” “You—intruder. Leave us alone.”
Patient A. is walking through a fairground with a Kim Kardashian doll in his arms. The doll doesn't look like K.K., but is understood in the dream to represent her. A. feels drawn to the doll with warmth, tenderness. The attraction is not sexual, but parental, the magnetism of a fragile young life that needs protection, nurturing. A. cradles the doll on his way to the fairground restroom. When he wakes in the morning he feels the overwhelming urge to urinate. His penis is partially erect.
Patient A. has returned to work and is stationed behind the counter. A customer hurls abuse at A. Calls him a loser and an idiot. Demands that A. bend certain rules to satisfy the customer’s needs. Without a word A. grabs a heavy steel coin tray and smashes the customer over the head. The customer falls in a heap, like a collapsed building. A. wakes up feeling refreshed and revitalized, like he’s never been more alive.
Patient A. walks onto the lawn with his cane, though his daughter has warned him against it. The robins arrive, first two, then several more, than many dozens. They swish and swoop around A.’s ankles, knock his cane out of his hand as he tumbles to the ground. They peck at his chest, his limbs, his face, screaming as if they’re otherworldly hawks, falcons, darkly malicious birds of prey. A. sees himself now from a distance, as if he’s floating above. His eyes are X’ed out, and there are cartoon dialogue bubbles above his head, though he can’t read the words inside.