I needed some pain meds yesterday, after being four hours on my feet in the morning. The last three days, I’d been proctoring for the middle school End of Grade exams, so for the first time since I injured my neck, I’d been on my feet for an extended period without a break. Yesterday was the last day, so once I’d gotten the kids home from school I took a couple of muscle relaxers. I thought about the pain killer but decided to skip it. I haven’t had one in a while and didn’t want to get started taking them again. It’s a very addictive narcotic, and it makes my head all fuzzy.
The muscle relaxers kicked in and I crashed out about six last night. I slept straight through to 3AM, woke up for about an hour, and went back to sleep.
I awoke from the nightmare a few minutes ago. It started out pretty good, though. I was a new teacher and a group of really old black men with silver hair were teaching me to play the saxophone in the teachers’ lounge (which was outside on the deck in the forest, ’cause that’s where teachers’ lounges always go, right?). I stepped away for a moment to talk to my wife, and when I got back, the table, the men, and the sax were all missing.
It must have been late fall, because the ground was covered in orange leaves and the trees were bare. My wife and I went looking for the sax in the forest. I found it at the bottom of a little dry creek bed, caught in the top of a fallen tree. When I climbed into the thick tangle of branches to get it, I suddenly found that the tree was not a fallen one at the bottom of a creek bed, but a standing one at the tip of a long, skinny spit of land overlooking a deep gorge, and it was swaying (with me in it) out over the chasm. I shifted my weight a little when it swayed backwards toward the safe ground, and got it to crack and fall, dropping on top of me as I hit the ground.
Then came the scary part. My daughter was screaming my name, and I looked to my left to see her on a similar spit, hanging from a similar tree, but her tree was leaning over the cliff at a 45 degree angle and she was dangling from it. I couldn’t get to her because the spit of land I was on didn’t connect to the main ground anymore.
I woke up.
Nightmares like that are just part of the deal when I take the meds, though. I hate them.
From Whence Came the Art: