Torpor, Coma, Languor, Lassitude, Stupor, Hebetude…

There was this ongoing dream while I slept the very few hours I had last night in which I was so tired and so weak I felt quite literally like a ragdoll. I was at a friend’s place passed out flat on my face in the middle of the living room floor, on which a white duvet, sheet and pillow had been deposited (by whom?) as a makeshift bed for me. When came the following morning, I opened my eyes and saw light filling the room and all was white at first, and then I started noticing that there were toys and cats, toys that were cats and cats that were toys scampering around the floor, peacefully napping on various surfaces, hiding in the corners, climbing all over me. I wanted to wake up so I could further investigate these stange mutant-like creatures, but was overwhelmed by the strong pull of Morpheus, who refused to release me from his grip. I wavered between this dreamy consciousness and what seemed like a morphine-induced coma (I can only imagine, having not actually ever taken morphine). By midday my friend’s boyfriend came into the room, his living room to listen to music, his music, and work on his computer (modern art projects combining paintings with musical compositions). Somehow, I knew that my friend had left the house and that we were alone together and I also knew that he wanted to do laundry, play his music louder and invite friends over. I could feel he was annoyed with me lying there like a corpse and refusing to budge. I felt ashamed as the sudden realization that I was attracted to him, had always been attracted to him, dawned on me now. More than anything, I wanted to get up and out of the way, but I could barely stay conscious long enough to formulate the thought before nodding back down on my face in that seemingly drug-induced torpor.

When a dog started barking right next to me, it took me a long time to come to, and opening my eyes I did not recognize my surroundings and nodded back to unconsciousness. But the barking persisted and I awoke just enough to realize the sound was coming from my alarm in “real” life and was not yet another part of that ongoing hypnotic, soporific dream. As I grew conscious of my tangible body, I understood I was feeling exactly the way I had in my dream, with the addition of a throbbing headache and the distinct feeling that a truck had rolled over my body (several times and from different directions). I decided the best place for me to spend the next few hours was precisely where I was laying.

I might have felt guilty about sleeping through what should have been walk up hill #1, then bus ride, then walk up hill #2, then first workshop, then interview with med student, then lunch, followed by a relaxation session, then 40 minute walk back home. But I had a vague memory that during a moment of semi-consciousness I had picked up the phone to alert them to the fact that I was unable to come in today. The words came with difficulty and I remember slurring out each syllable as my mind kept drifting into a different plane.

A voice inside me said “Rest Now” very gently and yet with full authority and then a yellow-tinged 16 mm documentary film featuring the last 3 days played itself in my head. So much… so much… talking. Listening. Interacting. Moving. Walking. Climbing. Thinking. Questioning. Absorbing. Rest Now, the voice said again. So I did.

A mystery remains: what did the sleeping self in my dream dream about?

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