August 3rd, 2003

ice cream

Choosing Incineration, A Dream

I just woke up from a super disturbing dream that seems like it's 1/4 guilt and 3/4 fear.

It was all about my father dying. Mind you, my father isn't dead. Neither is he terminally ill. He is sick though. He's coping with three major health problems -- heart, kidneys and diabetes -- that together are restricting him pretty badly, weakening him and locking him into a cycle of taking about 50 pills a day. So he's not exactly dying in the immediate but given some of the conditions he has, flare-ups are always possible; he could wake up with fluid in the lungs or his kidneys shutting down (both have happened) or having a heart attack or a stroke.

Anyway, the dream I had went something like this:

Dad starts to feel sick and rather than just deal with it, he goes in to the doctor. Mom goes with him as an advisor. He goes in and they check him over. They then tell him that there are basically only two options: 1) submit to some treatments which will prolong his life but which won't give him a very good quality of life, e.g. he'll be in the hospital or dosed on painkillers or lose his memory, or 2) wrap up things neatly over the next few days and (basically) commit suicide.

Dad decides he doesn't want to be sick and takes up the option of suicide. The particular death he chooses is not what you might expect, however. The doctors aren't talking about a chemical injections or taking arsenic or something. What they arrange for my dad, and what he and my mom agree to, is a very grand death almost on the order of being a funeral, a *celebration*. And the form of death is incineration!

As it turns out (in the dream) there is actaully a whole industry out there all related to incineration deaths. In the dream we learned all about it as my parents made the arrangements. Basically what happens is you prepare a special box, like a very large cardboard moving box, for the person to get inside. You make the box all comfortable with pillows and things the person wants to remember / be burned up with. Then this big truck comes to the house. There's a special forklift at the front of it where you strap the box on -- with the person still alive inside. Then they drive over to the big incinerator (family presumedly following behind like it's a funeral cortege) and everybody watches as the specially designed, heat-resistant forklift puts the box into the incinerator.

Yeah, this was a realllly pleasant dream. To backtrack, my dream didn't have this all happening in one day, but over the course of several days, as preparations were made. Dad decided on a Thursday and the big day was going to be Monday. He was totally calm about it and wasn't angry or panicking, he just acted like it was the most normal thing in the world, preparing to be burned alive! In fact, it was so normal to him, he actually talked his brother, my Uncle Billy, into doing it with him. (Uncle Billy is around 75 and has similar health problems.) Somehow this got into some kind of remembrance of their childhood because we ended up in some kind of dreamlike rendering of the house they grew up in, a little wooden house in City Island, NY. It was all made of stone though and there were heirlooms all over, which is bullshit since the house was sold in the early 70s when my grandparents died.

Anyway, while Dad and Uncle Billy are sort of just waiting around to die, they chat and everybody else scampers to keep them happy and arrange it all. The thing is, most of the other people in the family and community, at least those who are on the fringes, are not too happy about it. This whole incineration thing is new. I remember specifically that my friend Brandon Auchterlonie from high school was shaking his head saying "How can they do that?"

My dream never got to the actual incineration part, although the forklift did arrive and we had taken out the cardboard box and were making sure my dad could fit inside it comfortably.

Shit, that was the definition of a fucked up dream, was it not?
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    worried worried
Thiede

I should go back to fifth grade

My language arts teacher used to always be disappointed that although I was a huge reader, I often neglected to do my required book reviews. Well, today I've written three book reviews and tonight I'm going to do another! See what running a zine does? Force me to produce like I'm a power plant!

The books I reviewed are, BTW:
- Trysts by Steve Berman
- Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
- Sime~Gen: The Unity Trilogy by Jacqueline Lichtenberg & Jean Lorrah

Then tonight I plan on doing Nightrunner by Lynn Flewelling.

Go me!
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    When Doves Cry - Prince
Cobweb

Almost done

So I scaled back plans for that FOURTH book review for Inception (the Storm C. zine I'm editor of), figuring you know, I already have a total of SIX reviews, plus a page of links of outside reviews, so what the hell, I think I can wait on it until next edition.

Now at this point I have the zine done but seeing as I'm so tired, I really think I need to do proofing and checking tomorrow. Otherwise something will be wrong and I'll miss it.

For now, here are some teasers, one from each section...

Article: Recurring Motifs in Storm Constantine's Novels

Poetry: Demon Flower

Artwork: Imp Child with Kitty

Wraiths Review: Wraeththu Wraiths Rave

By tomorrow eve., it'll be up!
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished