A lot of dreams popped up after I stopped taking Mucinex DM regularly

A lot of dreams popped up after I stopped taking Mucinex DM regularly, though my sinuses have been blocked most of the time and inevitably, I will probably start being irritable again. Something in the DXM acts like an SRI, I think. You might think that DXM would give me crazy dreams, and I think it probably does, but I can never remember them upon fully waking–I just wake up with the impression of having had a lot of crazy dreams. I remembered these more fully upon waking, as I have most times that I’ve slept after stopping DXM from an extended period of taking it.

I’ve forgotten most of the dreams, though, since I woke up with a push to get us out of the house today. There was a dream about my son biting the dog, and the dog reacting in fear, and peeing on the floor, but my wife taking it as an act of aggression and stating that the dog was being territorial, and we needed to get rid of the dog. I got very angry at her in in the dream about this.

I don’t remember the rest of the dreams now, since we woke up and pushed to get out the door and come up here to Dallas today. The focus was more on getting out the door and making our way up I-35.

I think that a lot of the dreams have been sort of acting like entertainment, since I haven’t been able to get into watching shows and movies online, and my reading has mostly consisted of school assignments and reading poetry, rather than just purely entertaining fiction. My brain more or less works to entertain me while I sleep, and I don’t think that there is much meaning inherent in most of the dreams beyond that.

I’m starting to recall a dream that was sort of related to school–I think it involved my worship class teacher, whose style of teaching I mostly didn’t take to very well. In the dream, she’d asked for an assignment where we cut and pasted very specific items from a 1200 page book of topics varying from how to bake communion bread to endless slides of her vacations and mission trips. My attempts to paste the right items together weren’t met with approval, because I’d apparently mismatched my choice of communion bread with my choice of liturgical text. Suddenly, the bread was actually bread, and she was trying to line it up for me with cut-and-pasted text–literally cut and pasted as we used to do in the old days. There were several factors complicating this approach–I seemed to be under pressure from some kind of ultra-oppressive government to not get caught doing this and have it finished in a short period of time. I strangely did not fly into a rage about her request to change my choice of bread, as I seem to do often in dreams where I’m asked by a person in some position of authority over me to do something I don’t want to do.

There was a lot more vivid detail to the dream than that, but it’s not quite coming to me–some possible interactions with seminary or high school classmates, maybe my dad.

I kept thinking that I should have snagged my phone and jotted a quick note about the dreams to prompt my memory, but unfortunately, I didn’t quite get motivated to wake up to that degree–and my wife would probably also have wondered what I was doing, but she may have to get used to it–I’m running out of even marginally interesting things to write about.

The trip up I-35 was pretty breezy now that they have three lanes all the way up to Temple, and three lanes all the way from Waco pretty much to Dallas. Plus, it helped going at an off time of day and week. We got hit by a downpour once, and downpours in Dallas tend to turn everyone into timid drivers except for a few daredevils who want to prove how fearless they are and they will drive even worse than they regularly do.

I’m pretty much resigned to either moving on into Greek class, or possibly taking this final job possibility if they bother to call me back next week. I’m resigned to my world being what it is, and my level of intellect being what it is, and etc. The illusion that I was in charge of a lot of things that I really wasn’t has mostly come and passed. For some reason, the only writing I’ve really cared to read recently is poetry, though I still like reading about philosophy, if not directly from the philosophers themselves, which is usually a descent into dense brain pain.

I’ve started taking Rhodiola again. I remember it having nominal benefits before, but I don’t think I was patient enough with it. Since I’ve gotten better about trying these kinds of supplements for the long run, I’ve noticed that some of them do offer advantages, but you have to be patient with them–you can’t just pop a pill and suddenly feel great and have big, smart thoughts.

Today’s nap dream was about an ancient piano at a church I was attending. I continued to write children’s sermons and skits that saw the children interacting with the piano which was about to collapse and fall apart. Every time I did one of my children’s sermons, the childcare assistants would have to hover around the children who got up near the piano, to yank the kids out if the piano started to collapse. In real life, I’ve never written a children’s sermon, and my son was banging on my in-laws’ piano as I drifted off into sleep. In the dream, I was very proud of the way I continued to incorporate this dangerous piano into the children’s sermons, and I very much wanted to tell a fellow (real life) seminary student about it because I thought he would be impressed with it. The piano was scheduled for demolition, though, and I promised to give each child a piece of the piano after it was destroyed, along with some pie.

It continues the thunder heavily and rain, though I think it will probably pass shortly. There weren’t any real plans made to do exceptional things here in Dallas. Of course, Half Price Books always calls out to me, and I’d kind of wanted to go eat seafood somewhere, but the in-laws had already decided to order pizza, and I didn’t feel like making a thing about it.

Was out of sleep aid and there was not even the weaker Benadryl in the cabinet. Stayed up hearing the loud television and conversation until it ended whenever. Slept in fits all night.

Dreams: I decided to join the Army and become a professional boxer at the age I am in the waking life: 41. Other tough-guy dreams I forgot. One moment of waking into sleep paralysis, and hearing the weird way sound is refracted into whatever the sleep paralysis world is, and the humming. I started trying to be playful with whatever “demons” were in the room, so I clearly wasn’t in my right mind–inviting demons in or even attempting to interact with them is hardly anything I would want to participate in. I think I was trying to be a tough guy about realizing I was caught in sleep paralysis.

Other dreams–I was at the Dam for the old childhood lake, and they were offering a bunch of smoked ham. Not sure if there was significance in the rhymed words. People were debating on whether it was safe to eat or not, because it had been smoked in the side of a rock face.

Some extended engagement with random people, and then I found myself cleaning out a McDonald’s fry vat like I had to do in high school. My friend JK from HS opened the spigot and the grease ran out all over the floor. He never worked at McDonald’s in real life. He seemed rather unperturbed by what he’d done, even though I was furious. The fry vat somehow became part of the sink, and people started piling dirty dishes in it even as I was trying to clean it out and prepare it for brand new grease. Some people from seminary showed up and deposited their dishes and I got mad at them. I accused one of them of never engaging in conversation with me unless I initiated it. She was rather offended by this, and I felt the need to try to make amends with her.

There were a lot of other dreams as well, because I kept falling asleep and only staying asleep for a very brief period of time. For some reason, a lot of them have been about me trying to put myself in very masculine roles like the Army/boxing dream, but I generally don’t lose my temper and get destructive during the process.

I don’t feel especially tired this morning, like I should from having not had much sleep. I don’t know if the Rhodiola is working already, or I am just feeling the effects of not having any sleep aid or DXM in my system. Eventually, I start to grow more and more irritable about little things the longer I go without these. I already got kind of irked last night at dinner after a beer or two when my in-laws started talking about one of their friends’ son-in-laws, who apparently has consistently put his career over spending time with his son with the excuse that he can only make money by doing what he does on international engagements in places like Korea and Romania. Judging from his profession, he could in all likelihood still make pretty exceptional money anywhere he wants, if not doing exactly what he’s been doing, and have a hundred times more time available to spend with his son. I don’t know much about these people, but the little boy has had all kinds of eating disorders, that I would hazard to guess are from all of the stress he’s had to go through being moved from place to place without being able to spend time with his dad, who seemed mostly aloof and and distant from his son the one time I met them. His dad seemed to be like the Scottish version of the American jock–he pulled his American wife and son back to Scotland on the pretense of needing to be close to his own extended family, and then promptly moved them to an engagement in Romania. I think the guy just wants to be independent and do as he pleases while making a ton of money, and just be able to say he has a proper wife and kid. For all I know, I have completely misjudged the situation, but it seems like the priorities are out of whack enough as to be unsavory to hear about. A man who can’t spend time with his family–what did the Godfather say about that? From what it sounds like, neither the guy or his wife have jobs that would see them poor and broke in just about any city around the world. Choosing a million dollars a year vs. a quarter million and sacrificing 90% of the time you could be spending with your little boy seems to me to be a travesty.

She is eleven and a half now–that’s 80 in dog years

She is eleven and a half now–that’s 80 in dog years.
We walked a brisk five miles today,
Taking a route that covered most of an area we used to walk every single day.
Does she remember that this is the place where she found me,
And this is the trail where I carried her home,
Because she kept wanting to leap out of my arms and dash about?
Upon arriving back at my apartment complex that evening,
I ran into someone lovely and sweet and single,
Who was but a year younger than me.
It would turn out that her mother founded the hospice house where my mom would die a year later.
She had a little Boston terrier, and my pup was about his size at the time, though my pup would grow to be three times his size.
I thought that my prayers had finally been answered,
And my life partner had been discovered.
Then, of course, the crazy, psycho ex who’d moved out,
But also lived in the apartment complex
Would shave her head and keep coming back and leaving me and sleeping around and coming back and…
And, one of those evenings that the crazy ex was back sort of in my life,
There was the lovely sweet lady with the Boston terrier.
She saw me and the psycho ex with our shaved heads and kept walking briskly after a curt hello.
Some time later after the ex was gone for good,
I finally got the sweet Boston terrier lady to go on a hike with me.
That’s when she told me about the hospice, and by then is when my mom had just died.
That’s also when she told me that she was presently moving to Chicago.
She connected with me on Facebook,
And I watched her marry her crazy ex, who she’d mentioned a few times in passing.
He was a dot com millionaire who’d goofed off after the dot com bubble burst,
Having gotten enough cash out of the system in time before it collapsed to goof off for a few years.
She’d left him there in Chicago,
And came to Austin to be a high-powered advertising somebody at an Austin firm almost everyone knew.
But then, I suppose she decided that she couldn’t live without the fast Chicago life,
And the really, truly high-powered advertising firms,
And I watched her get engaged, married, and have a child who was like five years old by the time I met my wife.
So much for dreaming year after year walking up and down the Greenbelt,
Falling in love with people who were busy and high-powered and had connections with millionaires.
So much for thinking each morning when I set out with my little girl dog
That this day would be the day.
Of course there was the day of the bicycle accident,
The days of the psycho ex coming and going,
The days of working on a U.S. Senate campaign nobody has ever heard of,
The days of believing in community and the audacity of hope,
The days of waiting patiently, withering
Watching too much Burn Notice on Hulu and fantasizing about being a spy,
Hanging out with a nurse who constantly complained that all men ever wanted to do was sleep with her,
Only to have her complain months later that all she’d really wanted to do with me is sleep with me.
Almost becoming a Catholic,
Almost becoming a Baptist,
Becoming a Presbyterian and meeting my wife all at the same time.
Buying a condo that was a money pit,
And suddenly I was the worst sort of gentrifier no longer living and working the same community,
Cashing out and working for a software company,
Leaving for Waco and finding out just how much I can’t live among staunchly conservative people,
Coming back to Austin and struggling to finally see that God isn’t calling me to anything at all,
And I’m not cut out for much of anything,
And on this morning it wasn’t about looking for God or old ghosts, really.
It was simply about walking up and down a couple of trails,
Where nothing much had really changed.
The trail was walled on either side with ragweed from all the rains.
The people were sparse because the water in the creek had grown bracken and stagnant.
The dog was content,
Maybe all of this will stay much the same after all
In spite of me aging and dying
In spite of asshole presidents and governments coming and going.
The trail might see us up and down it yet again before she dies, my now-senior pup
I don’t think she remembers the first night I brough her back
Or the summers we spent on the trail almost every single day
She doesn’t remember the weird girlfriends and non-girlfriends who came and went.
She doesn’t remember my mom, who gave her little dog biscuits from an old sweater pocket for a year when we visited.
She doesn’t remember that her adoptive mom, my wife, visited us a few times in those old apartments before the sale of the condo went through.
She wouldn’t remember the Boston terrier dog, who is probably dead now.
She does remember, though, that there was a lengthy period of time when it was just me and her,
And I would feed her from my fork and plate,
And she would sleep at the foot of my bed.
And then she grew too arthritic to jump up on the bed.
And then our son came, and the old dog didn’t want a little brother after all.
And now she mostly lays around and growls and mopes
And gets feverish for table scraps and whines when we shut her up in the office,
And growls at the baby when he runs by,
And then she has to be shut up again,
And doesn’t ever seem to know the reason why.
So, it was, just for a few hours, a few hours that I had this entire year to walk up and down the old trail–just we two.
It was hardly like old times, and there is hardly a good reason to go back down that way much, anymore.
But it was something–something better than me spending the morning buried in a book or reading random news or watching TV or dozing.
It was a little gift from me to her, my old dog, my 11 and a half year old pup who stayed by my side through more than a fourth of my life,
And still persists, because that is the kind of spirit that sent her home with me so many years ago.