By Dolores J. Nurss

Volume III: Responsibility

Chapter 60




              During a nap I became General Aliso, learning of Branko, and feeling a stirring of compassion for the child.  Of course, being human, she/I put the blame entirely on Cyran, when there was blame enough to go around for both.  The nap happened at a time when my country, which purports to defend freedom, has tangled in debates as to whether American Muslims have civil rights, and whether we can afford compassion for children in refugee camps, with a great deal of projection shooting off in all directions.  I’m sure the dream had to do with that, and with, I suppose, my own projections onto those who disagree with me.

              I dreamed separately, years before, of the children spared, by her pretense of mercy, to starve and freeze in the winter, overburdening the force at the pass.  I groveled in guiltitude for the mercy of not being sent to a foster-home in my youth; now I wonder if I might have been better off.

              The deteriorating conditions of the rebel camp showed up in multiple dreams.  I don’t remember distinct dreams anymore, just a lot of little bits, vaguely, about malnutrition, crowding, rampant disease, and nakedness or rags in the icy cold of winter in the mountains, all on the grounds of Abojan Manor and in the steep country around it.  I suppose I should ask what I hungered for, psychologically, but I don’t remember now.  The nakedness in the cold probably had to do with my self-exposure to cold and critical people, due to my lack of social skills in my youth.

          The confessions I made up, but I tried to keep them true to character.  I did dream that Deirdre stopped going to confession, herself.

          I wrote the Mass-scene with Father Man, but not altogether from scratch.  Anyone can experience hypnagogia–a brief dream-perception halfway between states of consciousness—on the verge of falling asleep or waking—but a narcoleptic can experience it unexpectedly at any time.  For me it sometimes takes the form of taste sensations–including the taste of communion.  (For that matter, often communion tastes to me like foods that I miss, taboo on account of my hypoglycemia, like baked beans, maple doughnuts, chocolates, or honey-baked ham.  Now that’s a kindness!)

I have dreamed of skeletons in the ravine.  I wrote an explanation for how they got there.  It only made sense.

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