By Dolores J. Nurss

Volume VI: The Rift

Chapter 48



            I set out to continue filling in the inevitable backstory for dreams yet to come, including one that Lufti alludes to, unrelated to the pending battle.  Except that, a few days before posting this, I had two dreams showing me that Deirdre didn't just land and leave the base peaceably, that paranoia and hallucination destroyed the sweet parting that I had envisioned.

            I wasn't being artistically truthful, and the dreams called me on it.  The last of those loved ones whose amphetamine habit had ruined a large chunk of my life had died mere months before, and my memory felt inclined to sentimentalize our relationship. I felt a desire to fade the blood-red memories down to pink. 

In fact, every loved one who had ever hurt me under the influence of stimulants is now dead.  I was taught that one should speak no evil of the dead, but that doesn't apply to their vices—especially not that vile chemical that estranges people from themselves and from every value that they held.  Their behavior under the influence was no more who they were than a tumor would be, though it seemed their very flesh.

It's not the fear that I would accept this poison myself that drove the nightmares, not though it's normally prescribed for narcoleptics.  I would rather fall asleep in the middle of the street than try it!  It's that I betray myself when I try to pretend that what I went through was no big deal.  When I believe that, it leaves me with no patience for myself; I convince myself that how they treated me was acceptable, and treat myself the same way, beating myself up for little things that nobody in their right mind would find fault with.  (Like right now, getting angry with myself for forgetfully capitalizing both words in "Lorem ipsum" at the end of these notes, when it's just there to be erased, creating a fake extra paragraph because the last paragraph often messes up when transferring from one program to another.  Nobody alive cares!)  I have to say that no, it was not acceptable, and it ends here!

But even that's not completely honest.  These dreams happened in the final weeks of preparation for the PsiberDreaming Conference, and the preparations have become so grueling that I'm feeling burnt out before the conference even begins, mainly from losing volunteers for the most crucial day of all, and training new ones, and losing them, and starting over again.  As of this writing, I have five days left to train people in some really complicated stuff, and one of them I just got today, and another I got a few days ago, and another had to drop out of training for a good reason and missed some crucial stuff.

So there's a temptation there to think like Deirdre, to flog myself on, even if it's by adrenaline rather than greenfire.  And I can't afford adrenaline; it triggers narcoleptic seizures.  To take myself and my job way too seriously.  Perhaps like Deirdre I've been thinking that a number of extras are essential when I could pare down what I do to fit the circumstances.  If I produce something slightly less than my vision, nobody's going to condemn me but myself.

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