Archive for May, 2008

Sure, comment on my psyche.

May 17, 2008

Stephen King

I haven’t been a regular nap taker for a while.  But today was an exception.  Last night I slept from around 11 until around 4.  And I had to give an exam at 7:45.  Then I spent time talking with my TA, giving some advice that I need to learn to take myself.

When I got home, the first news I heard was of a family friend who had given up her leg while I was giving an exam.  “She came through it with flying colors.”  What does that mean in this case?  By the time that conversation was over, I was already back in bed with my head under the covers.

I remember rehearsing parts of the day’s conversations in my dreams, specifically images associated with my jumbled advice.  What I didn’t remember until some time after the nap was the part about Stephen King.

I’m not sure where it came from.  Perhaps it’s all about the name.  I’ve found myself telling humorous stories about my friend Stephen a few times this week.  But I don’t remember thinking about Stephen King, though I do think about him occasionally because of his frankness about his own writing, because I enjoy his reviews, because we share a birthday.

In the dream, I was at a book signing that was not very crowded.  Someone in the line asked which book I had.  I looked at the cover of the trade paperback.  It was peach cardboard, not even glossy.  It looked like a self-published book a textbook from the 1970s.  Something was written in black typeface on the very top.  But somehow, in addition to the title, the book had my first name on it.  No one else had the same one.  When I walked up to Stephen King, he asked me to give him the book so he could “engrave” it for me.  Although I noticed his odd word choice, I thought he would sign it, maybe write a note.  But when he handed it back to me, he had done this thing that I can’t remember the name for.  He had added words to the cover, but not with ink.  They were letters made by dimpling the cardboard, the way Braille is done.  But these were not Braille letters.  I could look at them and read them.  The words were something about me, about my place in the text.  I don’t want to use the word “ownership.” But it’s a bit like that.  Maybe “stake” would be correct.  Maybe it was something about my piece of some proverbial pie.

I hated even writing that cliché.  Recounting dreams often brings frustration.  Some of these limitations with this particular dream would be easier to manage if I could actuallly recall what the dream words were.  Unlike most people, I do see words, numbers, and names in my dreams.  These are not coming back now.  What returns is the feeling of taking a book, touching warm flesh, catching a look in his eye, and having the rare experience of feeling words that were about me, for me, not with my mind or heart, but with my fingertips.

At least there’s this.

May 3, 2008


I took this after what seemed to be a very long day yesterday. I had just left a memorial service for someone who died way too young. And I thought for a moment, I might have this misfortune of a tornado on top off all that.