Mr. Mu Makes His Shaman Debut

It was New Year’s Day 2011 and I was lying in bed, in a confused state, hot and clammy, and not sleeping. Beside me was Laetitia, still, restful, looking the way people ought to look in bed when they haven’t yet awakened – people who mostly sleep through to their alarm or just wake up naturally at the time they need to withdraw the covers.

It was sweaty. I was sweaty, anyway, and I was uncomfortable. I’d just returned from a trip to the smallest room, and weird thoughts were rapidly populating my mind, creating tangents and detours, and all I knew was that I wasn’t quite right in the head and something bad was about to happen. I thought of the day before, when there were heart palpitations and fever-like symptoms, and rushed trips to the aforesaid little room, and headache with nausea, and all of these symptoms taking turns over a period of hours, in a cocktail of unpleasantness that has to amount to the most unwell I’ve ever felt. At least January 1 wasn’t a repeat of that, I might have thought. But my attitude wasn’t positive.

Then Mr. Mu sauntered in. He neatly sprung up to bed level, arrived with his usual “M-ow!” leitmotif and decided to lie near me. Or not so much near me; not near as much as he was resting against the side of my head. Brains have become heat oppressed in lesser circumstances, and it seems that mine succumbed.

In one of the Nightmare on Elm Street films (or perhaps all of them) there is a sequence of dream experiences where the characters keep waking up within dreams, and are thus still dreaming (just dreaming of waking up), and it’s difficult to tell what is awake and what is sleeping. I had always thought this was some sort of exaggeration, that it made sense to a team of screenwriters telling a story about a character, Freddy Krueger, who kills victims in their sleep, to set up an ambivalent situation where sleeping and waking are blurred. But this dreaming experience of mine was just like that. A series of many micro dreams, where consciousness and unconsciousness mingled, including some truly weird things: the same character in a dream story changing face and voice, reflecting people I know, depending on which way I was facing; characters having been asked if they were real, or if I was awake, saying yes, when I wasn’t and they weren’t; frequent sudden and quite alarming consciousness, before drifting straight back into dreaming; and other equally strange manifestations and happenings. It was like I was now sick in the head, to match my bodily sickness of the day before. I saw crime scenes, with dead bodies and police mug shots, when I closed my eyes. I was hallucinating. It was thoroughly unpleasant.

And then Mu moved. He walked across to the other side of the bed and sat next to his mum. He got comfortable and snuggled up against Laetitia’s ear.

Within about fifteen minutes she was out of bed, with a migraine, sicker than I had been the day before. Hours later, she started to improve.

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Published in: on January 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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