Friday, 2 February 2007

Purple Pain, Purple Pain

It dawned on me today that, during all my talk of surgery, I hadn't mentioned pain. The explanation is that, boringly, pain wasn't much of an issue. That said, pain relief was quite interesting.

I've never really been in to drugs; as a teenager I was too scared to experiment - a justified stance as some of my more adventurous peers fell by the wayside with various chemical accidents - and I was quite happy to follow the Guinness route to enlightenment. Looking back, that failure to be adventurous perhaps explains my lack of imagination; I find it really difficult to imagine things in any detail. This is a typical conversation about the d├ęcor in our house:
"Can't you just imagine how cool the burnt aubergine is going to look on that wall?"

"Hmm, yes it'll look great (I hope)"
I've been in com
munication workshops where exercises have involved imagining things in myriad colours; while colleagues enthuse about their rainbow-worlds, all I can manage is an insipid watercolour version.

Now safely in middle age, I was quite looking forward to some controlled, legitimate use of opiates in hospital. My nurse training taught me that analgesia doesn't really make you high if you are in pain. Sure enough my pain was marvellously well controlled by the morphine syringe-driver ; the only other effect seemed to be drowsiness - until the night time.

I found myself in a cinema - at least that was what it appeared to be - the corridor leading from a cinema foyer down to the screens, with wall to ceiling carpet giving the place that muffled feeling, where anything you say seems to be swallowed up six inches from your mouth - a bit like sound-proofed audiology rooms. I could see a number of doors leading, presumably, to the screens, I could smell a fusty carpet smell, I could feel the plush carpet beneath my feet, hear the lack of echo and everything was vividly coloured purple and green.

At some level of consciousness I understood the significance of my dreaming in colour and decided that if the corridor was so vivid the actual screens must, surely, have even better experiences waiting for me. I tried desperately to get through the doors; but each time I reached for the door handle I woke up; having woken I found I could slip back into this corridor-dream at will, but with the same disappointing failure to progress each time.

Perhaps, at heart, I'm that same reluctant teenager; and my subconscious just won't let me take that extra experiential step through the cinema doors.
Feel free to leave comments with amateur dream interpretation theories.

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