Saturday, November 24, 2007
Work Harder, Harder, or, The End is Nigh
I've assumed that 38 is too early for a mid-life crisis, but in thinking about it, That's just about mid life after all. For the past couple of years, the main dreams I remember have all been of warning. Or of limited resources. These were most insistent before I quit my job at the office; perhaps my psyche's way of saying that working for retirement isn't really any sort of life at all. By the time my next door neighbor died unexpectedly of blood clots at 31 at the height of a tornadic storm that hit downtown Indy, I finally got the message and had made decisive moves to get the hell out and get on with life. We only have a limited time in order to produce. The clock is ticking and there's much work to do.
Quitting Corporate Hell hasn't stopped these dreams entirely, and, based on my grad-office-mates' conversations, I'm not the only one with these worries and insistent omens. The dreams are different now for me after quitting, but cover similar thematic territory, only without as much urgency--the dream in yesterday's post, for example, or the dream of last night, where I duck into a hospital in order to hit the restroom and find myself in a room that adjoins a bunch of birthing rooms. The toilet is right out in full view, so I look at it, then around, then back at the toilet, and then a troupe of people bust in with a wheeled bed from one of the adjoining rooms. A woman's given birth, but there's been a bad tear and she's bleeding badly. A doctor is trying to cinch the tear, stop the bleeding. A tube is attached to a large squarish bag, filling with blood. To keep her alive, the blood in the bag is being somehow pumped back into her. The bag is the size of a piece of luggage and is almost full, wobbles like a jello-mold. This woman is in trouble. The direness of the situation means that no one has even taken notice of me. I look at the woman's face--it is still ruddy, but it may be due to freckles, as she has reddish hair, or due to blood on her face, but the bag shows she has little blood left. The doctors confer as they work.
I wake to another alarm I'd forgotten to shut off, the phrase "This isn't going to be easy" in my ears.