A Modicum of Control

Between unsuccessful attempts to fall asleep…and moments in which consciousness finally eluded me…last night, I escaped the bonds of rationality and reason. During those in-between moments when I was neither awake nor asleep, my mind took me to a point in the future when I will be utterly alone. It is at that point that I will be free to make decisions, if I am alive and sentient, unrestrained by the effects of my choices on other people. And that’s where my mind took me last night, half-awake and half-asleep.

In my fantasy, if that’s what my fugue-state was, I had sold everything I owned except for some clothing and a few personal effects. My most pressing thought was to make a decision on where to go—where could I go to start a new life with nothing chaining me to the person I had been before? I suppose sleep found me before I found that magical place, but I remember three places were on my mind: the Florida Gulf coast, the outskirts of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Costa Rica. What a bizarre mix.

What’s most odd about this partial-conscious dreamscape is that I was attempting to completely escape my past life. My intent was to cut all ties to the self that had existed theretofore. I was planning to launch a new me in a new place. That’s an absurd fantasy that a very small number of people ever try to achieve and fewer still actually achieve it. I wonder whether my escape from my past life was, in some Freudian way, actually an attempt to escape from my cancer. Despite my confidence that this cancer will be beat, I know it’s possible that it will return. So, perhaps, my effort to escape to a new place was symbolic of my desire to escape from the reality from which I know there is no escape.

Sometimes, I overthink things. I allow myself to delve into places in my mind that would best be left undisturbed. I should allow my mind to concentrate, instead, on taking my medications, eliminating the pain I feel when I swallow, and thinking of the real future over which I have a modicum of control.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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