Love Letter Day X
My son had an epically difficult sleep last night and we think it’s because of his second Covid-19 vaccine shot. I had dinner with M earlier in the evening. A new friend, a really cool pharmaceutical researcher. She talked about a sublime experience in Joshua Tree.
My son came sobbing for me at one in the morning and we took turns holding each other in the guest room. I was surprised it wasn’t hotter in there as it has no air conditioning. He had a whimpering, hyperventilated cry. He must be experiencing a challenging mental leap, I thought. For a three year old, that might mean he has realized the mortality of the day; longing for the crepuscular. I pictured Joshua Trees.
When he finally calmed down, both of us were sleeping with our feet on the head of the bed, legs buoyed by pillows, letting all our meridians flow down.
I pictured a permanent volume of heat slowly making its way through every layer of the earth. Behind my closed eyes I saw a blinking white light, small as a pin prick, which turned into a blue and purple wash like aurora borealis. I saw shapes that adapted to sound, like one of those corny digital equalizer visualizations from the early 2000s. My head lay next to my son’s fidgeting hand, so I could hear the care label on the shirt shift between his fingertips, demonstrating fine motor skills and a fractal landscape of a universe behind my eyes, between us.
I felt my body loosen up but I was still half lucid, and decided to throw a key into the pool of images. I uttered a name into the vacancy that followed this heat volume.
Everything went wild.
M’s story about Joshua Tree really resonated with me. I told her I hated to sound presumptuous but that for a pharma researcher she sure had an artist’s appreciation of landscape. We parsed different modalities of healing advertised by art and medicine, and the harm they actually cause. We made fun of Georgia O’Keefe. She told a story about mushrooms so funny that I nearly fell out of my chair.
So, as I had this near hallucinogenic half-sleep experience at 2 or 3 in the morning, I wondered if the conversation could have had this much influence on my subconscious—so much as to create an entire somatic experience triggered by a sobbing child. I don’t think so, if only because what I saw had no remote semblance of a desert, but simply the interior of my body.
This dreamscape quickly turned into an erogenous tempest of that body. Whatever needed to happen needed to happen by way of a transformative exit, and every fiber of my body somehow worked to line up into perfect warps and wefts of air, sand, wet. I kept exploding like a volcano. [Jeez, I realize how corny this sounds but you know…some things bear no clever descriptions. I just felt like a volcano leave me alone.]
It’s really hot out here. My son slept like a peach wrapping his arm around my head like he always does when I am next to him. Your name is a key in my mouth.