Dreamed 2007/6/10 by Wayan
I wake at my girlfriend Cheryl's. Slept badly--cat hair, no aspirin, an unfamiliar bed. Feel stuffy, feverish, dry. On the other hand, sex for breakfast! Too hot & achy when she's on top, but good when we try it dog/cat style. Then a long talk over brunch. Fun.
Bike home at noon. Spend hours writing, then cooking rice and eating mild foods--Cheryl's diet is healthy enough but a bit too dense/strong for me, my guts are on the verge of rebelling. Just too many stresses. Allergens, dehydration, lack of sleep, sex as exercise...
I suspect I need some quiet time.
I have a part-time job now, on campus. Low student wages, but I scheduled hours bracketing classes, so it's very convenient, and enough to support me--I have a Pell grant covering school costs and my living expenses are low.
Daphne starts working in the same office I do. She's an art classmate of mine with a round face and sarcastic wit. Or was. Now Daphne's turning bitter, finds everything we say hurtful. No one understands why. Including her. She seems to think it's psychological, goes to a therapist. No improvement.
One day she mistakes a friendly remark for sniping, and snaps "back" at me hard. I quit working and really focus on her. Say "You were my friend in art class. You've changed, and I don't buy this vague psychological explanation of 'stress'. You get meaner as time passes at work. You can't stand more than a couple hours--by afternoon, you snap at everyone. That's not normal. Something's making you sick, either here or at home! You need to get checked physically, not mentally!" I repeat "You're my friend!"; know I have a thick wall of mistrust and anger to get through.
But she does hear me at last. I hang a disklike version of what I said on the wall above her saying "Is it physical?" to remind her.
She turns inward, thinking it over. She doesn't get much done. After a while, she doesn't even move.
We drape a cloth over her, and cover for her job.
She reverts (temporarily, we think) into a sort of salamander-finned-fetus, red-orange, decorative as a koi in her gigantic fishbowl. We move her bowl out into the sun by a wall. Light's supposed to help.
Along comes an artificial intelligence in a typical AI body--a giraffe-sized scaffold or tripod. It spots the fishbowl and asks me about this other form of nonhuman intelligence--Daphne's current form. "Everyone's heard of them of course, but I've never met one."
I say "I'm not surprised--they're still quite rare. Unfortunately you can't talk to her right now; she's in deep meditation." Then I realize an AI may not understand meditation, and add "uh, that's a sort of internal diagnostic mode."
NOTES IN THE MORNING
A NOTE YEARS LATER
In 2007, I overlooked the sunlight-is-healing theme even though I crave sun whenever I'm sick. Since skin cancer runs in my family, I avoid the sun. But two years after the dream's overlooked prompt, I saw a show produced at the University of California, Berkeley, on Vitamin D as an immune stimulant. The researchers had found large doses HALVED cancer; they urged those with chronic infections or cancer risk to take 2-4000 IU a day--the equivalent of hours of sun, but much safer. See www.daction.org).
I tried it. At 2500 IU daily I improved sharply--shorter infections, faster healing, more energy in winter. Mind you, I still do need lots of time alone.
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