August 27, 2008

Literary Love

Jill told me she has a crush on a fictional character. Agent Pendergast, from the Relic series. I've never read those books, but according to wikipedia, he sounds quite crush worthy, especially for an anthropology major like Jill. We toyed with the idea of creating a "Literary Crush" application for facebook. (Unfortunately, neither us know how to code, so that won't be happening.) But who isn't in love with someone fictional? There's Mr. Darcy, Aragorn, Mr. Rochester, and well, I guess Edward Cullen (for some *cough* crazy *cough* people). I had the hugest crush on The Chronicles of Prydain's Taran in 6th grade. When I first read Fahrenheit 451, I definitely like liked Guy Montag. Which literary hero or heroine have you been in love with?

August 13, 2008

Why are you so quiet?

I'm quiet, and an introvert. Notable times when people have tried to "cure" me of that:

1. U.S History class, 8th grade. I had just moved to a new school. It was the first day, 5th period. The boy assigned to the desk behind me (let's call him Ted) was the obvious class clown. His favorite prop? The quiet shy girl that sat in front of him. Ted even wrote a song about me (and sang it outloud during class). It was actually quite tender and went something like, "You need to let your feelings out..." It would fit in with any of Kermit the Frog's biggest hits.

2. Literary magazine staff, junior year of high school. The class of about 12 was a mixed bag of crazy drama students and AP English nerds. A kid in the class (let's call him Fred) occasionally tried to "encourage" me to be more expressive. One day, while working on a writing prompt, Fred stood up, walked over to me, and pointed his forefinger right at my forehead. He didn't say anything, he just stood silently over my desk pointing straight at me. If he was sure I'd be forced to stop being so quiet and respond, he greatly underestimated my introversion. I continued writing as if he was invisible. It became some sort of perverted staring contest. Eventually he gave up and sat back down. I won.

3. Working at the library during sophomore through senior year of college. One of the supervisors (let's call him Ned) thought it his duty to save me from my shyness. He didn't compose songs or perform awkward demonstrations. He just asked, at least once a week, some version of "Why are you so quiet?" I'd have loved to answer, "Why are you so loud?" or maybe "Why are you so tall?" but I didn't. I shrugged and mumbled something.

I get that question, "Why are you so quiet?" or variations on that question all the time. I'm never sure what to say besides the shrug and mumble, but I found this article today that lets me know at least I'm not alone. It's called Caring for Your Introvert. I may forward it (quietly, over email) to the next Jen, Ben, or Gwen that tries to solve or cure my introversion.

It isn't a disease or personality flaw. I don't secretly hate you. On any given work day, I might be staring at my keyboard, gazing out the window, or looking at nothing. I'm usually lost in thought or deep in focus, but I don't need rescuing. No nothing is wrong with me, and yes I'm okay. Now leave me alone. :)

August 1, 2008

The Lion Dream

Occasionally, I have incredibly intense dreams. They are extremely different from normal dreams with mixed up combinations of people from work, things I saw that day, or images of books I've just read. When I wake up from these intense dreams, my muscles are tense, as if I had been straining them all night. And all the sensations I experience while dreaming feel very real. I've actually looked into this a little and think some of these dreams might be experiences of mild hypnagogia, or sleep paralysis. They're never disruptive enough to do anything about them medically, but they do fascinate me. They don't happen often, but I'd like to keep a record of as many of them as I can.

I wrote the details to this dream on 9/26/2006 as a comment on a friend's blog. I'd had the dream recently, but I don't remember how recently.

Once I dreamt I was following a lion around an empty house into a closet with a light bulb that didn't work. I didn't know it didn't work until I closed the door. I couldn't see the lion anymore, but it told me to kneel in the corner in the dark and remain silent and still.

I heard a man try and get into the closet. The lion was gone, but I remembered (even though it never really told me) that I wasn't supposed to look at the door. The man started to chop the door down and I bent over, still kneeling. Like you do during a tornado drill.

It seemed like I was shrinking away from the door, or the door was shrinking away from me. The floor became dirt and suddenly my head was twisted completely backwards facing up towards the ceiling, instead of tucking in towards my chest. It was really weird.

Suddenly the chopping noise was gone and I didn't know where I was. I heard water dripping into a bowl. I felt really heavy, like I was full of water. I knew I wasn't supposed to move, because the lion told me not to, but I really wanted to move just a little bit to get some sense of my surroundings. I remembered going into the closet, but I couldn't even figure out how I was positioned--if I was still kneeling. I couldn't even tell if it was light or dark, though it seemed dark. All I felt was heavy and packed in tight.

I was still being...I guess the word would be "obedient" to the lion's orders to not move, so I tried to remember the sequence of events that led up to this point, rather than feel around to figure out how I got where I was. I started to panic a little when I realized that the last thing I remembered was chopping. So I moved a tiny bit. I instantly felt everything around me. My lungs were filled with dirt, which was why I was so heavy. My neck had been twisted completely around and my jaw broken. My mouth was open and water was dripping into it. I realized at this moment that the man had gotten into the closet, killed me, and buried me near the house. I didn't remember being murdered, though. I knew I hadn't died because I was with the lion who had somehow gone into my body and had been living inside my chest. When I started to breathe, the lion came out of my mouth, pulling me out of the ground, clearing the dirt from my lungs, and twisting my head around back to normal all at the same time.

Whenever I have these weird dreams, I usually have a moment where I fake wake-up and it was at that point that I thought I woke up. I got my Mormon imagery all mixed up with lion imagery and decided I needed to go on a mission and was rejuvenated and so excited about life. I was ecstatic, wanting to run around and bear my testimony of the truthfulness of the lion. Then my alarm went off and I woke up for real. When I realized it had all been one of my intense dreams, I was a little disappointed that my "spiritual experience" was so...creepy. And fake. And cliche. And so centered around the fact that I had recently seen the Narnia movie and that my bathroom ceiling had been dripping while I was asleep.