the IV drip (a dream)
Just a fragment today, or maybe just a premise:
I dream about going about my day in downtown Los Angeles, hours days and weeks compressed into bright flashes--that or they're concealed through sleight of dream-editor's hand, the passage of time marked by suggestion and misdirection. Implied. It's all completely regular right down to a dream of stench at the corner of Fifth and Spring, except that time is being fast-forwarded and I am going about my business in this dream while tethered to an IV drip. It is a towering, unnatural thing, maybe 8 feet tall and I drag it around everywhere I go in the dream, sometimes pulling the stand, sometimes letting it trail behind me like a slow dog on a leash, bag and stand securely linked to me by a generous length of tubing that has been discretely buried in by right forearm by a spike bur beiedneath neat loops and bands of tape.
I am mortified by the assembly, by the spectacle I imagine my biomedical ball and chain must present. I have to tip it to get through doorways, meaning I have to wait until I am the only person going through as not to become an obstruction to traffic. Revolving doors are out of the question as are most elevators, many bathrooms, almost all stairwells. The stand's metal pieces make a constant clanging racket and I try my best to minimize the squealing the thing's loose wheels make as they wobble against the concrete sidewalk. I put a great deal of energy into being invisible and then realize that I already am, that my embarrassment is misplaced. No one is paying me or my IV drip any attention, not even the homeless addicts and junkies and last-stop hustlers who are tethered in their own way to their own sets of tonics, toxins and chemistries. I barely register on the radar of the flophouse security guards as I walk past them, ranking neither as threat or local curiosity. No tourists stop to take my picture.
I don't have a clue what is the in IV drip. I can't recall when it was prescribed or attached to me. Adding to the mystery is the fact that thing releases just a single drop into my system every 24 hours. Why not a nice, neat pill, I wonder? One a day, like a commercial, something I could get at the pharmacy and put in my pocket and walk out with. It's an extravagance to prescribe a single drop drip on a 24 hour cycle, an inefficiency. I am tethered to the drip but the drip is in turn utethered to any possible or legitimate medical purpose. It scans more legibly as an art project, suggests obscure forms of masochism or sadism, the pleasure of hidden audiences, arcane experimentations. Each time a drop falls I pay extra careful attention to my mental and physical state in hopes of teasing out telltales that might point me towards the IV's contents or chemical composition, but weeks go by and I come up with nothing, bupkis. I wonder if the thing is some kind of cronenbergian organ. A permanent prosthesis, new flesh grown from downtown Los Angeles' waste and debris.
Just before I wake up I wonder if I'm going to dream through to the end of this actual, IRL week, specifically to Friday when I have made plans to go see a movie with some friends. I stare at the IV stand and am filled with worry and wariness. Paranoia. The stand will clearly not fit my in my car, and that being the case, how will I get to the movies and how did I get it home with it in the first place? It really is baffling: I might be asleep but this is still LA, and no story that precludes the use of my car can properly be understood as being set here, not even when it's a dream.