Year in the Mind

This wasn’t happening, was it? I was in a safe place. Yet I was experiencing things in my mind that overwhelmed me. I was recounting a dream. How could a dream about a broom disorientate me, here in a fourth floor office in downtown Seattle? The image was so clear. It was waiting for me, as a welcoming object, at our cabin in the San Juan Islands. Wait a moment, I said aloud, the broom hasn’t arrived at our cabin yet. In a year I will find it there, and then I’ll have to assemble it. How would I assemble a broom? It’s a dream, I reminded myself. The broom needs me to clean something that’s dirty. Did I say that aloud? I imagined getting to my feet. This couch and the silent psychoanalyst seated behind it were too much. My mind was becoming too much. Then, without warning, my mind became silent. I imagined myself holding a broom, cleaning my mind. Or maybe the broom was doing the cleaning itself. My mind felt cleaner than it had seconds earlier. The silence behind the couch overwhelmed me sometimes. What was he thinking? An unwelcome thought arrived: I didn’t want him to have his own thoughts. I wanted to control everything. I spoke aloud for the first time in what felt like several minutes: why is it so hard for me sometimes to realize that we’re not the same person? He might respond this time. I would have to wait and see. Time was beyond my control. How long was a year in my mind? Maybe, if I kept cleaning my mind, or if I allowed my mind to do its own cleaning, the question would become clearer to me. Uncertainty wouldn’t leave me.

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