Friday, April 15, 2011

Fractals of the Past

Fractals of My Past: Serial Cerebral Eruptions in Both Hypnagogic 
and Hypnopompic States of Consciousness.

Sometimes the olde academic creeps out and we must have long titles with a strategically placed colon. What that jumble of mumble title refers to is a series of events I encountered not long ago, in which I experienced for several days a recurring pattern of thought. These thoughts occurred just as I was falling asleep, that transitional phase between wakefulness and sleep is called the hypnagogic state. They also happened in the early morning as I transitioned back from sleep to wakefulness or what is labeled the hypnopompic state.

Now we all experience some fairly jumbled mind-space imagery at times in the spaces between sleep and not-sleep. This is not unusual at all. But for two days, both morning and night I had a series of remembrances that were all of a very similar content. I vividly recalled incidents from my life in which I was either guilty of a social faux pas or some form of minor embarrassment. All of these events I regret but only in the incrementally smallest manner possible; anything less and I would not even be able to recall them. They were what are known clinically in the psychological profession as minor oopsies.

Yet time after time I would wake or drift towards sleep and find myself reliving yet another such memory. After several such incidents, I shook myself and began to consciously imprint a mental suggestion to avoid such cerebral cobwebs; a little shrink trick you can use when you start thinking about snakes or spiders or old girlfriends. But I stopped myself and decided to let the silly string play out on this one.

There was that too flippant comeback to the nice married lady at the Manhattan Beach party.

The rude slip of the tongue to the nun on the playground in third grade.

The unintentional sexual innuendo to that redhead and instead of politely withdrawing I followed-up, I wonder if she ever forgave me.

That tiny white lie that exploded in West Hollywood, how was I to know she had been to that motel?

I estimate that over two days there were at least ten or twelve of these mental machinations that welled up from the depths of my subconscious. The last was so vivid it awoke me at 3 a.m. but it was the last. The parade of mortification was gone as suddenly as it had begun and I was left with run of the mill prurient fantasies to lull me to sleep.

Strange what goes bump in the near night and dark mornings.

1 comment:

mira amiras said...

Great phrase — minor oopsies.

However, they never feel minor to me! I'm still apologizing to my son for not playing 'this-little-piggie' with him when he was six because now he was a big boy.

He thinks I'm nuts.

But he didn't see the look of disappointment on his face — that I can't get out of my mind. Not a minor oopsie at all.