Confessions of a Dying Man


Where to begin. The beginning, I suppose. A bright sunny day in the Bronx, so lovely out, my Mother decided to enjoy a walk around the grounds. Who could blame her, after being confined to a hospital bed for weeks & having the doctors medically delay the birth of that tiny baby fighting to come into the world. She couldn’t know that a flash storm would soak her back to the brink of pneumonia, and so, in her weakened condition, nothing could stop that boy now. In fact, nothing could stop him ever again, not the bronchial condition he was born with, nor any bully his path crossed, or any calamity he would come to face in his future.

That baby boy wanted to be in the world, and, he came out of the warmth of his mother’s womb laughing & smiling. To her, he was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. That never changed (well once, but that tale comes later) for the rest of her life.

I shall tell this story, in starts and stops. A wandering attention span, a body wracked with pain, and a heart breaking from watching the world & people I love, face such an uncertain future. I can only promise to tell this story honestly and without fear of consequence.

Dreaming, always dreaming. From my earliest memories, asleep and often, while awake, my head was filled with dreams. Funny though, it wasn’t until 10 years ago, that I was diagnosed with Rem Sleep Disorder, and finally understood that it was a life long condition. You see, my dreams are real, well not real, but when I am dreaming, the world I am in seems completely real. My sleeping self is eminently dangerous. Many of my dreams manifest through a Don Quixote complex. I find myself trying to save friends, family or complete strangers from fatal attacks. These attacks are so real that I start punching, kicking, throwing things only to awake to the realization that it was just a dream. One doctor advised me to never sleep above the 1st floor of a hotel, for fear that I would walk straight off a balcony in my sleep.
When a kid, I embarrassed my Mom &Dad by insisting that I had been at their wedding (a dream, of course) totally inappropriate for a couple in the 1940’s to have children out-of-wedlock. I was so certain that I had been there, that I could describe it in convincing detail, having been gifted with a golden tongue, as well.
This dream state comes with certain caveats. Although, still quite good with rifle & pistol, having trained with both in the military, I will not keep a gun in the house, for fear of accidentally shooting a loved one while dreaming. I also lock myself in at night, after having found myself waking up in another room, with no idea where I was, or, how I got there.
Fortunately, the majority of my dreams are happy ones, and, I wake laughing or in a more euphoric state.