Saturday, October 11, 2003

Fridge'O'My Dreams

In my dream, M. had bought a $4000 beautiful black refrigerator -- chic, a burnished graphite icon. I was disturbed by the expense and needless extravagance, and was relieved to wake up and find it, as the saying goes "was just a dream."

No dreams are "just" dreams. I am, yes, post Freudian, very much so. But, if only for their lightness and interestingness, dreams are important. What do they "mean" ? What does anything "mean" ? Maybe "how" do they mean is a better question. Or, how does one read them. Like a poem, I think.

Major appliances have always reminded me of death. They seem so ponderous and inevitable. They are curated by the funereal and unctuous. And refrigerators -- need one mention how they close like coffins, how they chill like morgues, and how bacilli continue to rot the contents, albeit more slowly, despite the cheerful and hygeinic promises ?

Associate, then, to the beautiful black refirgerator. The black box of death, like the kitties' carrier we jokingly call "the red box'o'death." Then, poor dead Meana, deflated to rag doll on the bloody pink quilt in the vet's room'o'death. Then there's the opening scene of 2001 space odyssey, of course, and its black monolith.

And the ceilings -- all those ceilings I stared at that first day at Beth Israel. The elevator I rode down to MRI the ceiling had a huge, rectangular, dark steel plate. Burnished, but not terribly reflective. In the middle of it was a smaller square, maybe a door, of metal just subtly different. After hours of styrofoam suspended ceiling I found it oddly beautiful in a post modern way, and told the perky MRI techs that I found it so. (Yes, perky: near midnight the dears burst into my ER cubicle and announced Hi ! We're Pat and Liz from MRI ! I could not help hearing echos of the Simpsons' "Hi ! I'm Dr. Nick," and also dourer echos of "Pat and Dick," as in the Nixons. Clang clang clang goes the trolley of associations.)

But the beautiful refrigerator was like that beautiful ceiling, and an MRI tube is probably smaller than a coffin, as the ceiling seemed inches from my nose. And ugly. It looked like someone had stuck a "smiley face" sticker there, once, that had only been incompletely removed.

Ah, the ubiquity of kitsch.

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