Tuesday, July 31, 2012
One of the more interesting points of my pneumonia has been the hallucinations. At first I thought they were dreams, but then I noticed I was awake when they were occurring. Kind of unsettling at first, but after you get used to it - it's just kind of like free cable TV.
The most vivid hallucination was when I was trying to get comfortable in bed and one of the cats was trying to make herself comfortable on my chest. Known fact: cats will sense when their owners are about to die and try to help them die more quickly.
So, at some point my chest became The Lonely Mountain and the cat became Smaug the Dragon. You know, like cats are apt to do. From somewhere down near my toe, Bard the Bowman and King Tranduil of Mirkword began to march towards my chest, war banners unfurled. I think the cat morphed into Thorin at some point and hurled curses at the men and elves.
Then from a crumpled up comforter at the bottom of my bed, Dain began to march towards my chest. I had no idea that my black and green comforter with a picture of Yoda on it was indeed the Iron Hills, but you know, stranger things have happened.
As I was trying to get Smaug/Thorin off my chest, the Goblins raced down my precariously placed pillows and attacked the gathered host. There was a horrible battle, with tremendous coughing up of phlegm and cat scratches. Then there were Eagles and Beorn showed up in bear form and Bilbo go knocked unconscious and everything got really confused and hazy.
What was particularly odd about the whole thing is that I could see each army very vividly - from a high vantage point with binoculars. The battleground, however, remained my sheets, comforters, and pillows. No other imagery covered those up, so it looked like some sort of Lilliputian war game on my bedtop. Very odd.
Strangely enough, it harkens back to when I was ten - about half a year before I discovered D&D. I had been reading the LotR books when I was hit by one heck of a flu or cold of something. I remember that my mother was very concerned about my temperature being so high, and she'd check on me and ask me questions to determine how close I was to reality - like where I was and such.
At one point, my mother popped her head in the bedroom and asked who I was. I remember very clearly that I didn't have the foggiest idea who the hell I was. I just couldn't remember. Then suddenly a named popped in my head. I didn't really think it was my name, but since it was the only name I could remember, I figured it would do.
"Gandalf," I told my mother. "My name is Gandalf."
I shrugged and smiled. I figured that if I told her I really had no idea what my name was, she'd get all upset and keep me awake - and what I really wanted to do was just to sleep. So, I let her think I was a smart-ass (which was accurate, actually,) and got back to sleep.
It's funny how much of Tolkein seems to be etched on my subconscious. I suppose I should warn the nurses at the old folks' home when I arrive. My dementia should be pretty predictable.