Tuesday, September 05, 2006

a staggering response to a painful book

as my close friends know, i'm a real wuss when it comes to scary movies. it doesn't matter if the subject matter is surreal or reality-based--throw some suspense and eery music my way, and you have me awake all night, worrying about what may lurk around the corner.

for that reason, i steer clear of anything remotely hair-raising. and this morning, i was reminded that sometimes the subject matter isn't what causes nightmares and blood-pumping moments: i am completely affected by what i view onscreen and what i read on paper. media infects me, and sometimes not in a good way.

the latest example:

last night before falling asleep, i started reading a heartbreaking work of a staggering genius. the beginning tells the story of a mother's demise by late-stage stomach cancer and the two 20-something siblings who attempt to deal with the tragic situation. i didn't get too far into the story, falling asleep before the inevitable death scene.

when i awoke, i realized i had dreamed about the book, only i was the one dying of stomach cancer. it was scary and real and beyond upsetting. it took some time before i could shake the fog shrouding me from reality. by that time, i realized that my stomach hurt pretty bad and i was sick to my stomach. my body continued to react this way for a couple hours, as if the trauma from the night's drama had infected more than my brain.

i'm not sure which came first--feeling sick and then dreaming, or dreaming and then feeling sick, but either way, it's awfully strange how body and mind are interconnected.

(if my mom is reading this, i imagine she remembers a simliar response to E.T.)


jini said...

she is also remembering picking you up from a slumber party where the mother was showing one of the halloween terror films to 5th graders. eek
she loves you and recommends reading scary depressing books over lunch. :)

Anonymous said...

>(i imagine she remembers a simliar response to E.T.)

You woke up with a glowing finger, the FBI after you and a feeling you were 20 million light years from home?

sarah said...

precisely, Anonymous!

while i was able to ditch the fbi and move somewhere that really DOES feel like home, the glowing finger thing continues to be an issue.