Good morning, everybody.
I was in some vague space, maybe like a common area or a cafeteria for a university. The space may have been white or cream and blue. I wasn't quite there -- it was more like my view was floating through it, while also vaguely being somewhere else.
I had probably taken my FINRA Series 7 test recently. I hadn't done as well as I'd wanted to, but I'd gotten much better than a passing grade. But now AB, one of the heads of the company I currently work for (which doesn't have anything to do with stocks, the subject of the Series 7), told me I needed to take my test. I was a little frustrated. It was like AB was completely unaware I'd already taken my test.
As AB told me this, my view floated downward, through some den- ski lodge-like area, down through the floor of that area, and into a big basement that also looked a little like a common area or study area in a university. I was all by myself here, and I may have felt trapped here somehow. I alternately sat on the floor and before a long, but short, counter.
I had two books before me. Both books were study books for the test. Both books were tall and wide, though not very thick. The book on the right had writing in it, like test questions. The book on the left was full of three-dimensional, geometrical diagrams.
I reflected on these books. I really didn't want to take the test again. But I felt like that was really the only way I convince AB I'd ever taken it in the first place. I felt kind of lazy for not taking the test. I knew if I took the test again, I could do a lot better. AB would be please by that. But I also knew that I'd already, from my previous score, gotten myself into the top ten percent of the people who'd taken the test. Couldn't AB be satisfied with that?
My view was now floating through a suburban street, but only like I was vaguely there. It was like, somehow, I was still, vaguely, in the basement. I was also carrying on a conversation with AB, or remembering a conversation with AB.
I had a tickling in the back of my throat. I coughed, then reached into the back of my throat and pulled out a string of phlegm. I wanted to pull out the whole string of phlegm. It was really annoying. I didn't want more of it to come back up my throat and annoy me more.
But as I continued pulling the string, it became a thin, dull, gold or brass chain. I was a little surprised by this. I knew that the chain was something organic: either something my body had created or a foreign organism that had gotten into me.
As I kept pulling the chain out, it got larger and larger. Pretty soon it was a thick chain, coated in something like black and grey phlegm. I started to get the idea that the chain was actually something like a tapeworm. I wanted to get the tapeworm out of my body altogether. As I continued to pull, the chain may finally have taken on a fleshy appearance, something like my conception of a tapeworm.
My mom was in the hospital. My brother and sister and I, and possibly my grandmother (who, in waking life, has only recently died), were standing around my mom's bed.
I somehow got a look at the back of my mom's head. There was a chunk maybe an inch wide out of the base of my mom's skull. This was the result of some kind of degenerative disease my mom had, maybe something to do with her heart.
Even though everybody else was around, my mom somehow spoke just to me, maybe using a guarded kind of speech, to indicate that the doctors had told her that the disease she was suffering from was about to overtake her. My mom knew she was going to die.
This had all happened rather suddenly. Something about the whole situation may also have been my fault, as if my neglect of my mother had allowed a physical situation to overwhelm my mother, giving the disease a chance to spread rapidly.
My mom knew this, and she gave me a weak, judgmental, but patient look with just her eyes. The rest of her face was blank, as if my mom's mental functions really weren't there anymore, or as if my mom were too sad or resigned to do much more than look me in the eye.
I was overwhelmed with guilt and full of sadness at the thought of my mother's approaching death. I grabbed my mom's right hand. There was some kind of sore or boil on the back of the hand. But I pressed my forehead against my mom's hand and wept deeply.