The dragons kept me up last night. They live in my head to give voice to all my doubts and fears. Each dragon is assigned its own special worry and coordinating color. Last night was the red dragon and the blue dragon’s turn. The red one woke first at 3 am when I experienced a sharp pain in my chest, right above my stomach.
“Heart attack!” screamed the red dragon. “You’re dying.” I rolled over on to my side and pulled the pillow over my head to drown out her voice. But the pain persisted and the red dragon continued her wailing. “Wake up your husband. Better get to the emergency room. The pain is getting worse.” I turned on to my back and stared at the ceiling. Could I be sick? No, this was indigestion from the barbecued ribs at dinner. I slipped out of bed and stumbled in the darkness to the bathroom. I swallowed an antacid and returned to bed.
Red was not appeased by the offering. “Zantac? Are you kidding me? This could be a tumor. No, it’s cancer. Yep, you are gonna die!” I listened to her litany of possible diseases and my anxieties grew. Naturally, the stomach pain seemed to grow with my anxiety. I made an effort to think of other matters to distract myself.
My mind wandered to the story I’d been working on the previous day. I had written about half a chapter and done some research on a new avenue for the story. I’d felt pretty good about what I’d accomplished. Now as I lay in bed, I tried to work out a plot problem I’d noticed.
That’s when the blue dragon awoke. Blue is the dragon assigned to my self-doubts. He usually sleeps through the night so he had plenty of energy to plague me during my daytime hours. “Hey, Red, keep it down. I’m trying to sleep.”
“Sorry, Blue. She’s dying and she won’t listen to me.” Red sounded genuinely concerned but I’ve seen this act before. She likes to nag at me until I finally get out of bed and wander out to the kitchen to worry over a cup of cocoa, abandoning all hope of getting back to sleep.
The blue dragon is the biggest and most annoying of my dragons. Nothing ever satisfies him. He likes to point out the flaws in whatever I do, whether it’s writing or parenting. He is especially crabby if he doesn’t get enough sleep.
“No, she’s not dying. Her problem is all this writing stuff. I keep telling her she’s wasting her time. Have you read her stories?Dull! And the plots meander all over the place. It’s like she forgets what she’s writing about.” Blue gave a snort that amplified my heartburn.
Red stopped her wailing. “Maybe she’s losing her mind. Alzheimer’s!”
“No, she just doesn’t have any talent. She should stick to housekeeping. Speaking of which, have you seen the pile of laundry in the living room? She’s too busy pretending to be a writer. She’s neglecting the house and her family.”
I lay there, listening to Blue and Red quarrel over me. Their voices grew louder until I couldn’t take any more. “All right, guys, enough. I’m not getting any sleep so I might as well get up. Thanks.”
I sat down in the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to heat up my cocoa water. I turned on my computer and found the perfect piece to read, Kimberly Brock’s guest blog about her inner voices. You can read it : here.
It’s good to know I’m not the only one who hears voices. I just prefer to call mine dragons.