I focussed on the lit cigarette which I held between my index and middle finger. “Is it me? I can’t be doing this”, I thought, surprised by my actions. I heard the consultant calling me to discuss a case. I quickly took a few puffs one after the other and skilfully squished the cigarette butt in a paper towel to throw in the rubbish. I couldn’t believe my actions.
Before I take a breathe, the consultant was in the room discussing our new patient. The smell of smoke must be lingering around me, and the thought made me paranoid. As he started to speak, I started to cough. I closed my eyes tight and held my throat, which felt hoarse as a coughing fit overtook me.
“Horrible feeling; why did I do it?” I sighed and opened my eyes slowly to find myself in my living room, holding my throat, “Thank God, that was a dream, a nightmare rather” I smiled at the dramatic episode that passed me. A feeling of relief washed over me. I never smoked in my life, but this felt real.
As my mind cleared from sleepiness, I recalled my way home from work, I snoozed in the bus a bit. I was exhausted that as I entered my home, I didn’t make it to the room but settled on the couch. I remember skimming through a patient’s notes at work to determine eligibility for a clinical trial, and for a moment, I stared at the smoking history. “Smoker, having ten cigarettes a day”, it said.
And I thought, our brain is a mystery; what I saw, what it retained and what stayed in the subconscious, I am amazed. I once believed that dreams are those thoughts that overflow and spill over from our minds. But honestly, I don’t get it, I really don’t get it.
On that note, I’ll leave you guys to think on it.
Much love and God bless
~ Chinchu Gibu