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Friday, August 26, 2016

JACOB'S LADDER







Stranger than fiction events comparable to scenes from the 1990
movie "Jacob's Ladder" minus combat related PTSD or the Hollywood
elements of demons, drugs, flashbacks, exploding cars and the contrived
cop-out "it was all a drug induced dream before death" depressing ending.
The lead character Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) is a Jewish Army combat soldier in
Vietnam.  He is bayoneted in the stomach by one of his own men who were depicted
as being unwitting lab rats in a CIA drug experiment using something like BZ, an
hallucinatory aggression amplifying drug.  Jacob is found in the jungle with his
intestines outside his body.  Singer is still alive and taken by helicopter to a basecamp hospital.

The movie then picks up on what is supposed to be his post war civilian life.
In my view, all the scenes in this movie, all the flashbacks, everything hallucinatory
are depicted for a reason and meant to stand on their own loosely depicting iconic
metaphysical events that are timeless.

In 1985 I had "successful" sternum to pelvic bone resection surgery.  The operation was
five years before the movie.  I was in my late thirties.  Nothing iconic or metaphysical
about it but there is something going on regarding wounds or surgery in that particular area.

Unlike the movie I latter experienced a 6 to 9 month marathon of total sleep deprivation
without stimulant prescription or street drugs while in my 60's.  Considered impossible and
as close as anyone wants to get to a living death.

At one point the movie shows a civilian Jacob Singer at a crowded NYC apartment party
mixing with friends of his then Hispanic girlfriend. He is awkward and has nothing in
common with them.  As shown in the trailer, he has his palm read during the party.
Singer, shown with a wine bottle in his hand experiences confusion and war flashbacks
developing into a 106 fever.  His wife, played by the late Elizabeth Peña, gets him into
an ice bath to lower his body temperature.  He yells out that he's dying.  The shock sends
him into delirium.  He blacks out and imagines himself with his Jewish ex-wife.
He tells his ex the bedroom they are in feels like 10 degrees mirroring the ice bath.

Here's how that translates:
In the 1970's I am invited to Brooklyn to "sleep" with a partly Jewish female I'd
been seeing who was always said to be "married."  Her open marital arrangement was
more than slightly unconventional.  My guess now would be she would get pregnant by
a male loosely defined as a "husband" and would then sleep with me in between pregnancies.
Her looks were the very opposite of the Pena movie character.

The Brooklyn apartment is normal at first and then in the middle of the AM feels to be
at least 10 degrees below.  She says the heat is turned off at night.  It is unnaturally cold.
When I try to touch her to warm up she is too hot to get close to.  She is burning up but
notices nothing wrong.  She is too young for hot flashes.  Her body heat was beyond
anything sexual or natural.  But considering what we just did it did serve a purpose.

Awake all night in the sub-freezing cold room I go to work the next morning and
of course see her "husband" coming from his night job.  We turn around at the same
time as we pass.  He probably knows what's going on but it is all made to seem like high
intrigue.  Like a movie.  The invitation, the room temperate, her temperature and the
morning meeting was a contrived stupid arrangement designed to provoke guilt and
confusion about myself and the the woman I thought I knew.  I was the only one not in on the joke.










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