Dream 20080222, 2:30 AM: The Girl with the Pasteur Pins
I saw this image from Pasteur’s Etudes Sur la Maladie des Vers a Soie, and apparently the image of the long steel pins really stuck in my head.
I’m a little girl, and I live in a facility that is a cross between an orphanage and a hospital. I have two or three of these pins stuck in different parts of my body, particularly my hands; I don’t know how they got there. The areas surrounding the pins look a little swollen and red, but not nearly as bad as I would expect – it’s like I’ve lived with them for a long time. I remember a nurse pulling one out of my shoulder, and rubbing the whole area with alcohol – I don’t know why she didn’t take the ones out of my hands.
Somehow I get out of the hospital. I want to get back in, and I think that if I have a bunch of the pins, they will surely take me back there for treatment. I don’t remember where I got the pins, but I put them through my arms and hands and shoulders. They are dark steel, with slightly ragged ends and look sort of hand-cut. On my fingers, they mostly go long-ways, the direction of the bone, but through the skin, so that the joint still moves. They hurt, but not terribly. I remember flexing one finger, and watching the pin sort of sliding in the flesh. I am found and taken back to the hospital/orphanage. I don’t remember all that happened there.
(real life) I woke up, and realized that I had somehow thrown off the covers, and my arms and particularly my hands were stiff and sore from the cold. I’m in a pose that looks like I’m recoiling in horror, or like I’m Nasferatu about to feed on someone; hands are held claw-like in front of my chest. I have minor arthritis in the joints of my fingers, and they didn’t like being held out in the cold, apparently. I got back under the blankets and warmed up, and was fine.