The Strain Dreams

Part of not having my laptop / wifi working for the last third of 2016 is that I still have bits and pieces of communication spread out among 3 notebooks awaiting transcription into my Google doc for 2016 communication. Some of a piece dated 10.19.16 (discusses The Strain, specifically the show) follows.

Show context: It’s basically a vampire story with a medical outbreak frame / start (stingers are involved in ingesting blood and reside within the throat). Professor Setrakian is analyzing a book called the Lumen, which has details compiled through history about the strigoi (vampires) and their Master (head vampire / creator) that will hopefully help this group destroy them. Eph is an arrogant asshole at times, and he’s a doctor. Quinlan is a strigoi-human hybrid who is currently assisting the humans. The Freedom centers are sketchy af “”medical centers”” that you should not go to.

I’ve been having a recurring dream since I got to season 3 of catching up on The Strain, in which I’m somehow in the hotel where Setrakian is looking at the Lumen and sort of helping. Photographing the pages  at different points in the day (since a plot point included general daylight revealing ink) and having good color copies of the pages to look at if the professor wants to keep the book locked away (instead of the blurry b+w copies in the show, which pain me). Some behind the scenes help like cooking and reminding people to eat, which extended to carefully measured blood donations for Quinlan.

A lot of the dreams were explaining different things about me as I had to explain certain behaviors – Wolf mode could kick in very noticeably to protect me, f’ex. I had to explain being nonbinary and how important using correct pronouns is, and I had to talk about my People and ancestor veneration (I apparently had a traveling shrine set up and had to convince them to leave it alone, and it came up in talking about tattoos at some point). I had warned them that the strigoi outbreak had kept me from getting my antidepressants refilled, so I’d unintentionally quit cold turkey, and Quinlan confirmed it (tasting a decreasing amount then none of the meds in my blood).

Quinlan had a distanced, separated sort of compassion that reminds me of Hela, in a way, and there was something about his ‘monstrosity’ that I kept referring to him as cousin (in not English). I wasn’t always fully present at night from slipping into a higher level of Wolf mode while dreaming / sleeping, so I did and said things that were a bit unconventional (played with Hati, spoke in German to Setrakian, spoke in Russian to Quinlan). It freaked them out because it wasn’t knowledge I had when awake, and they kinda wanted to find a separate safe place for me but didn’t want to bring it up directly with me. I ended up bringing it up in one ‘actually asleep’ state because my Wolf was worried about suicidal ideation.

I wasn’t a warrior, and I was limited in how I could help with their cause, so it was only a matter of time before I couldn’t keep fighting the internal voice about how useless I was. Some of what a friend has talked about from the books has colored this because I know show!Quinlan wouldn’t give a fuck. In the dream, Quinlan was more like ‘you’re not useless; you’re just not suited for this work so you’re struggling’. We made some sort of agreement that I would only kill myself if I were infected (Setrakian wanted to have someone else “release” me), and I would be allowed to live in another safe location with access to the medication I needed when they found one (my visit to the Freedom center revealed the sketchiness of them in the dream).

In the meantime I was counted as one of the blood donors for the ‘our side’ strigoi, which helped with the uselessness. Quinlan tolerated me “because there’s always been people like you, even if it’s different, strange, or freakish to others”. He found it slightly amusing that I was usually calmer around him when he didn’t hide the noise from having the stinger in his throat, particularly since it helped with falling asleep.

Might have been some cuddling involved? My notes don’t explicitly include it, but there’s suddenly a tangent on feeling uncomfortable with the fandom sexualizing this character. I’m not entirely sure, but I view Quinlan like family and I view cuddling as platonic, so I’m not surprised at that tangent. Thinking of Quinlan like a cousin is like how Kylo Ren felt like an older brother (makes total sense to me, but possibly confuses others). I don’t have confirmation (Someone claiming it), but I’m rather confident that some of my People were using a pop culture frame for giving me some encouragement and possible coping mechanisms.

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