Do you know what I haven’t done in a long time? Write about my dreams.
Do you know why? I haven’t remembered my dreams since June.
I’m pretty sure I’ve been dreaming all along, but I haven’t been able to remember them. Maybe because of my new an un-improved sleep patterns, maybe because of the stress. Who the fuck knows. But last night few nights have been full of dreams.
I was driving with Itchy and Scratchy in a golf cart. I was hurrying Scratchy into the seat next to me, roughly seatbelting him into place. He protested (he was younger than he is now) but I dismissed his complaints as being difficult. But at the end of the ride he explained to me what hurt and why and I felt so bad. His complaints were legitimate and I didn’t listen to him. I felt horrible and apologized.
I was in another city and I was looking for the port to get on a boat. But it wasn’t obvious we were near water and the entry to the port looked like any other storefront. I was driving my car down the busy sidewalk and had to make it the end to do something and then turn around and find the port in time. Both boys were with me and at one point Scratchy was the one at the wheel. A man on the sidewalk said, “You are going to get in trouble doing that,” which snapped me back into how crazy letting my kid drive the car down the sidewalk was. So I made it a little better by taking the wheel. I was pretty sure I missed the dock so we had to turn around again. The sidewalks got more and more clogged and I was sure we missed our boat.
I was on an airplane and we crashed into the side of a mountain. The crash happened in slow-motion and I screamed longer and louder than I ever have, although I knew I would survive.
I was held hostage and kept in a pitch black cave, I was only let out once-a-day for a half-hour. I didn’t know how long I was imprisoned, the days ran into each other. I was able to write letters to ask for help, to be rescued. I knew no one would.
I was on the shore of a beach, there were a few people in the water. The water itself was a little hazy but I could still see into it. I looked for creatures lurking in the shallows but saw nothing. I waded in with Chief in my arms, he was still and trusting. We sat in warm, chest-deep water, him on my lap completely still, it was beautiful.
I was watching a young man teach someone how to draw a face. The person learning was nervous but the teacher was quite skilled, he said he was certified to teach people with disabilities so not to worry, he was quite patient. He went through the steps of blocking out where the features on a face should be but the student wouldn’t accept that the eyes were placed midway down the face, he kept questioning and doubting. He badgered the teacher rather than trust and try it. It was frustrating to watch.
I was at a gym with my kids, waiting while they took a parkour class. I was very tired and was resting my head on a pile of coats. A handsome man in his late 20’s came up and talked to me, he looked familiar and clearly knew me well but I could not recall who he was. He had a small child with him who looked to be about three but when I asked about his boy (hoping it would give me a clue to his identity) he said the boy was eight. A woman came up who was clearly the mother of the child but I couldn’t tell if they were a couple. The man was warm and flirty with me but I was completely out of sorts, tired and foggy. I was embarrassed that I didn’t know who he was. Harmy showed up and I whispered to her to find out who the man was. I couldn’t open my right eye, it was sealed shut. I tried prying it open with my fingers but it wouldn’t budge. I tried wetting it at the drinking fountain, the water pulsed out of it erratically, still could not open it. Eventually it popped open on its own, I expected my eye to hurt from all the tugging but it didn’t. I never found out who the man was.
I have mostly dismissed most things metaphysical for the last couple decades of my life due to the company I’ve kept. Lonny considers himself a man of science so astrology, Tarot, dream analysis, etc., has largely been dismissed, if not derided.
It’s not that I believe the position of the planets determine my personality or that cards tell my future, but I do believe they are an opportunity for conversation and exploration.
The first time Steven Retchless visited he offered to read my cards. I accepted and proceeded to sit stone-faced and unexpressive the entire time. I was convinced that Tarot readings were more about the person reading the cards playing off the cues of the person being read and I was going to test him by giving him no feedback.
Well duh. I think that’s the actual point. And by refusing to “give” Steven anything I passed up an opportunity to take a deep dive into the subjects suggested by the cards. He was, in essence, inviting me to have a conversation.
I see dreams the same way. By thinking about the dreams and taking cues from them, I can reflect on my life.
These days I am really concerned about the condition of my relationships with my boys … perhaps too much. At this age it’s hard to tell if they are out of sorts because of the change in their family dynamic or if it’s because they are teenagers, or most likely both. But I think about them a lot and spend too much time trying to figure out what’s going on.
Unlike when I first moved and one was really upset and refused to come over (oof, that was so hard for both of us) now it’s other who seems to be struggling. Only the problem now is that they both want to be with me, all the time, and without the other present.
You can see how this is problematic.
I pretty much spend all my nights with them. I have breaks. Lauren and Gina have visited, I spend time with my fella who lives an hour away, but when it’s just me at home, it’s all about them. On the one hand I feel really good about it, but on the other I wonder if I am worrying too much, if I am being too lax about my personal boundaries.
I want to do right by them, to be the parent I never had, or maybe to parent them the way I would like to parent myself. I don’t want want my kids to feel abandoned. But I also have to remind myself that when my folks divorced my mother and I left the state and I saw my father on alternating holidays and summers, we only spoke on Sundays. So no matter how much they may feel like they don’t see me enough, they see me all the time, I am only minutes away by foot.
I was raised in a different era and at least half of the people my age tell the same story of raising themselves starting with barely present parents, and at shockingly tender ages. I believe it was the norm, not wanton neglect. And the stories are usually followed with some statement of gratitude for the opportunity to become independent; I feel the same way.
Yet I would like for my boys to not feel the fear, loneliness, and insecurity of not knowing that someone is there as a safety net. I also don’t know if that is possible, if maybe parents in the 70s and 80s were onto something … that kids are strong and can fend for themselves. I’m so mixed up about it all. It’s impossible to know what the right thing to do is.
Last week was so hard. The cumulative effect of the holidays with the unpredictable schedule and perhaps too much free time on our hands left one of them feeling disconnected. His emotions were huge and overwhelming. I struggled to hear him and speak to his feelings while standing my ground when it came to protecting the other’s time, and my own.
And I filed my initial divorce papers, it was a necessary move. Without it I cannot move forward, I cannot get my short-term rental license, now is the time. But it stirred up so many emotions for Lonny, naturally. I tried to stay focused and businesslike, he was lost in grief. Yet I need him to do this with me, my financial security depends on it. I can see how he puts up resistance to slow the process, doubting which boxes on form JDF 1101 need to be checked, doubting me even when I called the free legal advice hotline provided by the city for clarification. This requires more patience than I have.
My life is a stew of mixed emotions ranging from absolute despair to transcendent joy. Mostly I hurtle from one state to the other, holding on for dear life as the airplane crashes into the side of the mountain. The phase changes leave me brittle, feeling like I could shatter at any moment. I know I will survive the crash even as I am in the middle of it. All I can do is scream loud and long.