Woke up to memories of vivid dreams not quite nightmares but close enough, probably brought on by the sound of heavy rain on the roof or the bedroom door rattling in its frame from the wind outside. It’s counter-intuitive to love a dismal, wet day, but it puts me closer to a memory I have of picking up my kid from the bus stop – both of us in rainboots, stomping across wet leaves – and taking her home for hot soup. I think I got this memory from a soup commercial because it never really happened, but it’s comforting, so I hold onto it.
One of the dreams I remember was hearing the doorbell ring while I wasn’t fully dressed, and opening the door just the same. At breakfast this morning, my littlest said she dreamt of a strange boy in blue and white striped pajamas standing quiet and still in our hallway. I think I like my dream better.
Yesterday when I asked this same little girl what she wants to be when she grows up as part of a take-home preschool project, she told me “I want to have vanilla hair.” Hmm.
I rephrased the question. “What job do you want to do when you get big?”
“Um…a door holder,” she said.
I fell into one of those deep, hard laughs where you can’t breathe but make strange honking noises instead and tears spill down your cheeks and other people start to look concerned. Between that and the endorphins humming in my brain from an early morning run, I felt normal for the first time in days. Truth is, I’ve been struggling lately, and I don’t really know why.
I can accept that my brain chemistry is wonky, either from years of drinking or because it was screwy enough to self-medicate with drink in the first place. It doesn’t really matter which came first because the solution is the same: don’t drink. This weekend I really struggled with the black-and-whiteness of this cure.
Friday I came downstairs and the way the late afternoon light hit my husband’s pint glass of beer was wicked cruel. I had that by now familiar thought “yes, please” that frustrates me immensely because I feel like my brain should know better now. I am trying to keep my side of the street clean, but his leaves keep blowing over and I am tired of sweeping. I hate being on the opposite side of the street from him, especially when his side feels more happy-go-lucky and mine more get-off-my-lawn-cranky. (aside: He just sent me the above someecard, which is so perfect for this post.)
That splendid vision of beer on the countertop touched off a weekend of feeling out of sorts. I’m so fragile these days. We went to a restaurant festival and I saw a woman with a mostly-full plastic cup of beer, her head thrown back in laughter, and I kinda sorta of wanted to yank her by the ponytail for being in that special place I can’t get to anymore.
And yet I had an excellent weekend. I took my girls to see Finding Nemo (just keep swimming, indeed, Dory) and teared up at all the right moments, plus I ate my weight at the restaurant festival. This life I have is beautiful. I don’t know why I should look for pain in a life I don’t even have.
I am on a roller coaster lately, and it seems odd because I haven’t felt this way since late fall of last year. When I ride roller coasters in real life, I do so with a smile on my face and my eyes tightly shut. I know this because we just went to Disney and they’re constantly taking pictures of you on roller coasters that you only want to buy so you can burn them. I think maybe what I’m doing now is opening my eyes a little and taking it all in, exactly as it is. It’s new and sometimes scary, but I haven’t felt this alive in ages.