It was a mistake to even try to remember them.

My plan was simple. Record my dreams, increase recall, achieve lucid dreaming. Well, it has been a colossal failure. It worked in the sense that I remember my dreams. It’s just that they’re shitter than ever and all sorts of people I don’t like keep showing their faces and…. bothering me. Oh, I won’t even write in what manner they bother me. Goodbye to golden vistas and floaty pink clouds. Hello to… Freud.

You will laugh, but I lay much of the blame on the liminal space photos. I made the mistake of visiting a dying mall when we went to the next state over to see some family. It was a rainy day, the trees saturated dark green in the fog. Just the right sort for reminiscing about depressing memories. In order delay the inevitable, we thought, let’s go check it out and see if we can take some photos of our own. We succeeded beyond what I had even hoped for. But we did not escape without mental distress and damage.

I discovered this liminal space. Do you feel… uncomfortable?

I’ve been in a lonely funk and feel quite at odds with other people. I often have a weird sensation of watching past scenes of my life or people I once knew stream past me.

Dark-edged memories creep into my consciousness. I hate to be the one who talks about high school, but for some reason, certain ancient emotions keep rising to the surface. Obviously, because of the photos. Laugh if you wish, but if you haven’t tried it, then you don’t understand. Not all nostalgia is pleasant. Back then, I spent most evenings in my room, listening to music, reading, writing, or drawing. There was something I was trying to capture, those feelings that lurked right around the corner of my mind, and I’ve never been able to. I felt the same way, years later, when I’d clean out a dim, dirty fitting room on a Friday night.

As a teenager, I’d have bouts of sudden nostalgia in my stomach, and when it hit me, I’d have an urge to write something down or draw it immediately. I thought I was a visionary; more likely, it was related to my undiagnosed epilepsy. The episodes were probably localized temporal lobe seizures, since they bear all their hallmarks. I wasn’t diagnosed until age thirty, and now many stories of my life need revision.

Part of my sadness comes from the passage of time. I’m entering the phase of life when my parents are not merely getting older, but getting old, and my sense of responsibility is heavy. I don’t want to be ungrateful and not help take care of them, but at the same time, when do I get to start my own life? I still live at home, but I’ve been engaged for a long time now, in an even longer relationship, and want to get married. I feel so guilty for wanting to leave, but is it really fair to make me put my life on hold?

The idea of marriage carries with it other concerns. I’ve never really been intent on having children. For that matter, I was never one of those little girls who dreamed of a wedding, either. From the time I understood what liking a boy meant, all I ever wanted was a boyfriend. But the wedding? Meh. Baby carriage? Ugh. But at thirty-three, as it inevitably will, urgency increases while time decreases.

This past Sunday was the solemnity of Corpus Christi. Several children made their first communion, and a young man was admitted to candidacy for the major seminary. The little girls were dressed in white gloves, veils, and dresses, and the boys were… well, they wore dark suits and polished shoes. Not much else you can do with boys. When the congregation offered their applause, I was surprised to find myself clapping with tears in my eyes. Quite surprised, because my typical mode of behavior is to whisper and snicker.

From time to time, perhaps mischievously, or perhaps not, I like to make my fiancé feel a little shitty, so I say something like, “Just think, you and I will never see our child up there,” with a murderous smirk.

“Why do you have to say that?!” he says. I look sideways quickly to see his reaction—his eyes are bloodshot.  

Why? Because I feel like shit and I want you to reassure me that everything is going to magically turn out perfect by next weekend. And because I’m an asshole who likes to twist a knife every so often, or often, into you and into me.

The day has reached its end now. I usually don’t go to sleep until one thirty or two in the morning because I don’t want to fall asleep, dream, and then wake up, in pain, and have to go to work. And see my boss, of course. Maybe that’s what this is about. All roads lead to my boss. I can’t believe it took this long to bring her up. As a matter of fact, I just got a new manager, so there will be some new tales to tell very soon. My boss hasn’t been too bad (relatively speaking), so perhaps my attention has wandered off course towards other matters.

Right now, I feel as though I am in a transitional phase. Problems are rising to the surface, demanding solutions. Yet, despite all the sadness, I don’t feel as ill-equipped to deal with them as I used to. Going back to my old way of life, of inertia, inactivity, and depression, is no longer an attractive option.

Oh, hell, the truth is that someone just rage-quit and I feel deliciously superior that I outlasted yet another malcontent.

As usual, please tell me all about YOU…. if you dare after seeing these pictures.

37 thoughts on “It was a mistake to even try to remember them.

  1. Firstly, lovely to to see you writing frequently. If I time-travel back into my life, and use hindsight or 20-20 vision -lol😉😉😉🥴. I have now reached an age greater than mid 40’s. So when I turned 30 oh what a relief from the crazy 20’s and associated thoughts , peer pressure, society pressure. It was easier but it was still there. Turn 35 it improved more. And it got better and better as I stopped trying to fit in and just be me, and stopped confirming to whatever I felt at should being doing by what age and by what expectations. As for the weird dreams in the 20 to 30 age periods they stopped when I started to LIVE MY LIFE not what I thought my life was supposed to be. Also journallung at night, ending on a positive note, meditation with God, going to bed at a decent time all helped make those weird dreams disappear by themselves. Instead of thinking and worrying I started to do baby step by baby step and it all falls into place. DOING resolves a lot stuff. We all get old. Our parent are strong even in the hardest of times and they want to be independent too. Sometimes a candid talk with them will resolve so much ( believe me ). I hope this random comment makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Bella. You make lots of good sense. I can see how true it is that as you get older, less and less of the craziness bothers you because you don’t care as much about what other people think. Then we sort of get left to deal with our own personal issues and you have a lot of good advice for that. I know that because it’s helped me personally. I’m glad I’m not the only one with the weird dreams but I feel hopeful that I can fix it, since your daily practices have helped you so much. Thank you for your point about parents. You know it’s a tough subject. Thanks for stopping by. I always appreciate your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wrote a little blog post that theorized that writing a story is a-aaalmost the same thing, or involves the same mental processes, as dreaming, and to analyze the results of either is pretty much the same. But not really–writing, or “crafting” a story, as we say, is a very conscious process, but, then, we think so much the better if it is “creative” or “original.” Meaning, maybe we can sometimes figure out a way to allow the sub-conscious to participate in the writing process. After reading this post of yours, I thought, maybe writing is the same thing as lucid dreaming. Everyone talks about how therapeutic writing is, as if to affirm my wild theorizing.
    Anyway, interesting post. Is blogging anything like lucid dreaming?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Roy. I’ll have to check out your blog–are you on WordPress or somewhere else? I like your ideas here. I never thought of these things from that angle. Perhaps if we have better access to our subconscious minds, we can find more stuff to draw upon. I think during the creative process, it’s great to just let things flow and not think too hard about them; but at the same time, I think some digging is necessary so we can put a name to our emotions and explain where exactly they’re coming from. You know that satisfying feeling when something’s been bugging you and then you finally understand why? I think the writing process helps us draw that out. So maybe it’s good to stir everything up in our heads and see where the dust settles. I think writing creatively sort of is like lucid dreaming–helping something emerge from all the chaos within.


      1. Agree. I enjoy the comment process–to play off of other’s ideas–as much as writing posts. Anyway, thank you. I find your writing here very evocative and thoughtful.

        Here is the particular post I mentioned, and the way into my blog in general. It’s, by the way, since WordPress was designed by people with radically different thought process than my own. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m glad you “visited.” I’m sorry I have no idea how to follow or subscribe to a blog — if you have a account, there is a way, I think, but I don’t know exactly what that is. I hope you check in, from time to time. I may have to research this, even though that will resemble “work.” I’ll let you know!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, the baby thing… when I was 18 I told my grand dad that I would have children by the age of 20 or wouldn’t have any. 20 went by without children but with good old uterine fibroids and now at 50 I have no regrets. Step-children can be a wonderful experience and there is always adoption. As for the dreams: I keep having funny ones. Sometimes rather nasty. That’s life to my mind. I write them down and leave them behind. Or get creative with them. Depends on my mood 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bee. I’m glad you take a light-hearted approach to dreams–it’s good not to wake up all weighted down by the craziness. Thank you for the points you make about children here. Regrets are the worst and you’re right that there’s other experiences in life that can be wonderful too. Can’t get hung up on what the “correct” life looks like. Nothing ever works out the way we think it will, huh?


      1. Exactly. Life Is a sh.. show for all of is and the only thing we can do is make the best and something creative of it. But when dreams are awful all the time then it’s rather hard to deal with them. 🌞

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I identify with so much of this. From that weird empty loneliness when seeing the dying mall to the recognition of parental aging, to going from snarky comments about kids because you don’t think you want them to sadness when you realize you might not have the chance. Even the knife-twisting asshole comments. I so get this.
    I hope you get to get married soon. Thinking of you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey JYP, thanks so much for reading and relating. I’m glad to know there are others out there who “get it.” Your own writing puts so much into words, and your comment and thoughts mean a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “Back then, I spent most evenings in my room, listening to music, reading, writing, or drawing.” Uh…Duh? Didn’t we all? Until I got a driver’s license and after a year of that finally got to be a teenage multi GF rock star. I dated the cheerleaders and the beauty queens, the brainiacs and even the president of the local Tom Jones fan club. A lifestyle that I threw way in under two years. Remanufactured myself and then the real fun started.

    I feel so guilty for wanting to leave, but is it really fair to make me put my life on hold?
    Fuck. That. Get out, make mistakes, get over it.

    In fact, everyone has commitment and failure issues. Famous musicians and comedians, athletes.

    The photos are very cool. One should embrace empty places, if only to brush against the dreams that once lived there. Over here, kids and balloons. Over there a 30 something couple with a baby carriage arguing – was he eyeballing the salesgirl or the sweaters on sale? Does the fat family need to be in line at the cookie shop? Do the cookies make them feel better? The fortyish make up tech hustling to the food court, her face frozen like wax, the slow walking family that takes up the whole aisle, the pink faced junior high kids holding hands. How much money do you think the woman is Z gallery is worth just standing there? 10, 20 grand? The couple mesmerized by the bridal books, the old guy tossing a handful of pennies, the grandmothers holding up easter dresses in Sears…
    Everybody has questions. Nobody has answers. Get over yourself and have some fun between the darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love malls for all the reasons you state. When I’m on a long lunch break and don’t feel like eating much, I do something I call “weirdo hunting,” which is walking around the mall, going in a store and pretending to shop while scoping out what the strange looking person is doing. Or I follow them around if I’m feeling a little bold. The only bad thing is that when you don’t find any weirdos, you know it’s you that day.

      I’ve got to say though in regard to the moving out thing–I’m a dutiful, neurotic daughter, and it’s hard to say “fuck that” to the mother who erased herself in order to stay home with us and cook our three squares a day and the father who worked eighty hours a week in restaurants to put a roof over our heads and send us to private schools. Nothing is cut and dry. I will find a middle way, like I always do.

      Sadly I’ve got the mistake thing down pat. I can, however, get over it if you wire some money to my mortgage–I mean student loan account.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I bought a Masters, a Ph.D and a BA. None of them mine. My daughter took out a student loan for about 1/2 of law school. Still pretty steep. She’s got 2 kids, a divorce, her own house with a swimming pool and only working contract through Covid still makes at least 3x what I made my best year paying for private school and college degrees, Mistakes are part of it. She wouldn’t move home if there was a zombie apocolypse in my front yard. You can polish any turd except life and that shit just happens.
        So inside all of that parents do what parents do, nobody puts a gun to our heads. Sadly, I know some of those married a job and a house and did the indentured maid thing. They spend money to change the furniture at regular intervals in big empty houses and wonder WTF else to do with themselves. Your parents need you like a 5th floor condo owner needs a lawn tractor.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. True. But as friend of mine says “different houses, similar lives.” Not that they’re carbon copies. but human emotions and needs run a narrow and similar courses. Everybody has pain, loss, confusion, health issues. fears.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. The real summation is stop making excuses and hiding behind your “shortcomings” because you’re a very bright person pissed off at yourself for whatever your carcass has done to you. Fugeedaboutit. Even crazy cat ladies and old guys who miss parts of their face when they shave tried to kick it one time or another. Why end up a crazy cat lady out of fear?

              Liked by 1 person

                1. Look at shortcomings as assets. That’s the only way the rest of us non prodigies get by. Look, if I’d have been even mediocre standard pianist I’d never have been what I turned out to be. And gifts are strange. I grew up with a prodigy in the neighborhood. He had a grand piano everywhere he went. Got a degree in accounting, was still an amazing, but angry, pianist. Someone told me they saw him the last day he worked lounge lizard for real money at a posh country club. He pissed somebody off, got fired or quit. Went to work for some guy doing roof inspections. Fell off a roof, broke both his wrists… no more excuses, no more blame. Now his gift is gone. Don’t do that to yourself.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. That’s a sad story. What a waste! In my case the jig is already up. If a person is deficient in what it takes to turn shortcomings into assets, they’re in a bit of a bind. Add crippling debt and it’s all over.

                    Liked by 1 person

  6. All I feel when I look at those places is a desire to explore them. Or enjoy their solitude.

    As a child I often sought out such spaces. Empty locker rooms, empty churches, echo riddled gymnasiums. Given the choice, I’d still seek them out.

    Pre-loading is critical for quality dreaming. Maybe E.A.Poe is a poor choice to read before slumber. I like falling to sleep watching Bob Ross.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, you will explore them….. in your nightmares.

      You make an excellent point about “pre-loading” for dreams. I am going to consciously try that and see what results I get.

      I am such a horrible person, I was going to comment about your falling asleep to Bob Ross and say something like “Do you have happy little accidents when you dream?” and then I realized how god-awful that came out. What the hell is wrong with me.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. He is above above us all and cannot be touched. His spirit floats amongst his happy little clouds.

            And I assure you, I’ve had and held far more disturbing thoughts. Yet, knowing that such notions, in end, mean nothing, is, unexpectedly, quite freeing. It’s just that living in such a oppressive state takes more energy than I’m usually willing to surrender. No mistakes, just happy accidents? Isn’t that was existence is, or can be?

            I’m no pollyanna, and fall asleep (after Bob) to thoughts of the Apocalypse. However, maintaining such a mien is taxing, don’t you think?

            Liked by 2 people

  7. I know that feeling of not wanting to sleep at night because all there is during the day is disappointment and misery. I think it’s called revenge bedtime procrastination (yes, it’s an actual term). Here’s to one day taking revenge on our days so that we don’t need to delay our bedtime anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s interesting there’s a real name for that! There was one time I was going through a health problem that affected me during the night and I was running on about four hours of sleep. It was terrible. It sounds so foolish now to take revenge on myself because I was probably only making myself sicker. Plus my job gets to me too. I agree with you, let’s start taking revenge on the daytime nightmares instead.


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