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’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.