Dream a little dream – the children

I sank into my mom’s couch. I was consumed by work, an interstate drive and various appointments within 40 hours, with very little sleep. I was exhausted.

My mom settled on the love seat. The sun crept into her space. She enjoyed a siesta and encouraged me to do the same. I declined and grabbed a magazine. Sleeping in her house gave me the creeps, day or night.

Despite my efforts to stay awake, my eyes rebelled and succumbed. Within moments, I heard the patter of feet and a giggle. I opened my eyes and saw my mom continuing her peaceful slumber. Then the children entered the room. I hoped this was a dream.

The girl was 4 years old and dressed in a green gingham dress. The boy was a year or so younger and wore shorts and a polo shirt. Both had curly blond hair, wide blue eyes and perfect white baby teeth. I continued to hope I was dreaming and played along.

The boy hopped on the couch to my right. His eyes had mischief and I suddenly grew uncomfortable. I extended my left arm and offered the girl a place on my lap. Then, I felt a nibble on my right arm. Shocked, I turned to the little intruder to admonish him for biting me. As I opened my mouth, the girl laughed sweetly and said, ” this is how we do it, silly.”

She locked my forearm in a grip and pulled it toward her mouth. Her teeth morphed into fangs and her eyes turned vacant. I tried to wake my mom but my vocal cords froze. My consciousness reminded ke that this was most likely a dream. I managed to choke out, “Go away”. I opened my eyes to my mom, who was still sleeping peacefully, oblivious to it all. As I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself, I heard the patter of feet along with a tiny voice that giggled, “bye, bye,”:

Dream a Little Dream of – My Apartment

I hear a rustling in the living room. I shove the panic away as I open amd close my eyes. The light is blinding. Through it, I’m surprised to see my sister, sitting in the rocker, and my mom in my recliner. The chaos that is my apartment is in order. I ask what is happening and they respond that they are worried about me. I laugh as I realize that this is a dream, then become angry. I warn that they better not be here when I wake.

The light is still blinding. I’m agitated as I once again make way to the living room. They are gone. I want a snack. I make my way to the kitchen and I see a button that says “Push”, so I do. A panel opens and I hear music and am mortified that I can’t turn down the sound. My dad ambles in with a smile on his face and I want to pass out He flips a switch to silence the movie and I realize that this is another dream, because dad has been gone for seven years. I try to cover up by saying that I didn’t know my kitchen had a tele. He says that my.next door neighbor is angry. Dad pushes the button. The tele retracts and he walks away.

I have to use the bathroom. I see the yellow and black caution tape. I peer and don’t see my chalk outline and I breathe a bit easier. My maintenance guys are working. I ask why now and they respond that I didn’t give permission to enter while I was gone, so they had to enter while I was here. The time didn’t matter. I ask them to please hurry, because I have to pee.

When I wake up, I still have to pee and am annoyed that the tape is gone. I am more than shocked to see what is in the tub – or who. This person has not had a bath in I can’t even guess when. In an effort to prove that this isn’t real, I thrust my foot in the tub. The person disappears and I rejoice; however, my conscious mind is in high panic mode. I start to cry. I return to my bedroom.

No longer surprised, I determine that this isn’t my bedroom. I panic until I see my dad. He tells me to join him in the family room. I pass through his walk in closet and see spit shined shoes, formal suits and hockey sweaters. I trip over one of the shoes. As he straightens his collar, I ask where he is going. He replies that it is just the two of us. I scrutinize my clothes and he assures me that I’m fine. He offers me a drink. I accept but I don’t drink it. The 72 inch tele plays in the background but I don’t notice.

My conscious mind takes hold. I wonder if I’m ever going to leave this dream cycle. I wonder if I’m dead and this is what happens next. I feel guilty as my mom and sister will have to identify my body and untangle the chaos that was my life. I hope that my final resting place will be with my dad. Even if I don’t drink or watch the Tele, this will be quite tolerable. I relax.

My eyes snap.open. I’m in my apartment. I have to pee.

venturing forth

We rode clouds of fire, chariots of burning orange, in advancing ranks away from the horizon.  Armed with the sharpened wits and long finely honed experiences of our embattled lives we held firm in the belief and pride that success would surely follow.  The heavens had nothing left to counter our tactical march toward victory.

Clouds landscapes fire skyscapes the sky wallpaper
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We were naïve fools, the product of delusions and expectant entitlements pushed on us by those who wanted more for us than they wanted for themselves.

The night rose from the opposite horizon and met our advance swiftly.  We were overwhelmed and swallowed within the mighty maw of that darkness.  The hot coals of our rage were dowsed and the color drained away until nothing remained to distinguish our battalions from the foe we had hoped to vanquish.

Fireworks slowly winked against the backdrop of oblivion, but it was impossible to tell if they were there to celebrate the darkness or to give us hope that we would once again be able to gather our strength and forces and re-forge our sunset fired battle charge.  We looked for further clues of what the future held but chaos laughed away our attempts.  Resting.  Waiting.  We settled into the embrace of night and watched the show unfold.

Image Credit: hubble telescope

Time, carried forward by world scraping winds, slipped from our tenuous grasp to swirl in small eddies that led to the cold, deep, and swift currents.

We grew old waiting for a new spark to ignite our hearts.  We grew weak in the idleness of watching the world turn below us.  We grew tired, mind, body and spirit, and we closed our eyes against the harsh dancing lights.  Sleep stole upon us and secreted us away to the halls of vibrant dreams and desires where right and wrong always stood in stark contrast and love always conquered any who dared rise against her.  The lullabies of life calmed our stirrings and we drifted further into the darkness.

We woke gently to yawn and stretch as the hint of day caressed the edge of the world.  Our limbs and minds had been rejuvenated, reminded by the dreams of all possibilities that could be eventualities should only we have the courage and energy to fight for them.  We took up our broken and depleted chariots and quietly set about the task of readying them again for war.

The night had been good for us, allowing the opportunity to pause and reflect.  We hadn’t lost all of our naivety, but we understood that a certain amount of innocence was critical to our endeavor.  We could never lose sight of the hope that urged us forward day after day.  If we did, we would be lost in the darkness forever wandering between the empty battlefields of our past and the pristine visions of our dreams.

Air France: Place of Dreams, Disneyland, Air France: Airline, Ilde CS, Airfrance, Print, Outdoor, Ads
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A perfect dream is still only a dream and means nothing without getting up every morning, dusting yourself off, and venturing forth in pursuit of the better world you want to see.

 

the answers will come

I think back to those lonely nights when I wandered the empty streets of my sleepy little town.  I was chasing dreams and demons.  The moon was my only companion and I would look up to it for guidance, for magic, for something, anything.  I was lost, scared, and confused, and in many ways that remained true throughout the intervening years.

My eyes glance to the heavens, confirming the continued presence of my longest companion.  The reflecting orb smiles down at me, but does little else.  It offers no answers.  It gives no guidance.  It doesn’t even provide any warmth to ease away the chill from my aching flesh.  I know it isn’t a great friend, I understand how sad it is that I even consider the moon such at all, but it has always been there for me and that can’t be said for the rest of the people who flit in and out of my life.

For old times sake I whisper skyward a simple request to have it acknowledge me, to somehow validate that I am real, that I matter.  My eyes implore it to give me some sort of response, and my pupils frantically search the blemished surface for anything I can latch on to.  But, nothing happens, and my eyes slide away from the moon to return to the darkness of my world.

In a way I’m relieved the moon didn’t answer, that is proof that I’m real.  If it had somehow managed to speak to me or show me a sign then I would have to worry about my sanity.  However, the fact that I wanted the moon to talk to me in the first place makes me question my mental stability.  Who am I that I should expect the heavens to converse with me?  Why do I want that to happen?  And what do I think it would say?

Magic, of course.  It always comes down to magic, and answers.  And magical answers.  And answers through magic.  One leads to the other and they are both intertwined.  If I have the answers then I can find the magic.  If I have the magic then I can deduce the answers.  And then life will make sense.  And death will as well.

I shake my head to clear my vision, and brush away the small drops that formed in the inner corners of my eyes.  Perhaps I am losing my mind.  Perhaps I never had a mind to lose.  Perhaps I’ll never know.

I step forward and push away the thoughts of my past, the thoughts of yearning for understanding, the feelings of loss and remorse for those who have left, the fear of the unknown, and I think only of what I need to make it through the day.  One step in front of the other.  One task at a time.

In the end, the answers will come on their own, with or without the magic.

crushed

He stood there and screamed nonsensical jumbles of words at me, and all these years later I can’t remember if he was actually yelling gibberish or if I remember it that way because I wasn’t listening to him and what he said was never of any consequence.

It was lunch and I was eating in the shaded corridor between two buildings.  I’d learned months before that lunch was a time for sitting alone, doing homework, and, most importantly, hiding from my tormentors.  And, as it was approaching summer in the desert, the shady spot was essential for staying comfortable when not tucked away in an air-conditioned classroom.  Still, staying in one place meant that those kids who liked to push buttons, who like to test boundaries, who liked to pants kids smaller than them, who liked to take away school books and throw them in the trash, who liked to be bullies, could find me.

Sometimes they’d pass me by without a word, sometimes they tease me and try to get a rise out of me.  That day, one of them stood on my backpack and yelled at me as I sat and ate my lunch.  His two goons flanked him and laughed as the scene unfolded.  I did nothing.  Half a sandwich in one hand.  A water bottle grasped in the other.  He threw his arms about wildly and did a little dance on my backpack and then he moved on.  I could hear their laughter bouncing off the walls.

It was then that the horror of what had just happened set in.

He stood on my backpack.

The backpack contained the art project I had spent half a semester working on, had finally been graded, and was ready to be taken home: a paper mache mask.  I quickly opened up the pack, my fingers were trembling and I felt a huge swell of hope that somehow it had managed to survive, even when I knew there was no way it could withstand the weight.  My eyes took in the crushed edges, the split crease down the middle, the complete destruction.

I don’t remember how I got there, but the next thing I remember I was crying in the principal’s office, trying to get out the details between sobs.  I don’t remember anything I said then.  I don’t remember anything he said either, but I do remember that the bully was suspended for a week and had to do community service.

It didn’t seem like enough

It still doesn’t.

That art class was one of the classed I enjoyed the most in junior high.  I had looked forward to going to it everyday, to seeing what project we were going to work on next.  After that afternoon it never felt the same, and I never took another art class.

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Written for this week’s Yeah Write:

I took a top row five spot again! Thanks for all the support: