Thursday, September 09, 2004

My lifetime love affair with sleep

I suspect I have spent more of my lifetime sleeping than most people. I am not sure why I require so much sleep, at least when I want to keep feeling sane. Lately, I have been alternating between sleeping too little, to sleeping too much. I guess I shouldn’t say “lately” because now that I think about it, I have always done that.

Years ago, during summer school breaks, living at home with no real responsibilities, I would stay up until 4 am every night and then sleep at least until 4 pm every day. I am one of the only people I know that has ever slept 16 hours straight and woke up tired.

Now, I love to sleep in the “womb” at least that’s what lilmtty and I call it. The womb is our bedroom, and at the proper time of day in the summer, it can almost put me to sleep just by thinking about it. We have a large bed with cushy mattresses, crisp red 300 thread count sheets, a billowy white down comforter and four luscious pillows. In the afternoons when the sun is already on the other side of the house, the bedroom gets a fake “evening twilight” effect going on in it. Before taking a nap I love to draw the shades, air conditioner humming, turn on the fan to drown out the loud rental-house-next-door neighbor kids (which are never in short supply), and climb into bed. The safe secluded feeling in that room is like a drug and if I need a nap I can’t function. If I don’t sleep long enough, I wake up feeling like I took ten Valium. Sometimes I sleep and wake up feeling like my slumber was busier than the waking hours. I think it’s because I get so involved in my dreams.

I have been having some of the best synthetic chemical induced dreams of my sleeping life lately. (One of the better side effects of stuffing a steady stream of physician prescribed happy pills down your throat on a daily basis.) The dreams tend to boarder on bad B movies from time to time, and horror movies other times. Some of the dreams are so realistic, I wake up thinking some of the things actually took place. Often I think of something during the day, I then remember it didn’t really happen and only dreamed it. Once in awhile I wake up truly mad at lilmtty for something bad to me in some of the dreams.

Recently I had a dream that was almost traumatizing, and stayed with me for many days to follow. I dreamt lilmtty and me were sitting next to each other on an airplane flight. Suddenly the plane went eerily quiet because the engines failed in mid-air. Instantaneously a complete paralyzing fear came over me, followed by an absolutely tranquil calm fueled by the knowledge that there was nothing in the world I could do about the fact we were going down. A complete and utter loss of control and the only emotion that emerged from it was love. I leaned over and softly whispered in lilmtty’s ear that I loved her with all my heart. Then I woke up very abruptly.
Knowing full well what it feels like to think you are about to die and also to be totally loved.

My favorite toy store...

Qees, Kurbricks, Dunnys, Etc.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Stuck in the middle with you….

Two of my best friends live at opposite ends of the United States. For those of you not familiar with Oblivion, we are, of course (where else would you expect a place named Oblivion to be?), just left of center in this I ‘tis of thee, sweet (yet slightly salty) land of liberty.

I have come to realize that Oblivion is a hard place for all of my friends, and by default our friendships (due to my present proximity to Oblivion) to deal with. To the people I’ve known that have now moved away, this place is a reminder of all the things they never became. Here, the only thing to do is dream of other places and things bigger than you. Imaginings that someday you will leave and do all the things you’d always hoped. Not that any of them are unsuccessful, quite the contrary. One is a geologist, another pursuing a Ph.D., yet another teaching and working in a highly respected art museum, the list goes on and on.

But when they were here, when our friendships were wired with late night coffee buzzes and reckless talk of our futures, the geologist was an aspiring actress, the Ph.D. was moving to the French Quarter pursuing dreams of freedom, the teacher was off to art school with visions of Pollack in his head, and I was stuck in the middle with them. And, I was stuck in the middle with them. A warm place with smiling faces and laughter, cigarettes, driving junky cars, drinking cheap wine, full of teenage angst raging against the “system” of conformity, listening to (what felt like) revolutionizing pulse pounding alternative music, dropping acid, discovering our minds, discovering our sexuality, going to concerts (some of the best), talking until our dawn, and more glorious laughter.

I thought the day would never come when I would smile back on my teenage years and declare them the “best days of my life”. At the time, those days seemed anything like the best. If I actually dared to think then that those days were the best it was going to get, I probably would have successfully opened my wrists with a razor blade. Now, one month from my 30th birthday, I am not ashamed to say that they were fabulous times.

I am a collector. I always have been and I probably always will be. Not a collector of things, but a collector of memories, feelings, experiences and happenings. I am the one who remembers collectively for the groups of people in my life. I am the one who recalls those hopes, and dreams we all had. I am the one who remembers what we did ten years ago on someone’s birthday. I am the one who had the camera there and still has those pictures. Ask me what I did yesterday and I can’t remember, but once things pass out of the short-term memory mark and hit the long-term vault, I’m golden and will remember it forever (All those drugs I took in the Sixties).

Nothing and no one has turned out to be like they thought. Presently, I am lucky to talk with a friend or two every few months. I am their memory of a carefree time and place, in the flesh. Sometimes the transition between the past and present is too hard of a bridge to cross again and again.

I’ll have to finish this thought later….