It’s 9:30, and that’s early for someone whose brain refuses to shut down until 2 or 3 or 4 every night.
My heart is still soft, my mind is still gauzy with sleep. This is my favorite time of day. I love waking up. I lie in bed and feel my heart, tenderly poking along its edges: what hurts? Sometimes my heart hurts and I don’t know why, it’s just a vague dissatisfaction humming along the edges, and I have to make an effort to think: oh, that client sent me a mean email. Or: I was mean to that friend-of-a-friend on Facebook. Or: I’m scared about the future of humanity. If I can isolate the specific hurt I can dissolve it by thinking myself though it. I’m an old pro at intellectualizing my feelings away, using the mind to soothe the heart. It’s something kids from scary homes get good at, fast.
This morning I woke up all dreamy and gentle. I thought about my dreams. I dreamt I was in a French department store, poking my way along with my heart beating like it does when you’re in a place where you really should speak the language because you studied it for six years but you can barely remember how to ask where the bathroom is. Someone was talking to me, and I could understand them perfectly—just as I can read easy French books out loud to the cats at night when I’m alone in the house to practice my accent and I get the gist of everything that’s happening—but as usual I couldn’t form sentences on my own in reply. Je m’appelle Lagusta, I started to say, like a baby. Je suis végétalienne. Je ne mange pas de viande, ni de poulet ni de poisson. Je ne mange pas de beurre, de fromage d’oeufs ni de miel….
I woke up and picked up the little pad beside the bed and wrote this:
I dream of transcending the milquetoast mediocre ugly faux-progressivism of the lifestyle left and reweaving my own spectacular, stylish, radical universe—gathering it around me, sheltering myself in its nourishing nuances, rigorously working on all my personal Great Works without interruption or loss of focus, losing myself deep down inside my deepest dreams—never to return to the straight world, never to be seen from again.
Sometimes dreams tell us more than we think, I guess.
It’s true though, and I like that my morning brain just unspooled it so perfectly.
But now I’m awake, and I need to take a shower, and go get my teeth cleaned, and balance the ache for a perfectable, personal universe with the need to remember how to function in the one that exists. To remember how to drive, something my weird brain has trouble with even after five years of trying. To remember how to chitchat with my lovely dentist.
Another day. It’s August, and there are apricots from the orchard down the street on the table we found together in that antiques barn, when we first moved here, see(k)ing our own vision of what a life could be.