That was a fucked up dream, I woke up thinking. It was a seemingly good dream, I was healthy, vibrant, and pregnant, and pretty far along by the feel of it. In the dream I reached down to my belly and felt the child, moving, kicking, I would have had to have been 6 months along at least by the size of the baby. But, in classic dream reality I was just finding out I was pregnant with this child. Other than that the dream resembled my own life, I remember thinking the baby would be 14, no 15 years younger than my daughter now and how that was going to be weird but she had always wanted a sibling. In the dream I thought through telling my husband the news, he who thought we were done having kids, who would be shocked but ultimately happy. I thought about how my life was going to change again, how having a baby would be tough, the late nights, the diapers, the babysitters, etc. But I accepted it, having always wanted another child, I was excited, it had finally happened fourteen years after the doctor told me, ‘you have low fertility, your daughter may be eight by the time you get pregnant again, but you will have another one.’ Believing him, we left the office, never to have another child. I must have had indigestion or something to make me think someone was living inside me. I thought I was over it, but I cried this morning when I realized it wasn’t true. That was a fucked up dream.
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I have a friend, lets call her Alice. Alice is a successful woman. That’s understating it a bit, that’s understating it a lot. Alice has brokered literal billion dollar deals in business, has a family, a home, strike that, two homes and has been elected to a prominent public office working for the struggling people of her state. It’s enough to make you feel like the prize pig at a giraffe contest. The biggest deal I’ve negotiated was getting Amazon to let me return an item 3 days after the return window closed. Yet, when I talk to Alice for any period of time what I notice most is her sense of fragility. With all she has done, she still seems to be wobbling on those long nimbly legs, unable to fully support that graceful neck. It’s just interesting. I don’t wish Alice any ill will at all. I love Alice. I just have to realize that I’m not in the giraffe contest. I have my own bacon to worry about.
I was in high school, it was after a football game, strike that a powder puff game. A game between the girls of the high school for ‘fun’. Anyway, my friend and I were walking to the parking lot, she had played in the game, I had not, I was in track and my coach didn’t want me to get ‘hurt’ which I quickly accepted as my excuse. I don’t even remember if we won the game or not, it doesn’t matter. We were freshmen or sophomores, the juniors and seniors approached us and started to circle around my friend. I backed out of the circle. My friend was popular, pretty and therefore not liked by the older girls because she was ‘stealing the boys’, which she wasn’t. She had also been competitive about the powder puff game, appropriately competitive, she supported her team, she cheered for her team, she heckled the other team, all in good taste, mostly. Anyway, they circled her and that’s where it gets fuzzy, I didn’t come in to help her, I got so scared my head started to spin and I couldn’t see straight. I think one of them slapped her. I don’t remember leaving. I only remember the sinking feeling I had that day, to this. That I didn’t step up. It breaks my heart. This is the first I’ve written about it. First I’ve admitted it to anyone or myself even. I tried to pretend it didn’t happen, but the heart knows. I tried to talk to her about it one time, she didn’t really seem to remember either, or she was so disappointed she couldn’t talk about it. We are still friends, amazingly, a testament to her. I guess I just had to own it. I was an asshole in high school.
I’m nobody to you, and you are nobody to me. That sounds bad, I don’t mean it that way. In our lives filled with social media, instant pictures, instant information, an instant window into the very private life of a person I like a little anonymity. I like the mystery of the closed door, the text of a faraway author whom you’ve never met, the story of a person whom you are forced to imagine, there is no image blazing to a tiny screen held in your hand. I like a world where there is technology but it is kept at bay by human interaction, reading, writing, laughter, nature and the like.
For me, this is a place to be, to vent, to expose, to frolic. This place is safe. You are not in my backyard, I’m not standing on your doorstep, we are people who have never met, and probably never will. The world is spinning fast and some days I can barely keep up; this is a place where the moment is taken in, words are savored, life slows just a bit.