“I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?”
“Which is the true nightmare, the horrific dream that you have in your sleep or the dissatisfied reality that awaits you when you awake?”
“Your nightmares follow you like a shadow, forever. ”
-Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project
“This pain, this dying, this is just normal. This is how life is. In fact, I realize, there never was an earthquake. Life is just this way, broken, and I am crazy for dreaming of something else.”
-Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You
After I realized that divorce was actually happening, I went into panic mode. I don’t think I ever completely abandoned that condition. Another nightmare about a broken marriage last night is evidence of that. I often wonder what she dreams of. She was quite a dreamer when we first met but as the years went on, I don’t remember her retelling dreams often. She would sometimes tell me what she thought I was dreaming about based on my movements or ramblings. I guess I was an uncomfortable person to sleep with.
Something stirred memories last night. I can usually pinpoint the source but I was caught up in a project and don’t remember what it could’ve been that sent my dream production company in the direction they took it.
This episode involved an argument concerning notes I had made for our two children as they were growing up. This was a real practice that I’d do each morning as part of the ritual of getting ready for the day. And, I still do have that very large collection of usually very strange illustrations paired with equally bizarre dialogue. The whole family loved it. I loved drawing and writing them, my former adored these little pictures and would excitingly tuck them away in her perfectly designed and packed lunches eager to hear the kids reaction to them on their return home from school. But in the dream, I was collecting those notes in a scrapbook out of a pile of ephemera. They were haphazardly placed in this jumble with no concern for preservation - some were torn or bent, some had objects stuck to them…it was a laborious dream with me organizing these notes with the intent of cataloguing them for the kids.
It wasn’t a completely unpleasant dream. I did wake sad because it elicited the same response I would have had if I were to sort through the real lunchbox notes - something I have done and cried over in the recent past.
I remember so many of those little notes, but what burns in my mind is my beloved’s beautiful smile as she would stand there, reading them in her robe, on our always cold kitchen floor - probably tucking her flax hair behind her ear. I miss those days. I miss her. I don’t think I’m wrong in assuming that as much as I wanted, more than anything, for us to make it better and become husband and wife again, she wanted, more than anything, for us to make it better and become best friends - retaining the divorce status. Being friends only was something I just couldn’t do. That type of a relationship is beyond my ability to comprehend. It’s something that happens in a script or a commune. I don’t want to hang out with her and her new lover. I want her as my best friend but I want her to be my wife. For me, that is one in the same. She would see that as me wanting to control her life or dictate who she should be. Maybe she isn’t wrong, I don’t know. I do know that I love her and that she was my life’s focus. I don’t think she believes this.
So, alone I shall remain. I’ll keep rummaging through piles of memories knowing that we once loved, we laughed, we cried, and suddenly love died.
Once your broken heart has had a good cry, follow this link to hear Butch (from the Little Rascals) give a hysterical delivery of this song.