Monday, July 9, 2012

My Soul to Keep . . .


As somebody who greatly values independence, it sure can suck sometimes, being alone.

There were times, growing up, never having any privacy, that I would fantasize about one day having my own place, getting up and going to sleep when I chose, eating in bed if I wanted, reading all day in my pj's. Now that I'm officially a grownup I can say definitively that I sometimes do those things, and that kinda rocks about living on my own. Nobody to answer to, nobody to consider if I make plans. It's nice not to worry about pleasing anyone but myself, sometimes.

Then I get a night like Saturday night.

I don't often have nightmares; they usually cluster around when I'm stressed out, unsurprisingly. And, most of the time, when I wake, I realize that a nightmare is nothing more than that; they even seem silly when I open my eyes. But, every once in a while, I get a nightmare like the one that woke me on Saturday, a little after 11pm, my heart pounding, palms sweating.

I'd been driving. Not an inherently frightening task, I'll grant you. Just driving, at night. I generally sleep with a sleep mask and ear plugs, as my neighborhood/building can be a little noisy and I sleep lightly, and in the dream I had that mask on and it kept slipping over my eyes, making it hard to see where I was going. Suddenly I drove into a dark area, and I don't just mean the streetlights had gone out. I was on a road dipped in pitch, and my headlights could only illuminate a short distance in front of me. The sleep mask kept slipping down, and I kept pushing it up. Then, my headlights showed people, and I rolled down my passenger window: to the right of me, people were running in the street. They were going the same direction I was driving, and in my head I asked myself: "Why is it so dark suddenly? And what are they all running from?" I wanted to shout out the window and ask, but part of me was too afraid to find out. And, I could barely see. There was something behind me in the dark, and I could barely see to get away.

I awoke, and as I lay in the dark I pulled out my earplugs, convinced I could not sleep with them because I would miss hearing something, some noise that could save me. I took off the sleep mask, too creeped out to put it back on. And, I lay there terrified, absolutely sure something dreadful was coming.

I know talking about it would have made it easier, that the fear would have receded and I would have been able to go back to sleep comforted. But, I was reminded, viscerally, that I am alone now. There was no one next to me, or on the other side of the door, or down the hall, to tell. No one I could call at so late an hour without greatly inconveniencing them for something so silly and unimportant. So, I lay there, heart pounding, jumping at every sound, and tried to close my eyes.

If I'd known this was what it meant, growing up, I might have run away to Neverland ages ago.

1 comment:

ThePeSla said...

Interesting story Seamstress,

for the first time in a long time I have my own apartment- but I found it ok to leave the television on as a night light but the neighbor above can make noises in the wee hours of the morning that disturbed my mood in a new place but my very dark dreams are very rare.

Yes, it is good to arrange the rooms and walk from one to the other. Sometimes I feel the old friend solitude is welcome to get to know again, the sometimes a wide empty bed- heck, the bed is better than the mat on a floor.

My dad told me a story of him as a boy along the causeway in Miami that he would run away to be alone from people but soon run back to find them again.

Sometimes the rise to a sense of wholeness and security comes with the price of sensitivity in the recall of how a struggle was to which we cannot just shut it out of sight- so too what we think of dark dreams can be a sign of progress in the awakened world.

The painting was classic in our imagination as to what is real or that in reflection the soul somehow remains constant over the ups and downs of changes.

Life is short, enjoy.

The PeSla