There is a wall of noise in my head, and outside my head. Guys whose names I do not know are sanding the floors directly above me as part of a major remodel that kicks us out of the house today. And it is Monday, and it's raining, raining, raining, the first real rain we have had in a while. Plus I yelled at the kids this morning as I tried to get Iona to school early. Her teacher, for whom I have a lot of respect, suggested it's beneficial for them to be there fifteen minutes before school starts so they can "transition." If only all of life was so gentle. Of course it is, most change is gradual, but we fail to identify those transitions. "Here YOU, this is the transition from youth to middle age. It's happening now." Or maybe, "Time to transition to a surge of joy from just sitting at the beach watching Ewan play in the surf with the kids, here it comes…now! Okay, get ready, 1, 2, 3...it's gone."
I had intense dreams last night about male friends from high school. Two friends in particular -- one is someone with whom I'm very close now, and the other was my first real love, I guess. Like many high school relationships, our love was blissful for maybe two or three weeks before Other Girls started to complicate things. Maybe there were Other Boys too, but my memory says that happened later, after he kissed that first Other Girl when he was supposed to be kissing only me. In the parking lot of his church, by a chain link fence. Or so I heard from a friend who was Catholic. I was fifteen. There should be a book of rules that states it's okay to kiss ANYONE when you're fifteen and sixteen, and maybe even when you're seventeen and eighteen. But my book has always had as rule #1: IF YOU PAY ATTENTION TO ANYTHING BUT ME I WILL BE RABIDLY JEALOUS.
But ANYWAY. This near-comical first relationship was something I tucked in the past around year one into college and gazed upon with slightly bitter amusement from time to time -- until this first love was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor in 2008. He passed away in the first days of 2011, leaving behind a big family and a community that loved them.
I regret that I never could be casual and easy and affectionate with this guy after our fun three weeks. I'm paying for that now, in my dreams, because he shows up frequently. In my dreams he is sick, but I have another chance to show him the pure affection that was part of that early time, and the only part of our interactions that he ever deserved. In my dream last night I took the opportunity to show him that by holding him and trying to comfort him.
Maybe the message is that it's time to get rid of my rule #1. It still gets in my way today.
The noise and the rain and gloom and aftermath of a dream about jealousy and death makes me a little bleak in the soul.
Thank you for the generous comments on my last post. In spite of regular, familiar insecurity I am 'enjoying' writing this story. Some people actually like to write. I feel about writing (especially first-drafting) much the way I feel about running. I sort of love it, I sort of hate it. I can get lost while I'm doing it; that always feels good. I always love how I feel right after I've done it. I find it addictive when I do it regularly.
Eventually these kids are going to resolve their situation, I hope. They are taking me for quite a ride. Boy, do I love them.
Then comes the rewrite. Then the rewrite.
I scribbled this picture of them last night as I lay in bed, thus the funny crooked eyes.