Day 3: A dream deterred

dream_wonderland

I had a dream last night that I had a four-year-old daughter. She was so small, all elbows, light brown hair that fell to her shoulders but curled under. I was leaving her. Not forever, but for a while. She wasn’t sad though. She hugged me like a bird and it was full of warmth and affection. I left her with my “family” except I didn’t recognize anyone save for one person, my Grandma Lois, who in real life is very ill. They all lined up, all of them blondes, and I hugged each one of them firmly and said a few words. My “brother” and his wife, their two kids, then my Grandma. I remember being concerned about her because she was sitting on the ground and too weak to walk. But she saw me approaching and she stood up and gave me the longest hug and I could feel every bone in her body. She was so fragile. I told her that I’d be back and then I went outside into the bright sun. I got as far as the driveway before I turned around and came back. When I did, only my daughter was there.

Road trips make me introspective. Whenever I have a lot of time to ruminate, my thoughts inevitably turn dark and I can remember with perfect clarity all the offenses, rejections and slights ever inflicted on me, as well my own regrets and walks of shame – from the relatively benign time I forged a hall pass in 8th grade, which got me kicked out of Attendance Aid class (Ed. Note: that was the stupidest class ever. We walked around and collected teachers’ attendance. How is that an elective?) to the more serious offenses. It’s hard to stop these thoughts once they start. Like the ultimate masochism, I relive my bad deeds, calculating their severity to determine if I still qualify as a “good” person.

Then I see a sign for The National Shrine for the Infant Jesus of Prague and the memories subside, their staying power momentarily eclipsed by the ridiculousness of circumstance.

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