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I was at a friend's house up the road after not visiting for a very long time. For some reason, I needed to use her shower, and only very briefly saw her to ask, because she had to rush off, but handed me a folded note. I didn't open the note right away, just wanted to get that quick shower and go home, because it's always weird taking a shower in someone else's house.
By the time I got upstairs, the house had grown a bit bigger, added rooms, appointed details, and naturally I had to slow down and think Wow, she always did love her house. I made it in the upstairs bathroom, but for some reason I had to go back downstairs and outside real quick. I don't remember why now, but this happened over and over and over umpteen times, and each time going back into her house, the house kept getting bigger, more people kept showing up, until the entire building was nearly as big as a small shopping center, and every bit of it was still her glorious house, decked for holidays and people everywhere.
She wasn't the sort to have loads of guests, but very quietly the genteel artist type who loved Americana and flowers and the good life, excellent with complex recipes and always a picturesque purebred dog by her side. I didn't think about any of that in the dream, which would have thrown it all off. None of it seemed out of place at all. Everything that kept adding on an becoming more detailed and thronging with more people seemed right. It felt like exactly the kind of holiday party she might love if she had been born a very wealthy person. It had her spin on it.
I don't know how many times I made it back upstairs to that bathroom, which also kept getting bigger and more elaborate, but I finally opened the note. The topside was typed, and I don't remember much of what it said, but it was to me from her. Then I realized the underside was handwritten in felt tip pen, and oh no, the bathroom was damp (the shower was steaming it up), and a lot of it was running onto my hands and my clothes. Most the words were on me by the time I tried to decipher it, and the harder I tried to read it, the more it faded until it was gone.
I realized about then that I was in my shabbiest jeans about to get a shower, and there were dozens of people arriving all around for the start of the party, all dressed up from where they came, like one big family had just come from a ski slope and were all laughing and red from the cold and in matching sweaters, and another family had just come from a big church service and were still all dressed up and looking for the wine cellar (I don't recall her having wine around either in real life or the dream), and many other groups, and I thought Wow, she has a LOT of people connected to her. She'd always seemed so quietly reclusive to me, but I imagine I saw only a glimpse even though she was right up the street.
So I left the bathroom again, intent on going home to get better clothes, but it was too late, the party was starting, Barry Manilow was singing, and I woke up.
My very first thought this morning was maybe she had died and that was one of my heaven dreams, so I did quick recon and she hasn't, whew (although now I'm hoping there isn't something else). Yes, even though she moved far away a long time ago, I know where she is, what her house looks like, and a tiny little bit of how she's doing. I don't deep lurk very often, but a handful of people have never left the back of my mind, so once or twice a year I check on them.
So, psyche analyze this dream. Barry Manilow singing a Christmas song about superheroes. A friend's house growing very big and luxurious. Me trying to get a shower and being embarrassed about my shabby clothes. A note I couldn't read.
I have lately (this past year) become a bit self aware of how public I am. It feels awkward, and even though I'm not bothered by it most of the time (in my aspienado mind I'm just an avatar living a story), I've been feeling a little bit shy for possibly the first time in my entire life (I'm diagnosed with a mild to moderate level of narcissism, thankfully not dinging the psychotic bell or anything, but this is thanks to the childhood I survived as I've pointed out on facebook, you can find tests online to see how you rank, as well).
Ok, that was a stretched out overly-inserted paragraph. I'll just daintily step away from it instead of trying to fix it and move on.
I don't know yet how I feel about being aware of feeling sorta shy. It's not the kind of shy that people automatically think of as shy. I'm not afraid of anyone seeing me. I think it's more like I'm shy of seeing myself. I'm shy realizing I'm in this role I'm playing out. I'm cognizant of being ME.
When I was a child, I'd have very disturbing moments, almost out of body experiences, about being a skeleton walking around, about living in a skull, about my arm not being 'me', about my legs feeling like doll legs that I moving around from the inside. I know now that is a dissociative disorder. Not feeling in the moment, running all the incoming through filters, losing track of time (quite badly sometimes), and delayed emotional response most of the time come from this dissociated thing. I am often walking beside myself, following behind myself, distracted away from myself, coming back to myself. I am often not in the moment.
I love that I had that curious dream at the very start of 2018. I love that I have another mystery to solve about myself. What was in the note? I already know why Barry Manilow. My best friend that was murdered later gave me her double best of Barry albums before I moved away when I was 14. Christmas over the last ten years has very much become about superheroes, we are inundated with merch and entertainment on all sides. The beautiful house growing larger and more detailed was actually all in my head. More and more people arriving is me connecting, while I hide out in a bathroom. Click that. It's very pertinent. As for the shower part, that's baptismal, like washing off the old and putting on the new. Cleaning off. Refreshing ourselves. Maybe it's time I faced this.
I've still never reconnected to that friend. I've not reconnected to a lot of people in my past, but that particular friend had a very strong impact on me. You guys know how I feel like I'm walking through people's minds when I find their artwork somewhere. She takes photographs. I've seen all the public ones. If she reads my blogs at all, and I know she did in the past, then maybe she'll find this post and feel a little hug in her mind. I wasn't able to be what she needed when she was here, but I understand now. And that is the way our lives work, isn't it?
She was one of the very rare few who knew me in real life.
:edit: nearly 6 hours later- I burned 4 1/2 years' worth of correspondence between my best friend from school and I after I heard she was murdered. Clearly that is a horrible regret I live with, the note I can never seem to read in so many of my dreams. THIS TIME- the. words. got. all. over. me. That just screamed through my brain just now. The words are IN ME. I was handed a note and the words got all over me.
I'm not in the mood for a psychotic break right now, so I'm going with this is all normal and it's cool because I'm going to write a whole bunch of words this year that are totally going to vindicate that sad ritualistic grief burn.
Creating Rituals to Move Through Grief