I can tell it’s coming, just as sure as you know when the slutty girl in the slasher movie is about to get decapitated by a chainsaw-wielding psycho. Ominous music starts playing. Or it is quiet–too quiet. Or, you kind of just know it is time. This is what happens in these pictures. And even though you know what’s going to happen and that none of it’s real, that information doesn’t help.
Right now I’m feeling this overwhelming sense of dread and despair, and it doesn’t do any good to tell myself it’s all in my head it’s all in my head it’s all in my head because I already know it’s in my head–that’s why I can’t get away from it. I try. I’ve been reading a lot. Do you know how many books I’ve read in the last couple months? A lot. A LOT. I read three whole books in the last four days, if you count that awful Toni Morrison book it took me six weeks to get 15% of the way through. (It’s not really an awful book; it’s just eminently put-down-able. Like the half-grapefruit I used to force myself to eat every morning while I was in college. I was glad I’d done it at the end, but the joy was not in the journey. And now I’m off topic. But this is a good illustration of what’s been happening to me. How I run from place to place just in case where I currently am is not far enough from where I’m trying to escape.)
It was a mistake to mention the books because my husband reads my blog, and now every time he sees me with a book, he’s going to ask, “Are you reading for enjoyment, or are you escaping?” As if they weren’t the same thing. Escape is not only enjoyment; for all intents and purposes these days, escape is life, and living is the nightmare I keep waking myself up from.
I wish I could have woken myself up from my dreams last night. Well, I guess I did, just not soon enough. I had one dream that I was doing another tap recital, but my instructor had added all this stuff to the production, all this stuff we’d never seen before, the night of the performance, during the performance–and apparently enough of the people involved knew what was going on that it wasn’t just complete chaos, but at least a third of us had no clue when the thing was going to end. It was supposed to be about fifteen minutes and was going on about two hours and we still hadn’t gotten to either of the routines that I’d actually learned. In fact, I was beginning to forget them. I wasn’t sure I’d remember what to do when (or if) the time finally came. My husband had left with the older children–along with most of the audience–and it was just my mother-in-law and Girlfriend who had stayed with a few other faithful observers. “When is this going to end?” I asked my neighbor. She laughed because she had no idea either, except we were facing the wrong way (again). Finally, even my MIL and Girlfriend left, and I was just there with nobody to watch my final tap recital, and I felt somewhat betrayed, or at least abandoned, even though I couldn’t blame anyone for not sticking around. The whole thing was a disaster. It made no sense. It just kept going on and on and on! What was my tap instructor thinking? Did she have a sudden onset of extreme narcissism? Yes, I blamed my tap instructor, which I think was appropriate, and yet I was too loyal to just call it quits and leave myself. No, I wasn’t loyal. I still thought that eventually we would get to the part where we’d actually dance what we’d been practicing to dance, and I didn’t want to give that up. But we weren’t getting to that part. Ever. At all. And then I had to pee. I mean, for real I had to pee. That’s when I woke up.
I was relieved that wasn’t a real tap recital. I felt like I dreamed it in real time. Like I’d really just done a two-hour tap recital that still wasn’t over. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to go back to that dream and finish it, and yet I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I tried to think about other things, so I wouldn’t fall asleep and God forbid, dream that horrible dream again, but nothing worked. Finally I fell asleep, and then I dreamed a horribly disturbing sex dream that also involved church, but at least it was a Lutheran service, whatever that means.
I could have done without that other dream.
So you see, not even sleep is safe for me. That’s a pretty sad state of affairs. That’s why I read. That’s why I’ll stay up late this week, while my husband is out of town, watching episode after episode of Ned & Stacey, which I ordered from the Netflix. On purpose. I happen to like that show. I’m pissed that they never released the second season on DVD, though. Not really “pissed,” that’s too strong. I’m really just disappointed. What kind of world do we live in where you can get Whoopi Goldberg’s entire oeuvre on DVD, but not the complete Ned & Stacey? It is a world worth escaping, I say. But that’s too neat an ending, isn’t it? I don’t feel nearly so much resolution in my heart.