Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Peripheral

Pe·riph·er·al
pəˈrif(ə)rəl/

adjective

1. of, relating to, or situated on the edge or periphery of something.

--

My dreams have been vivid lately. Not a gentle vividness that brings a warm sense of comfort or a leisurely sleep. My dreams have been violent and ugly and leave me feeling exhausted and spent as soon as my eyes open to the morning. The exhaustion is heavy and I feel it in every inch of my body. I want to sleep all day. I'm driving home from work and I tell her,

"I'm so tired. I haven't been sleeping enough because my dreams have been so messed up lately."

She asks me if I remember my dreams or if I dream every night. I say yes to both questions. She sounds surprised.

"Really?"

I remember almost all my dreams. I wish I didn't. I'm in bumper to bumper traffic when I tell her about the dream I had when I was three years old which I still remember every detail. I know I was three years old because the house we lived in was a light shade of pink and sat at the end of a cul-de-sac. The street was called Rainbow Drive. A car tries to cut me off and I slam on my breaks.

"I had a dream that my mom and I were hiding in this lab. And this lab had a lot of different rooms with a lot of different equipment in each one. And my mom is telling me to be quiet - she's putting her fingers to her lips- and we're crouching down in different parts of this huge lab, kind of going from one room to the other and we're hiding from someone"

It was terrifying. I remember thinking this dream was real for so many years. When I was older, I asked my mom if we ever hid from someone in a laboratory. She looked at me and laughed like I was crazy. I don't even think she answered my question. Sometimes I still wonder if it was real.

--

My dream is the worst one I've had in awhile. I force myself to wake up and I can tell that I had been crying. My pillow is damp.

I text her my dream in detail. I tell her about the way I approach the men who are breaking into my car with a timid, 'Uh, excuse me?' and the way one of them slammed me against my backseat and how I felt the heat of his weight against my chest. She's trying to catch the train to New Jersey and I'm in bed on the other side of the country, three hours behind. She texts back in all caps:

OMG
ARE U OK

I tell her I am okay but the truth is, I am more tired than I have ever been.

--

53. We mainly suppose the experiential quality to be an intrinsic quality of the physical object'-this is the so-called systematic illusion of color. Perhaps it is also that of love. But I am not willing to go there-not just yet. I believed in you.

238. I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would rather have had you by my side than any one of these words; I would rather have had you by my side than all the blue in the world.

239. But now you are talking as if love were a consolation. Simone Weil warned otherwise. “Love is not consolation,” she wrote. “It is light.”

240. All right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was alive, I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light.

44. 'If he hadn't lied to you, he would have been a different person than he is.' She is trying to get me to see that although I thought I loved this man very completely for exactly who he was, I was in fact blind to the man he actually was, or is.

156. Why is the sky blue? -A fair enough question, and one I have learned the answer to several times. Yet every time I try to explain it to someone or remember it to myself, it eludes me. Now I like to remember the question alone, as it reminds me that my mind is essentially a sieve, that I am mortal.

157. The part I do remember: that the blue of the sky depends on the darkness of empty space behind it. As one optics journal puts it, "The color of any planetary atmosphere viewed against the black of space and illuminated by a sunlike star will also be blue." In which case blue is something of an ecstatic accident produced by void and fire.”

-Bluets by Maggie Nelson

--

Life does not play out like a movie.

Until it does.

--

I’m drinking wine on the curb in front of the family who lives next door's house and I can hear some sitar music playing and the clattering of silverware and the scraping of plates through the open window and I can hear the children talking over the parents and the soothing tones of a foreign tongue. It sounds so pretty and warm. I sit there on the curb, basking in these unfamiliar but familiar noises. And I promise myself that this is waiting for me in the future.


--

I'm becoming obsessed with the meaning of my dreams. 

Some nights, I force myself to wake up. I don't know how one's mind does it, but it happens. I'm released and I wake up in the dark. Scared with a heavy breath. I lie there, quiet. The only noise being the hypnotizing hum of my fan. 

Other nights I wake up only because my face is wet with my own tears and my hair is clinging to the wetness of my cheeks. I don't know how or why the crying in my dreams translates into something tangible. My subconscious leaves her proof by the dampness of my pillow. 

I ask Google what the meaning of some of my dreams are. In the dreamworld, everything has a meaning. I skim the search results and click on link after link after link. I don't know why I'm looking for answers so hard. But I'm realizing as I'm getting older, I need things to have meaning. I'm beginning to have less and less patience for the meaningless so I search for it where I can. Things become more tolerable. It isn't just for nothing.

--

I take two Excedrine before I fall asleep.


I don't dream of anything.