Fighting. Fish.

I’m actively fighting to keep other thoughts out of my head so that I can recount my dreams, which were rich last night, and intense.

And very long. Here goes –

I don’t know if my brother had been arrested, or released, or what, but he was in trouble, he wasn’t acting like it, but I had to find him. It was my brother as he was in the past, perhaps 7 years ago – how time flies. My Mother was there too, but I moved so fast through things that she sometimes couldn’t keep up, or wasn’t apparent in the dream.

I was wearing “court clothes” as was my mother. We were in a giant indoor city, as it seemed. My brother had gone ahead with his friends, his hair was shorter than it is now (an interesting point which came up several times, and how I determined that it was a dream in past tense). He got onto a train wearing a military green Carhart jacket with the traditional tan zipper placket and collar lining (do they make those? Asking for my ex), I tried to get on the train, but I was several cars behind. I walked ahead cars trying to find him, but then I saw the coat left behind on a row of 3 subway cars (the cars were the same pattern as the old NY subway / LIRR cars, that fake navy blue and burgundy leather). A Black man about My brother’s height, with short black dreadlocks, thinner than my brother, picked it up and walked off the train at the next stop. I tried to catch up with him, wondering if this was my brother’s coat, if he knew my brother, but I got nervous because – what if they just incidentally had the same coat? Carharts aren’t rare, at least in anyplace other than NYC.

I got off the stop anyway, apparently it was a giant mall, with tons of long, long escalators, it must have been 5 or more stories. I found my way to the food court and was having coffee at one of the standing tables with my Mother. I was annoyed with her for something, as I seemingly always am, probably for preparing my coffee wrong when I could have just as easily done it myself, which is like us. God, I’m an asshole.

This is the part of the dream I remember best, although I wish I remembered more about my brother, who I miss dearly.

I turned back to the coffee fixing counter, to return the annoyingly lemon yellow packets of Splenda that my Mother got me even though she knows I don’t use artificial sweeteners and why the fuck would she try to test that fucking hypothesis right now when we are desperately trying to save her son from undefined doom?

I turned, and saw a familiar face looking at me. It was one of my best friends from my first college. I recently discovered that our pictures were next to each other in the yearbook. He had grown up, he was wearing a black peacoat and messenger bag, and he said hi. He told me that he was on his way somewhere, and that I should come.

I wish I could say that he said he knew where my brother was, but he didn’t. And I just left my mother standing there, in her heels and court clothes, looking around confused with my coffee. God I’m an asshole. That look on her face that she’s had so many times.

I followed my friend, down an impossibly long escalator. He was actually behind me, I turned around and he was looking down at me (He is a very tall man, about 6’4″ escalator not withstanding) and he told me where he was going. I was heading back to the train stop, figuring that was where we had to go. He said no, that’s the long way, let’s cut through the Champs d’Elysees (which is a real place and on my second cup of coffee I looked it up and it’s exactly what I remembered, scary accurate right down to the Arch de Triomphe which I saw later). So we jumped out a side door on the ground level.

This part I remember clearly, or I’m trying.

It was a grand courtyard, with concrete sidewalk blocks. In the middle was a huge pool, frozen (we were all wearing cold weather clothes throughout this dream) with auditorium seats carved in. Several people in neat court clothes were seated, but some of the attendees were actually ice statues. Their faces were in such detail, older people that I imagine would have been going to the opera or something. I saw that the first few rows had holes, and ice lids, as though statues were supposed to go in there but they hadn’t arrived yet. In front of it all was a stage, empty.

I was looking at all of it, but my very tall friend was walking quickly, had no interest in the ice auditorium and cut through a row. There was a big stone archway that lead to something, I believe to a city street (were we in France?) but he hit the sidewalk and disappeared.

I had left my family, and then lost my friends.

My poor brother.

I hope I didn’t leave anything out, I tried hard.

I’m feeling fractured today, like the space between my lungs is broken glass. That crunch, when you accidentally break glass that’s wrapped too tight in a paper bag (I know that sound well) that’s what I feel in my chest. As long as no one unwraps it, the shards will remain together. The shape is still defined by everything else around it holding the pieces in, but it’s both looser and sharper than it should be, and I know that one deep breath that allows more space in will send the pieces sliding down all over everything else that’s inside of me.

I don’t know if I want to talk about it.

I feel like I have much more important things to say, but I realize that this is not the space where I should be trying to control myself so much.

There has to be a place for me to lose control. I’ve been terribly bad at picking my places to do that, and I have done some terrible things.

Anyway, let’s just get to it, the only way around is through. I’ll lose steam when I lose steam. It’s Sunday, I can do what I want. It’s not like Monday means anything anymore anyway. Honestly, it’s not like it ever did. I opened my work email last night, and even the thought of it is slowly swallowing me and I know that it’s time to go back to work. That’s what it’s supposed to do, and that’s what I need now. These broken pieces in my chest will be fine there, where I can work my surrounding muscles hard to hold in the shards so that no one will realize that I’m shattered inside.

Everything works out so, so perfectly. He was mad when I said that, but I am right. Everything works out so perfectly, including the fact that he was mad at me last night.

See, Life is a funny thing.

My awesome friend, who I have not seen in a while, but will text when I’m done writing this.

Because now I can work without distraction, because I don’t think he’s coming back. It’s ok. He was complicating a situation. He was making me question what I was doing here. He was jeopardizing my current empty relationship and forcing some very difficult conversations with other people. He was too much stress on my body when I really should have just obeyed the rules of my medical leave (I loved it). He made me want to do things out of order. He made me feel guilty about talking with my ex. He made me feel afraid to tell him who I actually was, or the fact that really, I’m someone else entirely. That I am a fraud, a liar, and one more word that I have not wanted to use, but as I am here, now, I will. I am a whore.

Sometimes the trash takes itself out.

I left his house this morning at 6:03am

I’m so glad that we never had to have the difficult conversation about what I do, and how I got here.

Because I asked him how he got here, and that was apparently way too much.

And I understand that completely.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna says:

    I published this before finishing my citation work because wow – That part of the dream about Champs d’Elysees.

    It is exactly accurate, and how much more is I do have to find out.

    It is a street leading to a mall, the train stop is exactly where I was going, right through the courtyard, past the Theatre du Rond Point which I observed was frozen with an empty stage. I had left my Mother stranded under the glass roof of the Grand Palais. The train stop I was coming from, chasing my brother, was at the Police Station.

    I have to check the year, but I believe I had been there when my brother was having some issues… and the particular friend who distracted me had previously been involved with me and some parallel issues, when I was in a similar point in my life as my brother was then.

    I just checked the year, and it lines up perfectly. Scary accurate once again.

    I don’t know why I can’t find my way out of a paper bag when I’m awake, but the maps of my dreams are sometimes astoundingly accurate, even for places that I have only been once and did not know the names of at the time. I know the part of the brain (or the system accessed at a point where we measure, let’s be accurate) that controls mapping, it is the same part that controls justice and the same part that measures fairness, and beauty, and facial features and therefore emotional recognition.

    Does this show that this area is actually active in my brain, yet not able to be consciously accessed by me? Is this why I am such an asshole all the time, but actually consistently feel really, really, guilty about it?

    I am currently ignoring a slew of text messages from the boy, as this is much more important. I realize that I’ve got a huge amount of real issues in my life and far too many to be dealing with a trivial soap opera episode like this.

    Three fish representing something surreal
    Sell.Fish, as a domain, is already taken.

  2. Anna says:

    This stupid fight that I had with that boy.

    How many times I had done that to my ex, had stupid fights that were real, and not stupid at all, but really were.

    My ex and I had two fish, in our first apartment. The female killed the male, and then killed herself.

    Two fish that are completely unlike the ones I had

    I want to get more fish but I keep thinking about that.

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