Last night was one of those toss and turn nights. Insomnia, my old friend. Back for another round of fun with me. Maybe it was the bug with a million legs crawling across the floor right before bed. Maybe it was the midnight wind that howled. Maybe it was the dream of him. Doesn’t matter which. Sleep was gone.
Okay, so there weren’t a million legs on the bug. More than eight is more than enough legs for me. When it came running out from under the cat I was running for higher ground, screaming like the girl that I am. Kisa killed it with knightly heroics. I still crouched above the toilet while brushing my teeth, afraid to let my toes touch the tiles.
Then, there was the wind I didn’t know was coming. Who ordered this wind? It banged up against the house and made the strange sounds of an unfamilar place that much weirder.
But, the dream was the weirdest of all.
I remember telling him all I wanted to do was tell him this one thing. Just one thing, I kept saying. We got tangled in a wedding procession. Joyous music crashing around us. Noise. Lips moving without sound. Really, all I wanted was a quiet place to tell him this one little thing. He disappeared for awhile and came back wearing excuses, babbling reasons. Really, I didn’t care. I just wanted to say one thing and let him go. It took forever and when, at last at last he was standing quiet before me, I couldn’t get the words out. I couldn’t say that one little thing I wanted to say which was to say No one talks to me the way you do. But, like the bug and the wind, when I woke the words were gone. Gone daddy gone.
When I was in the 6th grade I was in love with my first drummer. Roger from Duran Duran. Short dark hair, impish smile, skinny ties, but best of all, drummer for one of England’s fastest rising bands. When it came time to profess favorites I took too long and Roger, Nick & Simon all were scooped up faster than yelling “shot gun!” or “dibs!” and I was left with either John or Andy. John, with his oh so 80s stylish locks, tight leather pants and sultry eyes was the obvious (and only) choice. Like memorizing the multiplication table, when anyone asks even today, John Taylor the guitarist, is still my automatic favorite. Sorry, Roger. But, that was the end of picking guitars over drums.
1982. Stewart Copeland. He reined for three years.
1985. Phil Collins.
1986. When I was 17 I fell in love with bad boy Tommy Lee from Motley Crue. Couldn’t admit it to a soul. In the basement we called the Vortex I drooled over the ‘Home Sweet Home’ video and dreamed of the day I would see him perform live, maybe ever upside down over my head. I dared to fantasize about getting drumsticks tattooed somewhere dangerous. The only deterrent was the worry of hiring a really bad artist. I all I had to do was picture explaining to lovers, “those aren’t dueling penises!” while fending off the bad jokes; the word “banging” having a whole new meaning. Never mind.
1990. Mickey Hart.
1993. Neal Peart. Ah, Neal. Had to give him up because Geddy’s voice gave me the heebee geebees (still does).
1995. Carter Beauford.
2000. Alison Miller. I worried about the lesbian implications of confessing a female drummer was rocking my world, but I couldn’t help loving the way she rocked out Natalie’s otherwise sweet songs. Even the way she never closes her mouth had a certain appeal. Then I started seeing unsigned bands…
2002. Gregory Nash until I discovered BubbleGum.
2005. J.J. Johnson.
2007. Steve Jordan.
2008. Mickey Hart. Again. Okay, he was never really off the list.
So, here it is January 2009 and I already know my favorite drummer for the year and for life. Kisa! I don’t exactly know when it happened but, suddenly he’s become banger extraordinaire. It started with the Rock Band drum kit but sometime after that it became an obsession. For Christmas I got him a new pedal – some metal contraption that looks like the real deal. No, scratch that. He says it IS the real deal. After that installation, every song is played on ‘hard’ and the “points” have been doubled. Just wait until the cymbals come in! Rock on.
Last August I wrote a lot about a little house. From the moment we drove away from its driveway I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I saw it as overly perfect and my husband saw it as overpriced. To anyone who would listen I would say, “let me tell you about this house.” And I would launch right in. For starters, there is the neighborhood. It’s not a thrustreet to anything important so no one is racing to nowhere special. There’s a park behind the house, another across the way. People walk here. You can park on the street. It’s that kind of place. Then, there is the yard. Front and back. Big enough for a patio. Future enough for a deck. One big tree to stand guard over a hazy childhood memory…From there I temporarily slip into warm fuzzy thoughts about all the trees I have climbed, the apples I have eaten…
But, back to the house. Let me tell you about this house! I like the shutters. I like the garage. I like the idea of “cute cape cod” but, but! But, it’s whats inside that really grabbed me. Like a closet for coats and boots right inside the door. Not a mudroom, per se…but a place to stand as the snow drips off your shoulders and puddles into grittiness at your feet. A place to not only shrug off your jacket but hang it up. The arched doorway lends itself to character and leads to a lovely living room, complete with fireplace and mantle. Off that, an addition built just for family and appropriately called the family room. Go figure. Circle back and walk through the dining room. Yes, a real, honest-to-goodness dining room. An adult room to with room enough to sit at a real table to eat. Not a tv tray or bar stool in sight. then, the kitchen. Ah, the kitchen! Blue counters, white cabinets. My dishes are already moved in. In a word, they match the decor. They go. They belong. There’s a cook’s bath off the kitchen, a view of the back yard while ignoring the dishwasher and washing the dishes by hand, even a shelf for diaries cookbooks… From there I can’t help but remember the dozens and dozens of cookies I just made. The smell of cookie dough and chocolate permeating every room.
But, back to the house. Let me tell you about The House! Climb the stairs to the second floor and notice the closets in the hall. The two bedrooms with built-ins and more closets. The sunny, tiled bath…upstairs is small but perfect. Plush carpet and quiet invite you to stay a little longer. My imagination has me staying forever.
This is the house I would have told you about last summer. The house that sold in the fall to someone else; to someone other than me. The one that brought tears to my eyes. The one I pictured being my first house. Home. now belonging to someone else. It has taken me forever to move on. I’ve liked disasters and I’ve liked dangerous dreams. But, I’ve never forgotten my August house.
Here’s the curious thing. We found this house. Same town. Same street. Nearly identical in architecture only backwards. Garage on the right instead of left. Family room far left instead of far right. Am I dreaming? This last Sunday, kisa and I revisted the house we already thought we knew. It’s the same house.
Tonight, we put in an offer…
and I hold my breath.
A couple of years ago I had a dream about my death. Two friends were dragging me across a field to lay me in a field of daisies. They talked about me as if I had wronged them by leaving them. Here’s the freaky part. When they let go of me – to drop me off in my final resting place – when my head hit the ground - I woke up. This is what I wrote afterwards:
Here I am. Stuck on the wrong side of sleep yet again. A dream startled me awake and that’s simply all it took. I’m reduced to prowling the cyberworld once again. I won’t go into details because even though my dream was troubling I don’t want to read into it anymore than my psyche already has. I will say this, it has me thinking about human perception. Friends and death. When do you know you have a friend? Really, truly know someone is your friend? Is it based on how many comments they leave you on MySpace? Is it weighed by how many times they call your cell phone? Is it the amount of concern they show you in times of trouble? Is it by their reaction to you when you are falling down drunk? I am losing my grip on what constitutes a real, honest to goodness friend.
the death perception is easier to figure out. It’s easier to define because my trouble is a single ponderance – why does a person lose all they love then they die? At what point does a person go from being Dear Uncle Joe to “the body” they must do something with as quickly as possible? Why is it that we are a society that can;t get rid of the dead fast enough? I know I have questioned this before. In other cultures they take turns washing and dressing and sitting with their dearly departed. It’s a rare society that will not say “that’s not Aunt Julie anymore.” Our society means it when we say “She’s gone.”
So how are friends and death connected? Simple. Friends, when I die please don’t be so quick to get rid of the vessel that has housed my soul. Hang out for a little while, tell me ghost stories, play the music I love to hear, laugh about what I’ve lost because you know wherever I went I can’t find my keys.
“Grave digger, when you dig my grace could you make it shallow so that I can feel the rain?” ~ David J. Matthews
I think what I was really asking was this: please don’t drag me across a friend and leave me to push up the daisies.
I hate this murky underwater apathy. This floating through things on tired waves of discontent. Lately, all I want to do is give it up. Why am I exhausted and who should I blame? Maybe it’s the dreams. At night I have nightscares that frighten me so badly I wake disorientated and confused. I struggle to ask myself why do I repeatedly have visions of bombers flying over Monhegan, dropping weapons of mass destruction? Masked fighter pilots spewing hundreds of rounds of bullets into people and places. We run, we scatter, yet there is blood. There is death I can’t explain. The sad thing is this. In my dreams I see them coming from miles and miles away. The sky is crystal clear, glaring and brilliant blue. At first they are dots on the horizon, yet I know who they are and what will happen when they arrive. I am powerless to stop it. As they get closer details emerge until I can see their faces. My dreams make them human and cruel.
Another repeat offended is the dream of drowning. Monhegan is hit with a wave as big as Texas. Again, there is that sense of foreboding. I can see it coming from miles away but I’m powerless to stop it.
Some say I want to destroy home. Some say I am started to dread the return, but what part I always ask. It’s true that Colorado started out as a joke, but has become more of a deep wishful thinking as time goes on. I fantasize about being snagged by the Rockies. I dream about being trapped miles from New England with no direction (or desire) to go home. Is that what I really want?