Got to work on time but not after a harrowing escape.
I was dreaming that this alarm was going off but even after taking the battery out and smashing it to bits it didn’t stop the noise. Then I was at some family function where my mother and the sister I dislike were there. She (sis) was making some obnoxious scene drawing attention to herself (which is where that annoyance comes from. She was the baby for 9 years before I was born and we’ve had a contentious relationship ever since) in a red dress like the lady in Sixth Sense and (dunno where it came from but it appeared in my hand) I took a beach towel and popped it like a whip right near her eye just to scare her. And then she says that line from Pretty in Pink “You missed my eye by an inch!” and I respond with Annie Potts’s line “half an inch.” She starts chasing after me but chairs and other people are holding her back. Meanwhile, in the dream the noise continues. So I run home and am packing up stuff to leave (like running away except I’m a grown up so it’s just moving out) when I call my friend to complain about the whole scene, and how I can’t get this noise to stop. So he tells me to come help him out at a music festival and they’re standing sentry, making sure that people that aren’t supposed to come in (people without passes) aren’t coming in. And the noise is still on-going. My friend decides to go investigate.
And that’s when I wake up at 8:01 with the alarm blaring because I’ve overslept it by an hour and have to throw on clothes and forget deodorant or brushing my teeth, hailing a cab to work (damn damn damn) to make it on time spending two days’ worth of allocated bus money because my tardy privileges are suspended for a month* (sorry for all the run-on sentences but I’m artistically showing how I couldn’t even stop for a period I was in such a rush). This would have been the perfect day to need them. I just could NOT wake up! And it’s not for lack of my dream trying to, I mean I dreamed that an alarm was going off that I couldn’t stop.
And on top of the taxi fare I have to get a day pass anyway because I’ve got a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. So that’s another 4 bucks when it should have just been four bucks in the first place had I not been so exhausted. Stupid tennis and up and down the stairs with loads of laundry and ARGH. And today I start my official training with my friend for the 5K runs in September and October.
What a start to this day. This week. Here’s hoping the rest of it is less fraught with anxious running about. And more deodorant. I’m just so glad that taxi came along when it did. Also, I watch too many films. I haven’t watched Pretty in Pink in forever so it’s not like it was recent recall of the film. (Side note: this is why I’m so good at team trivia)
*that’s another story in an of itself. But for later.
When I heard of Dr. Maya Angelou’s passing I was greatly saddened. I know we all have to go sometime but the loss cuts deep. She lived an amazing existence stemming from great struggle to great renown. An autodidact (like myself) she sought out knowledge, learning many languages, ate life, loved well, fought hard, and was an undeniable inspiration to many.
Growing up in a repressive, and sometimes mentally and physically abusive, household I could relate to her caged bird metaphor. It was the title of the book that spoke to me and drew me in, reading her early life’s story. While I could in no way compare my circumstances to hers, I still felt a kinship in understanding and empathy. I gained strength from her story. If this splendid and accomplished woman can endure this much strife and heartache, surely I can find strength within myself to rise up and endure my situation until such time that I could be free from it.
I never understood my mother’s need to control to the point of repression and abuse. I never understood her selective racism and hatred of people she didn’t even know (and those she might have liked had she given them a chance). I just know the environment she created was a cage. Were it not for other kind souls in my life encouraging me to find happiness, like her Mrs. Flowers, where I could and find solace in music and books I don’t think I would turned out like I did. And though I tried to have a healthy relationship with my mother, trying to encourage her to become a more open-hearted and logical person, I ended up freeing myself from that relationship because some people just will not change. It doesn’t stop me from trying with others, and I’ve gotten better about learning when to walk away from unhealthy situations.
Other quotes and works of hers have moved my spirit as well. Growing up all I ever heard was “if you would lose a few pounds the boys would like you.” “If you’d lose weight, maybe you could find a husband.” But Doctor Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Woman was highly influential in helping me to love myself, where I didn’t get that reinforcement at home. It lifted me, and continues to do so, and I refuse to allow my mother’s derisive comments to define me.
Dr. Angelou still manages to reach me, even now. Last night I was reading about all the lives she touched and I stopped on her interview with Dave Chappelle. She said something to him in response to his question of how she does not stay angry over all the assassinations and injustices that occurred in the sixties where many of her friends’ lives were taken from them. He said he would have a hard time letting go of that. She responded to him, “If you are not angry, you are either a stone or you are too sick to be angry. You should be angry. Now mind you, there’s a difference. You must not be bitter. Let me show you why. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So you use anger, yes. You write it, you paint it, you dance it, you march it, you vote it, you do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”
We all have so many lessons to learn in our lives. I worry sometimes of the future and how vapid and lacking in character the people are that today’s youth hold in such high esteem. People my age grew up, and even in the generation before us, during a time where education and free thinking meant something. People had class and honor. People relished in the written word, found wisdom in it, and carried it not only with them but passed it on to others. Dr. Angelou speaks of how we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors and the subsequent generation will stand on ours. I just hope they can appreciate the wonderful history of the accomplished and venerable people who came before us and carry on their legacy.
If you’ve seen Inside the Actor’s Studio, you know that Mr. Lipton asks 10 Questions based on the Proust Questionnaire. Here’s mine; Like and repost your own, I’m curious.
1. What is your favorite word? libidinous
2. What is your least favorite word? the n-word
3. What turns you on? SCIENCE
4. What turns you off? racism
5. What sound or noise do you love? The sound of a needle catching the groove on a record before the first song starts
6. What sound or noise do you hate? those ANH ANH ANH alarm clocks
7. What is your favorite curse word? The entire phrase “Oh! Fuck wank bugger shitting arse head and hole!” (thank you, Bill Nighy)
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Honestly, I’d love to be a Math Teacher.
9. What profession would you not like to do? Garbage person. God bless you folks.
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Not so much “like” but I EXPECT him to say, “Oh Jesus. St. Peter, cancel all my appointments for today. This soul is gonna take forever to review…”
I had a dream last night I was visiting a friend’s house. My friend’s mother was there saying “don’t lose these cats. If they get lost we can’t take any more in because if they come back then we’ll have too many.” There were three cats roaming around: a calico, a skinny black kitten, and Mickey, much to my surprise. He was skulking around like he does when he’s in a new place.
"Hey! I haven’t seen you in a while!" I said to him, like he hadn’t been dead but like I’d been on a trip and was coming back to visit. I picked him up to cuddle him like I used to. I held him like a baby with his head tucked under my chin like we’d do every day for our daily hug. He was fat and happy like he’d been before he started getting sick and losing weight. It was very vivid. I could feel his weight and the feel of his fur in my arms. Then he hopped down to go explore some more.
I started to enter that hypnopompic state between dreaming and being awake and I didn’t want to let go. I miss him.