Sunday, March 09, 2008

cHiCaGo. i have been remiss in updating this. oh well. such is life. it goes by quickly. and often i am stunned by how unremarkable and utterly wild and wonderful it is at the same time. i always feel as though nothing is going on, nothing is happening, nothing is of note. and then i stop and look at things for a moment and realize that i cannot even begin to capture all that is going on, all that has gone on in the past week, month, year. so i will jump back on the horse of posting some of my thoughts and observations and experiences here with an incomplete sampling of reflections from my new year's trip to chicago...


it is not to say that having gone to chicago makes me more at ease with my father's death,
it's just
every story needs a setting
and this
this well may be
one of the biggest stories of my life
one of the most significant
the most life-changing
and for 20 years
it had no setting
and i owed it to myself
i owed it to my father
to put all the pieces of his story together
to give it that fundamental element, its core
we both
at least that much
and now
he dropped dead
i can
see and feel and taste and smell
and i rest a little better at night
and i hope
i trust
that he does too..........


and so it goes. and so it goes. and so i go. blind and bumbling, rushing rashly, no stopping to ponder, no careful review, no wise or weighed decisions. gut instinct. always gut instinct. for all my worrying and analyzing and doubting, i still do this each and every time. jump. leap. go.

i am 2 months from 20 years. 20 years that my father has been dead. 20 years of life without the person who perhaps loved me most and most unconditionally. 20 years without the person of whom i am supposed to be some replica. 20 years of grief. of knowing what loss is, of knowing what pain is, of knowing what loneliness is. 20 years of missing him. 20 years of mourning him. 20 years of moving on.

i am also just under 10 months from turning 30. don't think this doesn't haunt me every day. multiple times a day. i am old. when did this happen? how did this happen? what am i doing with my life? what am i going to do with my life? i am not an adult. not in my mind. dear god, i see myself as being so foolish, so naïve, in such constant struggle to become a better person, to do something productive, to figure out who i truly am and find some sort of peace with that person. i am trying to grow up. fast. before i hit 30. to do something. make something. be something.

and, as of a few hours ago, i am less than 2 months away from setting foot in the spot where my father died. 20 years ago. a place i have never been. a place that for a long time i thought i never would go. and now, well, i am running around like a crazy person trying to put all the pieces together and finagle my schedule and take time off i don't have coming to me to do this. to go there. on new year's eve. of course.

this will be a pilgrimage for me. of a scope that even i am yet to understand. as soon as it occurred to me last evening, standing on the first balcony of terminal 5 straining to see band of horses on the stage below, as i seriously considered trying to make a trip to chicago for new year's to see spoon with anna & colleen happen. as soon as i put two and two together and saw myself landing in chicago at o'hare airport. as soon as the seed planted in my brain that i would be visiting, passing through the exact spot where my father collapsed from a massive and fatal coronary nearly 20 years ago, something exploded, in the very deepest part of me a voice said "you are going" and in the next instant i was consumed by an energy, an emotion, the intensity and strength of which stunned me. i was silenced by it. my body, my mind, my heart became vessels for it, innocent bystanders and onlookers and let it do its thing. i stayed very still, looking ahead, careful not to turn around to my friends, for fear of what they would see or what this emotional surge was capable of. i stood there and felt the throbbing between my ribs, the pulsating ache inside my chest, i stood there and let the tears come silent and hot, and i tried desperately to size this thing up. and i couldn't. it was like looking at a horizon out in the middle of nowhere, no end in sight, no beginning, no end, no left, no right, no up, no down. and it scares the shit out of me.

and i am determined to go. no matter how crazy, how irresponsible, how impossible. i need to do this. i have opened up whatever channel in myself that had been closed to being in that place where he took his last breath and thought his last thought. and i fear that if i don't go, this sadness, this longing, this wonder, this trepidation will just continue to grow. until i finally do something about it. clearly it has been there this whole time, growing and festering. something about pandora and her box, right?

dear god.

i have wondered so many times about his death. it was public. in line at the gate for his connecting flight to las vegas. he fell face first when he had the coronary. he hit the ground hard, or so the swelling and bruises on the face of his corpse indicated. who saw? what did they think? did they know or guess or surmise he had a wife and two young daughters waiting innocently at home in massachusetts for his return from this business trip? have they thought about it since? was it gory? was it scary? did it scar them for life? do they even remember now, 20 years down the road, it happening? did they all just go on and board the plane? what was the energy on that flight like i wonder? all those people who had just watched a man die.

the pieces for this sojourn came together with a speed and an ease that surprised me. i had expected more resistance, more hurdles i suppose, based solely on the fact i suppose that nothing is ever easy and my permanent pessimism and conviction that i never get anything i want. and, yet, this trip fell in my lap, my flight bought for me by tricia, the arrangements made for us by colleen…the leg work i had to do to get the studio covered in my absence was minimal in the scope of things. and, so, before i knew it, it was all on my calendar, a departure sunday december 30th out of jfk on jetblue at 9pm and a return on wednesday january 2nd out of o'hare on jetblue at 7pm. and i was moving towards it, rapidly and recklessly, my trip to o'hare….
i am somewhat stupefied, somewhat shocked that i am really going. i can't really wrap my mind around it all and all of its implications right now. i have become somewhat numb. it is too massive, too morphous, too delicate to fully unpack and explore in this cramped little period of time before it happens. so it will get thrown into the luggage with everything else and it will do what it will do and be what it will be when it happens. which i suppose is how it should be.


and all of a sudden, we were there
the plane was descending
lights became visible
a skyline


and in my hand i clutched
a photograph
of me and amy and daddy
taken in front of the house on blacksmith lane
on graduation day
nursery school graduation
st roberts country day school

the last graduation he saw
the only graduation...
no elementary school
no middle school
no high school
no college

nursery school


and now

it's 2007
and my 29 year old self
is clutching this photo
this image
this memory
descending onto the location of his death
and it is too much
i feel like the tears will choke me
drown me
i am not okay
have i ever been okay?
in the last 20 years


i know this now.



and i'm still not.

and i may never be.

i miss him.
oh my god do i miss him
as much now as the day i found out
maybe more.

and so i clutch this photo
and i clutch anna
and anna clutches me

and she asks to see the photo


of course
she can

i want her to

to have some visual image
of what i am missing
of who we were
of who he was

but i
i become so embarrassed
i feel so naked
and vulnerable
handing her this photo
this is the very deepest
part of me

a piece i hold
white knuckle tight
for eternity

and i have never felt
more exposed
than in this moment
of letting it go
or letting her in
or both....

i never realized how protective i am of him
how safely i guard his memory
until now....

and anna takes the photo
and she sees, for the first time i believe, if i remember right,
what my dad looked like
she gets that look on her face
that most people get
when the pieces start coming together
it hits her
how young we all were
how innocent
how naive
how unaware
how unprepared
young and dumb and happy on the front lawn at 32 blacksmith lane, my dad trying to hold us still enough for the photo to be taken
and she asks, looking at these 2 little girls in tee shirts with iron-on glittery mice and rainbows and navy blue skirts:
did you always dress alike?
god bless anna
who can make you laugh
while you are sobbing
it was graduation
that was the "uniform"
and her grip on my hand tightens
she rubs my arm
she holds me
she cries with me
she wants to make this okay
she wants to make me feel better
she also seems to understand
oh perceptible anna
that that is impossible
and the plane descends
and i am alone
and not alone
that old dichotomy
that tricky game grief plays with me
a world of shit inside of me,
rushing around so rapidly and constantly,
that even i don't understand

oh god
i am okay
i am going to be okay
just keep breathing
just let it come
and keep breathing
don't stop breathing

the wheels hit the ground
for a moment i pause
giving into the superstition that this place is cursed
waiting for the plane to hit something or skid off the runway
waiting to die some gruesome death in a plane crash at o'hare
did you know that her father died at that airport, too?
i know! and that's why she was flying there, she had never gone. she was making peace, turning over a new page.
so sad
i know
we are on the ground
in chicago
at o'hare
just get me off this fucking plane
i am done with this plane
i am ready to deal with the terminal, the airport
and keep this show moving
we have colleen waiting
and jocelyn and julius waiting
and jim waiting
i want to get through this
and keep moving
i can recognize this grief
this is the kind where if you stop it will eat you alive
if you stop
you will wallow
and you will have a bitch of a time climbing back out of it
so don't stop
don't stop
i get up as soon as possible
i have my bag from the overhead
my retardedly and miraculously overpacked bag containing three pairs of boots
plus the fourth pair that i am wearing
no one needs 4 pairs of boots for a 3 day trip
and i am ready to disembark by the time we hit the gate
in the aisle
in line
here we are at the gate at last
here we....don't go
the door won't open
the door
won't open
they can't open the door
they can't get us off of the plane


o'hare is ugly
the ceilings seem a tad too low
it feels
long & winding
too tight
it feels
out of date
most gates
seem to
have been that way for
rugs from the 80's
maybe even the 70's
versions of airline logos
that have long since
been retired
still as signage
it is in and of itself
some glaring flourescent lit hell
i cannot imagine
it looked much different in 1988
maybe newer?
god, i hope so
what an awful place to die
in public
at an airport
an ugly
of an airport
crowded and chaotic
of deep fried this
or double dipped that
perfume and body odor
stale cigarettes
industrial strength janitorial supplies
teaming with people
with bad hair
and worse clothing
people who eat the shit i'm smelling
people whose arteries should be those clogging
people who should be having heart attacks
it just sickens me
saddens me
angers me
to think about it
everything around him
was tacky and cheap
or utterly unfamiliar
it's just not right
he deserved something better
it's all i can think
as i look at this airport
my god
this is it?
this is the place?
it is so ugly, so unremarkable
i don't know what i had expected
but something
more impressive
and as we make our way
out of this nasty maze
towards baggage claim
and clamoring increasingly impatient colleen
and jocelyn and julius' van
and freedom! chicago!
i notice
on the wall
every few feet
my god
all so clearly marked
with a big red sign
with a white heart and lightning bolt
i notice them
each and every one of them
and i want to know
when were they installed?
(they seem the newest cleanest part of this midwestern hellhole)
and why?
is he
was he
a number
that contributed
to chicago
needing to do something
about people dropping dead
did the paramedics
who found his body
on o'hare's dirty floor
have paddles with them?
use them?
would they have helped?
could they have...
had ugly congested o'hare
had paddles every few feet along its lackluster walls
on january 6 1988
no policeman
have rung our doorbell
in andover, massachusetts
at 5am
to tell the wife
of thomas richard henderson, jr
the mother of his two young daughters
8 and 9
the unspeakable news..........................

they are here now
and i am here now
and he is not.....


every once in a while
it all comes into focus
i catch a glimpse
i see clearly
what this was
my grief
like a kaleidoscope of sorts
that moment when all those
pretty colored pieces
stop & form
that picture you've been waiting
to see
then your hand shifts
the pieces shift
the image is gone...
from time to time
i can see with absolute clarity
(my grief)
the scope of my loss
the breadth of my pain
the magnitude of my loneliness
the tattered
rag tag
that i am
i see each gap
each hole
each scar
each place i tied myself back together
each missing piece
each piece of filler
each patch
each bandaid
i see it
i feel it
i understand it
i get it

i accept it

it is like staring out
into some
huge abyss
and making sense
out of the incomprehensible

this knowledge
this understanding
this vision
is just an experience
it will pass
like any experience
it passes
and leaves a murky not-quite memory
like childbirth
the mother knows it hurt
she knows how much
in theory
but in actuality
if she knew how much
it really hurt
if she relived that pain
when she recalled it
no woman would ever have another child
and so
from time to time
i know
what it was
to lose my father

when these moments come
all time stands still
the world it freezes
and i stand
in wonder
jaw gaping open
and empowered
by this knowledge
knowing it will end
desperate to make it last
i climb into this moment
try to wedge it open with my body
as it quickly presses closed
and pushes me out

it brings me peace
it brings me to despair

on new year's eve day
in chicago
it brought me to a point
of misery


i laid down to sleep
i laid down to rest
worn out
i, gently as i could,
laid my weary bones
on my borrowed air mattress
pulled my borrowed blanket
tight around
my cold and shivering form
ready to sleep
no more...for now
and suddenly
it overcame me

my pain
my anger
my confusion
my guilt
my sorrow
my regrets
my love
my loneliness
my longing
my disappointment

why you?
why us?
why then?

what am i supposed to do?

how do i go on??

why should i go on???

how will i ever be happy again?


in a flood
in an instant
i could not catch my breath
through the tears
as my whole body shook
as i drown
in snot
and tears
and fear

i was on the brink
of something...
and was i ever coming back?


in a room with 2 of my best friends


there was no way
to express
this state
to ask for help
i was so terribly alone
in more pain than i can ever remember being
missing him
being bludgeoned by
the enormity
from 20 years

i was
with absolutely
no idea
how to make it STOP.

Friday, August 03, 2007

from here to there to there to there to there and back to here...

fOrWaRdiNg aDdReSs. i have moved. back to manhattan. back to the east village. and, ironically, back to east 11th street (i like to just crack a smile at that fact, appreciating that things just turned out that way, that nature just put this little full circle coincidence in my lap, knowing that had i tried to find a place on the same street where i first lived upon moving to manhattan i never would have succeeded). acclimating to the geography of a new neighborhood is always fascinating. learning to recognize the buildings, the stoops, the gates, the cracks in the sidewalks, the storefronts...i am making slow progress on this front. with each return to my new building taking in a new landmark, feeling more and more like i am coming home. it leaves me with a slightly empty feeling, a feeling of transience, during this process. i have let go completely of my attachment to my williamsburg neighborhood. without intention and with shocking immediacy, it fled, and when i returned to the old apartment, the place i lived for 2 solid years, the street felt foreign, my block unfamiliar, it was undeniably no longer my home.

i hate getting up early. but i love being up early. especially on a bright summer morning. feeling the heat push itself on the east village, over tompkins square park, down the avenues, up the cross streets...finding even the shady spots. quietly and lazily becoming today. the sun is like a spotlight increasing my awareness, pointing out so many details that slide right past me when i travel this same route at dusk......there are always more people out and about at this early hour, before 8am, than i would expect. and in the brightness i see them all. i notice their nuances, their wardrobes, their postures, their seeming intentions and directions. there is a lack of frenzy and a sense of simplicity. for a brief moment things seem clear. and nothing nearly as beautiful as a windowbox in bloom or a freshly painted door...and i know that these are morning feelings and morning thoughts and that it will not stay this way. i know that. and i let that thought go. and marvel again at the slight iridescence of the fuschia petals of the impatiens in front of me. and continue on my way, quietly and lazily becoming who i will be when i wake up...

Friday, May 18, 2007

to be young, angry, and on the subway.

pUsH iT. pUsH iT gOoD. this is why i bought another bike. this is precisely why i bought another bike. not only is the act of being pushed, shoved, and smooshed into an overcrowded subway car absolutely and undeniably miserable, but the atmosphere of palpable and misplaced anger is enough to have sent mother theresa on a murder spree. there is so much raw, misguided, uncontrolled hatred and anger coming from an alarming percentage of the passengers on any given subway car at 7:45am. it baffles me. come on, it's not even 8 o'clock in the morning yet, how could you possibly be this worked up already? how could you even be awake enough to feel with such vehemance? i'm still working on keeping my eyes open and standing upright. you are yelling at people and hitting them intentionally with your baby stroller. i know hipsters use babies (like small dogs and white belts) as accessories, factions of social climbers use them as status symbols, and certain corporate manufacturing pigs use them as cheap labor in third world countries, but as a weapon on a subway during the morning rush hour? this is taking it too far.
this morning there was a young mother with her 9 month old son in his stroller in the car i was hurled into by the force of the swarming mass behind me at the lorimer subway stop. she had set up camp in front of the doors opposite me. by the time we had reached the bedford stop she had lost her sanity completely. the doors she stood squarely in front of no sooner opened than she was screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs. fuck you this and fuck you one point she actually shouted, "i have a baby in a stroller here so don't you be squishing all up in my shit. no fucking way. assholes..." telling anyone and everyone left and right to fuck off, wait for the next train and on and on. wielding the stroller around the limited space like a psycho waiving a gun to scare his hostages. the stroller containing her son. the doors had closed and we were on our way towards first avenue and she was still going. clearly a need for attention and a lot of pent up frustration and resentment and not necessarily given circumstances were fueling this tirade or she would not have been lighting into imaginary passengers. when she finally stopped cursing, the momentary silence and return to peace was broken by another passenger who decided that getting into it with this woman was a good idea. i mean, why not? she certainly seems calm, rational, and open. i'm sure she will listen to what you have to say and respond appropriately. so the rest of the trip from bedford to first avenue was filled with an argument about whether or not she should have her baby in a carrier, like this misguided vigilante had done with his son, as strollers are illegal on the subway and whether or not yelling at people who were just trying to get to work in the morning was a reasonable move. the poor kid in the stroller finally couldn't take the yelling anymore and did what the rest of us on the train would have loved to, and started to cry. so this young angry angry mother watches the guy who called her out get off the train with his now school-age son at first avenue, looks down at her crying son, momentarily takes in the crammed, weary passengers around her and decides to tell her son "it's okay, rafael, you go ahead and cry as loud as you want." i mean, first of all, you are the reason he is crying, honey. and, second of all, you are the reason he is crying. stop looking at the rest of us like we've done something to your son. and, for the love of god, shut your mouth.

today i will get a new lock for my new bike, tomorrow i will part ways with the subway until bike season ends, and i will not for one moment miss these lovely morning subway commutes.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

now that's what i call shenanigans

oUr gReAteSt hItS.

the access theatre presents
collaborationtown's shenanigans comedy collective in
a shenanigans greatest hits

saturday may 12th @ 9pm

the access theatre
380 broadway, 4th floor
(@ white street, 2 blocks south of canal)
reserve a seat:

Thursday, May 03, 2007

today has never happened and it doesn't frighten me.

i hEaRt nEw yOrK. holy fuck. so i'm doing this guerilla dance team thing and we are dancing tonight at the lower manhattan cultural council benefit, "the downtown dinner", honoring bjork, michel gondry, elliot spitzer, jon corzine, and developer larry silverstein and his wife klara.

this benefit is on the 52nd floor of 7 world trade center.
the 52nd floor.
which, for whatever reason, remains unfinished, a huge open raw industrial loft space.
with floor to ceiling windows ALL THE WAY AROUND.
it is the fucking most phenomenal view i've ever seen. i mean you can literally see everything and anything in any direction for miles............
and at monday night's rehearsal it was the first time we were in the space as the sun set. the sun so giant, seemingly so close with us being so high above everything else, as though something had reached down and plucked me out of the crowded hectic frenzy that is manhattan and lifted me up, up, up above it all to give me this private showing of the sun saying its farewell for this day. so quiet. so serene.
and it nearly broke my heart with its grace and beauty.

and fuck me i've bitched about these rehearsals. and i haven't really slept in days trying to be at work and class and rehearsal and benefits and all this other shit i've committed to. overcommitted to. and i have days, so many days, when i wonder what the hell i'm doing. and why. and to what end. and for what purpose. and has there been any success? will there be any success? and what the fuck is success? and i make plans. and i break plans. and i revise plans. and i worry about failing at my plans. and i worry about not having enough plans.....and more often than i would expect, i am asked "why new york?" and i am never satisfied with the words as they trip and stumble out of my mouth. they seem very simple and trite and not at all evocative of the instinctive, intuitive, emotional draw i have to this piece of earth, its energy, its challenges, its rewards, its crowds, its dirt, its beauty, its's this shit, it's tonight, it's surprising a bunch of people who paid $1000 a plate to feel like they are in some way benefiting the arts of lower manhattan with sudden choreographed dances that i get to do with 9 of my friends, possibly running into bjork, but at least knowing we are at the same cocktail party, 52 stories above manhattan, watching the sun set right in front of my eyes, over new york city and all its nooks and neighborhoods and boroughs........these experiences, these are why i'm here, and why i don't want to be anywhere else, for the moment anyway, and why i cannot imagine what my life would be or who i would be were i not here doing these crazy and unexpected things that i just seem to trip upon......

Friday, April 27, 2007

april showers are one thing, an april monsoon season is quite another...

sPrInGtiMe iN nEw YoRk. it's like an abusive relationship. most of the time it is tempestuous and rocky and you find yourself wondering "wait! how did it get like this? i mean, it was so nice yesterday, i was the happiest i'd ever been...what happened? what changed? what went wrong?" just when i was starting to buy into mother nature's apology for so much cold, wet and windy weather, just when i was starting to look at my calendar and believe it actually was the end of april and that may begins next week......the temperature plummeted, and the rain began. again. and as i trudged to the subway station with my umbrella in hand and wearing a winter jacket, and made yet another leap over the giant puddle that collects right at the landing of the stairs at the subway entrance, i found myself begging for forgiveness, asking for an end to the rain, promising to be deserving of warmer temperatures and sunny skies........and so the cycle goes......................but seriously, enough is enough, right? if i had kids or a car i'd pack up and go, i swear, but i don't. and i won't. and i wouldn't have anyway. i'll just deal with cold wet feet. and keep waiting for the sun.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

these aren't your mom's...well, wait, no actually they are your mom's jeans.

bOtToM hEaVy. could mom jeans be any less flattering? thanks to diesel, the answer is yes. accentuating the hip and lower abdomen ginormity that is unique and special to the mom jean and their high high waist with a contrasting stitch spanning the vast circumference of the widest part of hip, lower belly, and ass like a line of latitude stretching across a globe, diesel has managed to make this area even more three-dimensional and eye catching. don't believe me? check out the windows on the 14th street side of their union square store. if the camera adds 10lbs and mom jeans a good 25-30, that model might be up to a 3 digit number thanks to diesel. evidently this is their answer to anorexia and eating disorders: jeans that make everyone look fat!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

people with large sunglasses shouldn't throw stones.

bUt tHaT aIn't eNoUgH tO sToP mE. as i was crossing union ave this morning at metropolitan, reluctantly making my way to the subway, i caught the profile of a young woman, roughly my age, illuminated by the sun, and it hit me suddenly and with brute force - it is a fine line between hipster chic and miami nursing home post-cataract operation. a very fine line.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

are we there yet?

FiNaLLy. and so it is cold. and so it is thanksgiving. and so we have hopefully reached the final day of radiation. and slowly and suddenly at the same time things begin to return to normal, to the familiar. fall feels like fall and life beyond comes back into view. i can tell this from my dreams, too, which for the first time in months have revolved around future action rather than reliving or reinventing a past or current event. i am trying to breathe, to relax, to let relief sink in. but is hard to do, harder than it sounds. my worry, my fear, my anxiety, my anger, my shock, my holds on in every nook and crevice of my body and skeleton. i feel it in my bones, in my joints, in my muscles. it seems to be a part of the very fiber of my being. ingrained. imprinted. trapped. and i do not know how to loosen it, to expel it. i sweat and i stretch every day and it seemingly does no good. and so i try to learn to live with it, around it, because of it, in spite of it...

Friday, November 10, 2006

i know what i know. if you know what i mean.

cUrRenT eVeNtS. it never ceases to amaze me the way in which a death or an illness can instantly take you out of the world around you and lock you away from moving with the rest of the world. my mom's cancer is doing that. big time. the elections this past week were a blur. a blur that i couldn't bring myself to really care about. or to vote in. even though before this diagnosis, before this radiation and chemotherapy, before this back and forth and back and forth between new york and gloucester, i was focused on many of these races, desperate to see a loss of power among the republicans, hopeful that our country would start making amends for some of its terrible choices at the polls in the past decade. and, yet, tuesday came and it was not about any election, it was about chemotherapy being stopped because of malnutrition. i am in the middle of making sure all shifts are covered at my bikram studio over thanksgiving week. and thanksgiving means nothing to me this year. the word is almost unrecognizable to me, like something in another language. nonsense. jibberish. if the last day of radiation is tuesday, november 21st, on thursday, november 23rd we should know when they will complete chemo and when they will operate to remove whatever remains in her neck and throat. or will we? maybe we will still be waiting for those answers. whatever the case, she will probably still be feeding through the tube, and we certainly will not be sitting around the table enjoying turkey and stuffing. she is too sick and run down at this point to even delude ourselves with playing at the pretense of observing a holiday as if all is normal. nothing is normal. and i am moving on some plane, in some reality, that is not in tune with the world, with current events. and i am not sure how i get where i need to be in the morning or how i get home at the end of the day, i just know the next time i get on the bus to go back to boston, how many cans of formula she has taken in so far today, how many cans she is supposed to take in during a day, what the difference between those two totals is and what that means for her recovery, how many treatments have been completed, how many are left to go, and how much i need love and courage to be enough.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

back and forth and back and forth

uNdEr tHe KniFe. there is something utterly timeless, almost mythical, somewhat medieval about 128 as i drive south towards beverly hospital to retrieve my mom. the pounding, pouring rain of the night before has ceased, the sky has cleared, and a misty fog rises from the ground. there is nothing but trees lining this stretch of road. their leaves are just starting to turn, the colors muddy shades of yellow and gold and crimson. (what is it with this lackluster foliage? probably the excessive rain this summer, probably global warming, probably a big giant warning sign that this whole planet is going to hell in a handbasket sooner rather than later. but i can't think about that now. i can't think about 2 hours from now, 2 days from now, let alone the self-imposed destruction of the planet, at this moment in time. i am on my way to get my mother out of the hospital. there is nothing else and nothing beyond that.) the fog is flawless, as if out of a movie, it seems like an illusion. the air smells of earth and rain and fall. it seems that a wandering knight, muddy and bruised, should appear on horseback, emerging from the trees. this has been one of those nights that grabs you by the throat, pushes your head under the water, and chokes you, relentlessly and mercilessly, and does not loosen his grip until dawn comes and breaks you free just as you are about to succumb forever to the night. the light of day rushes in and clears your airways and fills your lungs and jump starts your heart. you are alive. and you are glad to be. and you are aware of how uncertain that was just a short time ago...

"i am all alone"

this thought keeps bouncing around my thoughts.

but, truly, i am.

when i get to the hospital i somehow find my way through the maze up to my mother's room on the 5th floor. purely on instinct. i have no idea how we got there last night, having gone from radiology to medical day care to surgery day care to surgery reception to this terrible 4 bed room and bed 501a assigned to my mom. my mom, who made the journey on a hospital bed in a johnny writhing in pain. pain she couldn't even describe or articulate or pinpoint. pain that the first two shots of morphine couldn't alleviate. pain like i have never seen before. pain that seemed like it would never end and that made it impossible to recall the time before it had started. i had dissolved upon leaving my mom's side and somehow followed exit signs through a flood of tears into the dark night and the pouring rain. i had not thought to pay attention to my path. and so i blindly make my way to the corner of the 5th floor. anxious. relieved. ecstatic. exhausted. feeling guilty that she is awake and alone and waiting. i pick up my pace and rush through her door. i am shocked to see her in her own clothes, her sneakers on. OH MY GOD. THANK FUCKING GOD.

of course we are in a hospital and that means paper work and waiting. waiting and paper work. so i curl up next to her in her hospital bed and we watch live with regis and kelly. not as though nothing has happened. as though everything has happened. and here we are, two exhausted souls worn out completely from the battle, trying to reserve some energy, trying to, for the first time in days, just be - simply, easily, be. and i don't know what it is or how i will do it, all i know is that i love her enough to find a way to get her through this. and i look at her and hold her hand knowing that she loves me enough to want to get through it. and one more time we will take the risk and bet all we have that that is enough.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

here there and everywhere.

hArD rEtUrN. i am back in the city, back at work, back to my studio, back to my life, but far from back to normal. not that i really even know what normal is, or think it applies to me. but whatever. i'm here but part of me is elsewhere. i feel a little scattered and unanchored and like i'm sleepwalking. as though i am just an observer on the outside, not really a part of all that is going on around me. perhaps that sensation will fade away over the next couple of days, or perhaps it will stay with me as long as my mom is sick. time will tell...

the trip home was brief, a bit of a whirlwind. in the end i barely felt like i had gotten through the front door and was turning around again to go back to new york. and, yet, at many times during those brief 60 hours, i was amazed at how much we were accomplishing and how much time there seemed to be. the passage of time is slippery and elusive, especially when it comes to family and illness. one on hand, it is slipping through our fingers, too fine and too quickly to get a grasp on, blink and 2 days have gone by, emails and calls still to be composed and made, people to be informed, errands still to be run, preparations still to be undertaken...and, on the other hand, meandering leisurely and slowly like that obnoxious woman in front of you on the sidewalk who is taking her sweet old time, all the while zigging and zagging at every moment you try to get around her to move ahead at the pace you need and desire to go, blocking your way. there is much to do, perhaps too much to do, this week in order to be ready for 30 days of radiation therapy, but, still, it feels like it will be impossible to sit tight and wait another week for them to begin. we still have to wait 6 days for the "dry run" and then another 3 for the first treatment and then 30 for the conclusion. to be on the other side of the radiation, and, hopefully, on the other side of this cancer. and i say we and that is ridiculous. it is my mom, my poor mom, who has to undergo all of this. i am essentially a concerned bystander. and, so, from afar, i will wait and count the days - until treatment begins, until i can go home again, until this is over...and i will be here. and i will be there. and i will be everywhere and nowhere.

we are tied to the ocean. and when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.

pHoToS oF hOmE.

Monday, September 25, 2006

for whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea.

hOmEwaRd bOuNd. these days i feel like a frustrated child being constantly reprimanded and learning the hard way, at every turn falling down or breaking something or being admonished or corrected. most of these lessons i thought i knew, or should know by now, and yet...
careful what you wish for. i will, after much longing and much complaining, in fact, get to go home to the ocean. but not on terms or for reasons i would like. i will see the ocean and breathe in its salt air and synch my breath to its rhythms and hope that it can help to calm my troubled soul. but i will only get to do this because my mom has cancer, a spot in the back of her throat and a larger mass in a lymph node. and so i go home to care and grieve and worry and hope and heal and help. to prepare her for radiation and surgery and feeding tubes. to hold her and be held by her and try to not ever have to let go. to hurl my hurt and rage and fear against the massive atlantic.
i keep hearing sally field's voice in my head, that line from the funeral scene of steel magnolias, when she says she could run all the way to texas and back but her baby never could. and then she loses it. i am learning the same lesson. it does not matter what i do. it does not matter how strong i am, how strong i try to make myself, how healthy i try to be, it cannot save those i love, it cannot change what they have gone through, what they are going through, what they will go through. and i know that when i take care of myself, when i step into that bikram studio every day, i do it to try to heal and atone for unhealthy things i have done to myself and to keep myself protected from my genetic disposition to things like heart disease and cancer, but i also think part of myself is trying in futility to make up for the fact that for no good reason at all my father's heart gave out on him when he was only 41. and that here my mom is, not even 60, and battling cancer for the second time. and it is not fair.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

yes, that man on the mat next to you is who you think it is.

sWeAt iS sWeAt iS sWeAt. if a celebrity is not a major celebrity and looks a little bit rougher and chunkier in real life than he does on film or in photographs, is it still knee-weakening exciting to lie in savasana next to him? judging by the reaction of many of the other ladies practicing at my bikram studio, the answer to that question is YES. holy crap the giddy excitement this guy's presence at the studio brought to the ladies locker room.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

if i can - you can!

bAd aD. have you seen these interboro ads that are plastered all over the subways? you know, "if i can-you can!" "i am indira and i am interboro." this morning i rode the L train face to face with indira acosta's interboro tale of success. lucky me.

first of all, it's both amusing and awful, that whole "if i can do this, you can" angle they take. no, really, i'm absolutely worthless, i can barely read or write, okay, fine, who am i kidding? i can't read or write, i dropped out of school in the second grade, i've been dealing drugs and selling my body to pay my rent for the last five years, i have attention deficit disorder and can't sit still long enough to have a coherent conversation, let alone follow a lecture, i already have 3 kids and a boyfriend who beats me, especially when i make any attempt to better myself, and perhaps some of the beatings i took from my stepdad as a kid have left me with some mental incapacities, but i can get a degree from interboro, so that leaves you no excuse.

and i love that part in their little about me section of their testimonial when they claim "i'm just like you." i'm sorry, actually, no, you're not. you're telling me you didn't graduate high school and haven't gotten your GED and are finding it hard to get a job without one. you're working 60 hours a week and finding it hard to get ahead? indira, honey, get in line. but, you know what? i did graduate from high school. and college. summa cum laude, as a matter of fact. my problem is that i have a degree in theatre and live in a society where it doesn't pay to be artistic and art is undervalued and underfunded, so it forces young artists like myself to also take on other jobs in order to feed, clothe and house ourselves, all the while trying to find time, opportunity, money and energy enough to pursue our art. on the side. as though it is a hobby and not a way of life. all of which causes a constant battle to retain sanity and inspiration and hope and pushes us to the brink of burnout and desperation. so, no, indira, you're not just like me, as it turns out. but good luck at interboro, i think i'll pass.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

so bad it's good.

pIaNo mAn. i have a love for things that are so horrendous that they are both funny and brilliant. like wesley willis, for instance. on the L train tonight i found such a talent. i did not catch his name, unforunately, so, for now, he will remain anonymous. but he was equipped with a keyboard and filled the time between songs aimlessly wandering around the train car in a half-hearted attempt to collect money, supposedly for therapy, cracking terrible jokes in a sequence of poorly rehearsed non-sequitors. his singing defies description, so blatantly bad that it had most of the passengers in hysterics, and at one point in a billy joel song he literally howled like a dog. when he disembarked the train at bedford, he announced, "this is my stop. now don't you go talking about me when i get off the train." seriously, this man was the most entertaining thing i have seen in months and i can only hope our paths cross again.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

waiting to exhale.

fAsHiOn fRenZy. to all the ladies and manorexics of new york, you can finally take a deep breath, stop sucking it in, and eat dinner - fashion week is coming to a close. if you paid attention and are blessed with long term memory, then you will know what to expect paris hilton to be wearing next spring. if not, then you're lucky.

fashion week in general seemed a little uneventful this year. the list of spotted celebrities seemed a bit lame. paris and nicky. paris and nicky. paris and nicky. posh spice. are you kidding me? posh spice shouldn't be making headlines. making a rare public appearance, winona ryder attended the marc jacobs show, no doubt doing a little homework before her next "help yourself" shopping spree at saks. i mean, a girl's gotta know what's worth stealing. and good for her for going right to the source.

wait. i missed it...

sUdDenLy sEpTeMbEr. is halfway over. how did this happen? seriously, how has the passage of time been eluding me so much this past year? i feel as though i blink and months go by. which only serves to add to my constant sense that i am behind or falling behind or will never catch up (depending on how pessimistic i am on a particular day).

for me, this past year and the passage of time is marked in terms of yoga. assuming things keep going as they have been and the next time i think about what day it is we will be into the month of october, on october 8th i will find myself having practiced bikram yoga 361 out of 365 days. which is an accomplishment that i don't really see as an accomplishment or give enough thought to, it has just become a way of life and i tend to brush it off as such. people, mostly other students or workstudy at the studio, like to check in and ask "are you still coming every day?" yes. "since when again?" since october. and then i clam up and shut off and let their reaction bounce right off of me. i don't want attention for it. i don't want praise. i just want to be better. and healthier. and stronger. and the fact of the matter is that i am striving towards those goals every time i walk into that room and do the series and it is a practice and those are goals and they are always something ahead of me that i am reaching for yet never quite grasping. because if i got them why would i need to pursue them any longer? and, i'll be honest, many days they seem so unbelievably far away and i feel like such a clumsy, weak, inflexible novice who should be ashamed that stepping into that room and doing all of those postures (i have yet to allow myself to sit out for a set of anything) day in and day out has not made me a better yogi with a more impressive practice.

but, anyway, i and the passage of time this year. yes, i remember where i was headed. for a while, time went by in months for me, each time i hit the end of another 30 days was a marker. then i hit my 4th and 5th consecutive months of practice and it started getting blurry, thoughts like "wow i think i really will do 6 months of bikram every day" and "can you imagine if i kept this up all year? ha! that would be impossible" started entering my head and i think my perception of time started shifting to embrace them. it had to stop being about taking it 30 days at a time. and next thing you know it had been longer than 6 months. and next thing you know it is almost a year. and clearly i just have no perception of time any more. things are moving too quickly or i am not paying attention, or maybe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. on sunday we will have our final performance of the deepest play ever. summer is essentially over and it already feels like autumn around the city. and i am totally blown away by these things.

Friday, September 08, 2006

it doesn't matter what you call it.

cAmeL tOe. in describing their curved relaxed short, lululemon athletica has come up with the most creative way i have seen to avoid saying "buy our shorts, they won't give you a camel toe":

"crotch gusseted to avoid cutting the body in 1/2"

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

you lost me at the line that reached all the way back to the door.

tRaItoR jOe. i understand that what i am about to say is tantamount to blasphemy to many new yorkers, some of my best friends included, but, seriously, i don't understand the hype about trader joes. i actually don't care how cheap anything is because at some point your time and sanity starts to factor into the value equation and all of a sudden 40 cents doesn't seem like a whole hell of a lot. honestly, i went in there today at 1:00pm with two castmates and let's just say 2/3 of us didn't even make it to the check out line. it is that crowded. people everywhere. everyone confused or angry or both. lines inexplicably wrapping around the store, down the aisles, crossing one another, blocking paths, making the items on the shelves inaccessible to the other shoppers. no piece of food or slight discount is worth that aggravation. within moments i felt myself near a panic attack. i haven't witnessed that much frenzy in a grocery store since the championships on supermarket sweep. and those people went home with big prize money. we foolish new yorkers are just going home with some trail mix and organic cereal. and their meager produce department where you can only buy in bulk - what the f*** is that about? i want an apple, thank you, not an entire tote bag of them. i am one person, i don't need a few pounds of them, just a single apple, a simple single apple, how is that so much to ask? i don't know, even if they brought in some designers and figured out a way to lay out their space so their checkout lines didn't overwhelm the entire store and every other shopper in it, i don't know that i could shop at a place where you have to buy your apples by the bag.

does this post make me look fat?

sLim pIcKinGs. between the influx of nyu undergrads and all the models, celebrities, and fashionistas descending on the city for fashion week, new york is like one giant eating disorder. to barf or to starve, that is the question.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

the deepest play ever: the catharsis of pathos re-opens on saturday.

4 mOrE sHoWs. the deepest play ever starts its 4 show extension on saturday. have you gotten your tickets yet?

collaborationtown, a theatre company and fringenyc encores present
the deepest play ever: the catharsis of pathos
the hypothetical theatre at the 14th street y
344 east 14th street

saturday, september 8th @ 4:00pm
saturday, september 8th @ 9:30pm
monday, september 11th @ 8:30pm
sunday, september 17th @ 9:30pm

for tickets:
for info: or

Monday, September 04, 2006

a bitch on wheels.

sChWiNn bReEzE. i got a bike yesterday. i love my bike. if you want to find me, i'll be on my bike.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

nothing like i imagined it would be.

gReAt eXpEcTaTiOnS. it's funny how things can turn out to be entirely different from anything and everything you imagined. take the month of september, for example. first, some combination of myself and my circumstances make the decision that i will not return to burning man this year. so i regroup, readjust, re-envision my month, my plans, my schedule. i am fully prepared to take september to regroup, having just finished back to back rehearsal and performance processes with 6969 and the deepest play ever. after the deepest play ever closed on sunday, i was exhausted and run down and ready to ease back into a normal routine, for all of us to spend a few days away having fun and relaxing in new hampshire next weekend, to use my newly free evenings for some writing and to catch up on sleep, and to see a bunch of shows later in the month...well, that was the plan anyway. until about 11pm last night. when we received a bit of phenomenal news that could potentially make my schedule even more chaotic than it has been throughout august. and i couldn't be happier. or more energized. or more ready. the deepest play ever has been invited to be part of fringenyc encores, a new program this year that will offer 10-13 outstanding shows from the fringe festival additional performances at one of two venues between september 5th and 24th. so the deepest play ever will have 7 more shows in september at the 14th street y. and it's a good thing i didn't take off for burning man as soon as we closed on sunday. and that i decided i will do the bikram teacher training in the spring rather than this fall. and my lazy september will not be so lazy after all, as it turns out.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

on the fringe.

fRegEn tReNt tErK kiNny KaD.

don't know what that means? haven't seen or heard from me in a while? come to my show and kill two birds with one stone.

the new york international fringe festival and collaborationtown, a theatre company
proudly present:

the deepest play ever: the catharsis of pathos
the post-post-apocalyptical allegory of mother lamadre and her son golden calf

or: if no industry sees my silent scream does it makes a sound?
or: zombies will eat your brain!

play one of an 800 play cycle deconstructing violence

learn more

get tickets

the village theatre
158 bleecker street

friday, august 11th @ 7:45pm
monday, august 14th @ 2:15pm
monday, august 21st @ 6:15pm
tuesday, august 22nd @ 3:45pm
sunday, august 27th @ 2:15pm

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

easy as 1 2 3.

a FeW tHiNgS.

a of all: you can now see videos of three of the sketches from our last shenanigans show by going to either of these links:

shenanigans on myspace
my website

don't worry, more from that show to be posted soon. and, meanwhile, the shenanigans crew is working towards a big anniversary show to celebrate the fact that we turn a year old in august.

b of all: collaborationtown is going to be in the new york international fringe festival this year. geoffrey decas' play the deepest play ever: the catharsis of pathos has been accepted into the fringe and we should be getting our performance dates and venues any day now. i will put up all the details soon.

c of all: 59e59 is going help jordan, matt, & collaborationtown produce 6969 again, most likely early 2007. needless to say, this is very exciting for all of us involved in the original production.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

inquiring minds want to know.

i wOnDeR...hi. i have a lot of questions. here are just a few.

what is love?
where is it hiding?
is it close?
is it far?
why does it seem so hard to find?
does everyone find it?
will i find it?
will it find me?
will i recognize it if i find it?
what will i do with it if i find it?
will i want it if i find it?
am i looking for it?
should i be looking for it?
do i even want to find it?

why do some women, when angry or aggravated, yell "suck my dick"?

when my computer decides that it needs at least 10 hours to log off, what is that about?

just how many times can my digital camera be dropped or tossed around in the bottom of my bag before it stops functioning entirely?

why haven't i put my air conditioner in the window yet?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

in summer when the days are long, perhaps you'll understand the song.*

gOoD mOrNinG. today was one of those days where every happening, every conversation, every circumstance and tiny detail brought back memories, or pieces of memories...

it was one of the first mornings that truly felt like a summer morning. and there is something about that, the pulsating heat of the sun by 8am in such stark contrast to the cool dark shadows of places that haven't been touched yet by the sun, that instantly takes me back to summer mornings of early childhood, standing around the edge of the pool. dry, cool cement beneath my dry, calloused feet, not yet radiating the heat it has spent the day absorbing from the sun. a cool that is so much so that it almost feels like dampness. more often than not, net in hand, scooping out bugs and leaves. listening to the hum and the gurgle of the filter as it starts its long day of work, the sun already strong on my back and shoulders, but still feeling a slight chill standing there in just my bathing suit. the pool looking as it always does, tempting me to jump in, but knowing that it is not time, i have not been given the go ahead, the chlorine is still too strong, the water still too cold, but, still, i consider it with every passing moment. the quiet of the yard, the neighborhood, that lets you hear things you otherwise wouldn't - conversations that are going on inside the house, a creak of a door opening or closing, a hair dryer, a cabinet closing. i move along the edge of the pool with a sense of heightened awareness and anticipation.

there is something about summer mornings, the space between moments that sometimes stretches out to what seems like forever. the heat causing a cautious, slow laziness and the coolness of the shadows causing a relief, a respite that demands a quiet, relaxed laziness, a last gasp at easy comfort for the day. sluggish and laid back for such different reasons. these moments always make me feel like there is time enough to do anything. everything. and i often think that summer days seem so long, the perfect ones so endless, not really because the light lasts so long into the evening, or really, rather, the night, but more so because a whole lifetime passes in summer time before the clock has even struck noon. perhaps it is the knowledge of how hot it will be later in the day, how heavy and stagnant and unrelenting the heat will be by mid afternoon, that invokes that sense of anything that needs to be done today should be done now, while i can still function. i should tackle my to do list now, while it's not too bad out, before peak sun hours (any good child of the shore, be it east coast or west, knows and knows without having to think about it, that the best hours for sun are between 10am and 2pm), and then i can frolic for the rest of the day. because there is nothing better than frolicking for the rest of a summer day...

*from lewis carroll's through the looking glass

Friday, June 09, 2006

whatever it takes.

hEaD cAsE. if you ever need to impress a 7 year old boy, do a headstand, and hold that sucker for a good 30 seconds, he'll shut right up and be in awe of you from that point on.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

plugs (not the type referring to balding men making feeble attempts to appear like they have hair.)

bEgInNinGs. so i have a friend whose first new york solo show opens tomorrow and another friend who has his new play 6969 opening next week and i am going to, without shame or reservation, plug both of them. (i also happen to be in 6969, but this post is not about that, it is truly about jordan and his play.) it occurred to me that in many ways it's like two moments of greatness being born that we have the chance to be a part of. both are already exceptionally talented young men and those of us who have had the opportunity and the gift to know their work before now have known this, watched it grow and develop, and waited as anxiously as they have for the rest of the world to take note. i feel as though these openings will be milestones in their careers, when, decades from now, we look back at them. for peter, certainly, his first new york solo show will be a defining moment, and, i'm certain, the first of many and the start of something great. his abilities as a painter are remarkable and attempting to describe them would be futile, truly you need to get yourself down to chelsea before june 24th in order to fully understand and appreciate what i'm talking about. for jordan, this play is a turning point, this script a leap into maturity that definitely marks a whole new chapter in the life of this young playwright. since i first read it, i have been reminded of sitting in modern drama with scott edmiston back at boston university. the class was structured so that we would discuss both the playwright and the play and allow the knowledge and themes of each to inform the other. and every major modern playwright has a "first great play", a piece of work that defined them as the playwright they are. there are usually plays that exist before this, that were never or rarely produced, that failed in some way, that contained themes or characters or elements that made it into later works, but they don't necessarily stand on their own and are often best understood and produced when approached as an exploration of a young and developing playwright. and i honestly feel with jordan that if we were sitting in modern drama discussing him, or when 50 or 100 years from now some students of the future are, 6969 will be jotted down in notebooks as his first successful play. the themes, plot, characters, and structure are all that solid and consistent and mature. there is brilliance in this play and i am excited for its future.

so go check this stuff out and be able to say you were there when...

pEteR hAlaSz. you should go and see this show at the atm gallery, 511 west 20th street ( the show opens tomorrow, may 25th and runs through june 24th.

jOrDaN sEaVeY.
you should go get your tickets now for 6969, with only 4 performances they are sure to sell out. the show will run june 1st & 2nd @ 8pm and june 3rd @ 2pm & 8pm at manhattan theatre source, 177 macdougal street. it is being presented by collaborationtown, directed by matthew hopkins and filled with a buttload of really talented designers and actors.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

stating the obvious.

dUh. hi. can we file this in the "no shit sherlock" category?:
from the associated press, saturday, may 13th 1:51pm: "abuse scandal has changed views of priests"
what? oh my god! are you serious? the fact that there has been widespread sexual abuse by catholic priests has changed the way they are viewed by catholics and the world at large??!? well, jesus h. christ, i'd hope so. i would hope that it would make people see them as the flawed and fallible human beings that they are. i would hope that knowledge would make people uneasy, would cause them to question, would denegrate trust. and i would also hope that this scandal has caused us all to pause and reflect on the unwarranted level of protection we tend to offer our leaders, without question, without reason, without justification. because someone is in a position of power does not mean that person is above judgment, is above making mistakes, is above being capable of being at fault. think about it, if anything, there are times when being in a position of power would actually make an individual more capable of abusing that power, that privilege, and doing something reprehensible, for which they should be held responsible and accountable. and while we are talking about leaders abusing their power and betraying trust, why doesn't the associated press spend a little more time telling us honestly what is going on in iraq and all the other crap george w. bush is screwing up and a little less time numbing us with obvious and unnecessary headlines like this?

raindrops keep fallin' on my head.

cAuGhT. i just got caught in a downpour. a surprise downpour. it was a lovely sunny early evening when i left the east village and as i stepped above ground after getting off the L train in williamsburg the sky turned gray and it started to pour. one of those contained showers where you can see clearly where the dark rain clouds end and the blue sunny skies are waiting to reappear as soon as this passes through. at any rate, i love that. getting caught in the rain like that. partly, it makes me feel like a kid again and gives me the urge to splash around in puddles. it also feels purifying. and it's also in some way romantic. it was such a pleasant little surprise on my saturday evening. i'm much happier now than i was an hour ago. lovely.

Monday, May 08, 2006

to sleep, perchance to dream.

aY, tHeRe'S tHe RuB. so this play i'm working on has these dream and nightmare sequences. and yesterday's rehearsal was devoted to them. dreams fascinate me. as do nightmares. the things our mind tries to work out while we sleep. the things we avoid during the day that announce themselves to us at night. or those times when you don't dream at all . . . or, if you do, you awake in the morning with no memory of it whatsoever. i went for a rather lengthy period of time having no dreams at all. for nearly a year after a pretty life altering break up i could count on one hand the number of times i woke up in the morning and remembered having dreamed. and most of those were actually something that felt like a night terror, but i am assured by friends that it was probably something more like sleep apnea. each time it felt like i was awake and conscious of a very real outside presence in the room that was exerting weight on my chest, pinning me down and making breathing extremely difficult. at any rate, somewhere along the line my sleep pattern changed again and dreams started slowly coming back to me. though i still feel like i rarely wake up remembering my dreams, i just am somehow cognizant that i am having them. in general lately my mind has been going a mile a minute during the wee hours of the night and morning. often to the point that it wakes me out of sleep, i realize that i have been pondering or analyzing or brainstorming about something and i either get up and follow the train of thought or, foolishly, think that it is so vivid and clear in that moment i will surely remember it in the morning and go back to sleep. and of course i never do.
i have this impression, and perhaps it is totally unjustified, that some people have these wonderful and happy dreams. dreams that are fantastical, enjoyable, lighthearted and end well. i have never been such a dreamer. sure, in my 27 years, i have had some pleasant dreams, i have had mornings that i've woken up and thought wow! that was fun or i wish that had really happened. but, mostly, dreams are strange and full of weird emotions for me. as a child i had a lot of recurring dreams. including one where my parents left my sister and i (we were toddlers at the time, no more than 3 or 4) home alone on a very eerie, gray saturday morning to go get married and it was unclear if they would ever return for us. not only was that dream terrifying, but it also felt like a real memory and i never knew if it was something that had actually happened to us or not. eventually, i became old enough to suspect that it was a dream and articulate it to my mother, who assures me it is absolutely not a memory of a real experience. i also dreamt a great deal about being in danger and preparing for it, like lying as still as possible under covers or under a bed as an intruder broke into the house through a window or door downstairs. some people live out fantasies in their dreams, i, on the other hand, clearly use my dreams to worry.

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