When I sit I have no idea where the story may go, I just start with something and build as thoughts race around in my head. My brain runs at full throttle all the time. It always has and probably always will. I’m told its anxiety which made me laugh because I always thought it was creative genius but what do I know? At the suggestion of a psychologist, I practiced breathing exercises in an attempt to calm the raging storm within, especially at bed time when the need to sleep almost drove me around the bend. It's hard to drift off when I’m designing patterns, searching my brain for innovative ideas or going through every thought, meeting and conversation of the day.
But there were side effects with deep breathing. Nothing like nausea, suicidal thoughts, anal leakage, heart attack or erectile dysfunction. No, it was worse. I stopped dreaming. Cold turkey, night after night void and black as pitch. Some might say, that's no biggy, but my dreams have been as much a part of me as my right arm. I mourned the loss of all those fantastic late night adventures. True I was sleeping better, longer and it was faster to drift off when my head hit the pillow but at what cost? So I weighed the pros and the cons and decided I’d take the short life span of the stress riddled and keep the creative thoughts flowing like a raging river as long as I can. Considering who I am and what I do for a living, maybe stress is my friend, maybe I need wild dreams to get the juices flowing.
I’ve been a nighttime and daytime dreamer my whole life. My pretend years were rich and exciting, imagining fairies, princesses and all that happy ever after stuff and I still, on occasion drift off to a place, far far away to think make believe thoughts. We all do it, win the lottery sort of daydreams, pretend you are the lead singer of some band, fantasize about another poodle. Right?
I dream every night and in full colour. I fly like a bird, visit faraway lands, I love to wake in the morning fresh from espionage, murder, riding a horse, hooking a rug, conversing with my departed parents. You cannot image how I feel getting to talk to my mother in a dream, or joke with my dad, see them, reach out and touch them. People would kill for these moments so it would be a crime to discard them. My senses are honed and so real; I run a gamut of emotions, it’s all there as if I've been transported to another place, another time . So tell me, isn’t this worth a bit of stress and anxiety? It's made me who I am. If I didn’t have this kind of thrilling imagination, I'd probably be somewhere adding numbers for a living. (Not that accountants are boring……)
And even though not all dreams are happy I still wouldn’t trade them in for nothingness. I’ve awakened the odd time in a lather of sweat trying to escape the talons of a dragon, a Velociraptor, (thanks Jurassic Park), and more recently a big black bear. So I’ve had the crap scared out of me, sometime literally, but I still wouldn’t trade my brain firing in all directions just to sleep peacefully in blackness.
I also have a very unique gift of waking from a dream, even getting up for a glass of water or a pee and then returning to bed to finish the dream. No, I'm not sleep walking, I'm turning on the lights, I feel the cold floor under my bare feet, sometimes speak to hubby, go downstairs to stock the fire, kiss the pups and then crawl back into bed to resume where I left off. I also have several repeat dreams that have played the midnight show for years. The exact same plot from start to finish. I’ve read of others experiencing the same thing so I’m not a freak of nature or anything, but I do think my nighttime adventures are special and I wouldn’t trade them in for anything. I feel sorry for people who don't dream, well actually you all do, you just don't remember them. I was willing to part with fertile ovaries and my lovely, youthful skin, but I couldn't imagine a life devoid of nighttime reveries.
I’ve also died in my dreams. Many times. Falling off a cliff or being chased down by a predator and eaten alive, killed by murder most foul, Hitler once tied me up, tortured and killed me after I read the Nuremberg Trials, pretty scary stuff. These of course would be filed in the nightmare drawer but I still wouldn't want them to stop. I've read or been told that if you die in a dream you’ll perish for real. Not true! I'm living proof! And if the truth be told, sometimes when I wake from a terrifying dream I will try to go back to sleep to finish it. Just because it’s interesting. I know I'm in no real danger and I've never been able to walk out on a movie half finished....I need to know the ending!
Sometimes when I wake from a dream I’m in a state of transference. I need to shift my brain from the dream to the reality of here and now. It can take a short period to crawl out of the mood, either good or bad. I am so involved in whatever the dream was about my emotions stay there. I’ve heard people say they awaken from a dream of their spouse cheating and are angry at the person lying beside them. I fully understand what they mean, dreams can be that real!
So my brain is quick and so is my inner pulse. I hate to use the word hyper but maybe it applies. I talk a bit fast as well, although I’ve been trying to reign that in. I never noticed until hubby took a video of me and this person, supposedly me, sounded like a motor mouth. It put me in a state of shock. Is that what you’ve all been putting up with? But, after I took it all in I had to laugh. It reminded me of a motor mouthed boyfriend from my distant past that I found quite intolerable. If I compared myself to him my quick talking didn't seem that bad but it does lead to a funny story, well at least I think it is...you be the judge.
My dad was a humorous guy and as small town as they come. He was burdened with worrisome thoughts about the world beyond the town limits, a foreign place filled with foreboding. So venturing outside the boundary was pretty much a death sentence, not only for him but for us. If he got wind I was heading to the big ole nasty city, he’d be burning up the phone lines to warn me about some accident that happened the day, week, month before, usually something about a woman crashing and burning, you know, the fairer, weaker sex; a person who should spend more time staying at home looking after a man instead of being out inviting trouble.... I’d ask him what his point was and he’d say, no point just thought you should know. Well thanks dad, have a nice day!
He was even more concerned about me dating strangers. To quantify, a stranger was someone who lived outside of Lunenburg County, only the lucky and the pure got to live in these parts, the rest were all fornicators and sinners, possibly even rapists. He never said those exact words but really it wasn’t too hard to fill in the blanks. I made a trip to Boston once for an estate I was handling and he pretty much had me raped, sliced up and found dead in an alley. And apparently pimps hung around airports waiting for fair skinned, naïve looking girls to kidnap and force into a life of drug addiction and prostitution, a fate according to dad, was worse than the trip to the alley.
When I disembarked from the plane I put on the most sophisticated air, with nose up, acting disinterested in those around me. No one would think me naïve. Having never traveled on my own before I was a little concerned and kept a tight grip on my luggage. I actually got lost walking to the Greyhound Bus depot and ended up on Waterstreet, weaving in and out of hookers and I don't mean the rugs related kind. Miraculously I survived and arrived back home thinking maybe dad was a little too over the top. It doesn't hurt to be aware of your surroundings but you can't live your life in a gated community to feel safe. There's always that chance a plane could fall out of the sky...
So I found myself between husbands and a few men looked my way. My father's words, tattooed on my brain surfaced and I turned down advances from suitors who were probably very nice if not for their geographical position. Not that there were that many, you could probably count them on your fingers, well maybe just the left hand and then maybe just two? So when a local guy, someone I had gone to school with, asked me out I figured, what could possibly go wrong?
We dated casually but the pressure was on to meet my folks and get me down the aisle. Now that I know what I know, I think he was blindsiding me, rushing into nuptials because he didn't want me to see all the warts laying in weight...another kissing toad story for later. So we dropped in on my parents for a little get to know you. There was something about him that annoyed me...he was a fast talker, not the smooth, suave kind, I mean fast by way of speed. It took me about two weeks to decipher what he was saying so I should have warned my parents. He buzzed through words like lumber at a mill and if you didn’t pay sharp attention you couldn’t keep up. It was almost like listening to a thick Scottish or Irish accent for the first time…it took a little getting used to although those accents have a bit of musicality to them and a heavy dose of sexy. This guy was just annoying and I told him "slow down!" so many times, but he never listened so I just gave up and let him pollute the air with nonsensical words and wished to God I could invent a better ear plug than a balls of toilet paper shoved down both canals.
So we’re sitting in my parents kitchen and dad was talking a blue streak making connections with people we all had in common. My boyfriend… let’s call him Jake, for the sake of avoiding the term boyfriend, was nervous so he yapped faster than normal if that was even possible, so much so I couldn’t even follow him. I just keep wondering how the human tongue could move around that quickly without being accidentally bitten off. I got the distinct feeling dad wasn’t overly thrilled with this so called safe, local guy, so the visit was short.
I dropped by the following day for the skinny and I asked point blank what they thought. I was still on the fence about him myself and their opinion would have pushed me either way. We weren’t really a good fit in that he wasn’t the brain power I normally sought. Smart is my turn on. I like to learn new things, explore concepts, solve mental puzzles and study the planet we live on and there was none of that in this relationship. I need to be stimulated, so feed me mentally or I’ll move on to greener pastures.
The only conversation Jake was capable of was telling me he loved me, upwards of 50 times per day, and double that on the weekends, being special times and all. For all the women out there who wish their guy would be a bit more forthcoming with those three little words, be careful what you wish for! He almost made my flesh turn inside out every time he said it and I fought the urge to pull his tongue out and grab the scissors. Not exactly the little cosy nest I was hoping for. His voice was like a grain of sand under my eyelid, and I'm not proud of it but he drove me round the bend. I told him once, “If you say you love me one more time I'll beat you within an inch of your life with this spatula”, I was wielding a potential weapon but apparently it didn’t strike the fear or evoke the change I hoped for. I tell no lie, he looked at me, pinched my cheek and said “Oh…you’re so cute when you’re mad, I just love you!”
So the vote was in. Dad looked me straight in the eye and said matter of factly…” Geez Chrissy, someday there gonna find you cut up in the deep freeze!”
Well that was definitely not the response I expected…but I had sensed it might not be favourable. I looked to mom for guidance but apparently she had none to give. Instead she burst out laughing. It started with a twitching of her eye and then the corner of her mouth was pushing a slight curl upwards and you could see she was trying to force her facial muscles to cooperate but there was no holding back. She laughed like I had never heard her laugh before. Her stomach was aching as she braced her arm in front of it while simultaneously wiped tears with a Kleenex. Whatever was going on it was contagious and we all joined in although I was still in the dark over the punch line.
Finally, having had enough, mom slowly returned to normal and responded to my questioning eyes and said “I didn’t understand a word that came out of his mouth!” And that just opened up another flood gate of side splitting laughter. Apparently she had sat there nodding, offering little pleasantries like “sure”, “yes”, “really?” and all the while it was if he was speaking a foreign dialect. You might have had to be there to appreciate the humour but it still puts me in stitches.
Let’s face it, the relationship was in the toilet, it just needed that last flush. I could never live with a motor mouth not even a famous one. There’s a guy in the Guinness World Book of Records that could articulate 586 works per minute, but I think Jake could have whipped him with his tongue tired behind his back! That local, safe guy would have grated on my very last nerve and just maybe, he would have been the one cut up and put in the deep freeze… And just so I don't come off as a total meanie, this guy was also insanely jealous and made my life hell before I finally got him out of it...... So I started looking farther afield for a date and ended up with a guy from Calgary. Whom I might add is not a rapist, murderer, fornicator or sinner of any kind.
Anyway, just thought this little excerpt of my past was funny. Every time I think of that day I burst out laughing. Seeing my ladylike, reserved mother drop her guard and let it all hang out was heartwarming. I think that was the first and last time I ever saw her cut loose and that line of dad’s was classic Earl. I’ve used it plenty over the years.