Friday, July 17, 2009

It's Either Ex-Boyfriends or Former Students or Dead Babies

The last two mornings I have woken up in some pretty foul moods. I haven't wanted to open my eyes, face the day, get out of bed. If I had the capability of staying in bed and watching marathons of America's Next Top Model or a string of shows about pyramids and Pharaohs on the History Channel, then I would have. But I don't have that capability--there's no satellite access in my childhood bedroom--so I have been forced to get up and do yoga. And after yoga, I eat my breakfast and then realize I have nothing else to do until everyone else gets out of work for the day.

When I first got to Buffalo, all that free time was filled with writing--since finishing my book of stories in May, I've moved on to a novel--but ever since we got back from the bachelorette party this weekend--the one that featured this cake and, the next morning, this pancake--I can't find any words that sound good, beautiful, or right, and I don't know why.

Of course, it could be the nightmares. They're back. I was having them every single night for a few weeks before I came home. I had them for the first few days I was here, too, but then they disappeared.

But last night and the night before, there they were again. In one, I gave an in-depth and quirky lesson on comma usage, only to have the class end in chaos as one of my students set her backpack up on the desk to reveal that she had stored her newborn inside and it had died during class. That's right. A newborn baby--sweet, tiny, curled into a tight ball--had died next to spare pencils and folders while I discussed reasons commas are necessary and important.

Another featured a former student who was trying to run me down. Another was populated with ex-boyfriends or ex-flings who had shown up to declare their love for me and tell me that when they had cheated on me, when they had left me for some other girl, when they had taken me for granted, when they had decided I wasn't as great as I'd once seemed, they'd been wrong, they'd been idiots, and now they needed to have me back. And then those ex-boyfriends started throwing fists and drawing blood.

I'd like for these things to go away. I don't want them to bloom into what was going on before I came back to Buffalo. Those nightmares were full of death and destruction. Members of my family were dying. My best friends were dying. I'd fallen in love--with Conan O'Brien, on two separate occasions--and he was dying (once in a hideous plane crash that I thought at first was a dramatic Hollywood stunt; I laughed when the plane sizzled into a ball of fire before eventually realizing that, no, that was no orchestrated crash and the love of my life was now dead).

I'd just really rather stay away from that all. It's not doing good things for my mood. And I don't have time for my mood to interfere with the goings-on. I have a lot of Italian food to ingest this weekend, and I don't want to go into the festival with the memory of some new death, some new terror hanging heavy around my neck.

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