“Your nightmares follow you like a shadow, forever. ”
― Aleksandar Hemon
I thought the sirens were never going to stop. Thankfully they stopped when I was too sleepy to stay awake any longer. Weather in Oklahoma is something I grew up with. We had a cellar and all the old ladies nearby came to wait out the storms inside it.
I know it was safe, but what a scary place. Dark and dank. Lanterns held high. Waiting out the ubiquitous storms that are always a part of spring here. Hoping the daddy long leg spiders would not walk across my legs.
Last night I read while the wind howled and thunder quaked and the rain came down in torrents.
In preparation, I surrounded the ceramic bird bath with big pots of plants, rolled my Japanese maple onto the back step under the overhang in case of hail, and took down my bamboo chimes. That was the full extent of my “battening down the hatches.”
This morning I looked out on the patio and not one thing was damaged. Disaster averted. Plants all looked fine.
Today it is gray outside and rain is expected. I don’t know if more bad weather will ensue.
I’ve become accustomed to my routine of getting all the chores done, supper eaten, pets fed, shower taken, and then settling down with a book for the evening. The only sound is the machine that sounds like rain next to my bed, Charlie snoring, and Ivy playing.
It amuses me that when we have rain or even an inch of snow, people out on the roads inch along like we’re in the midst of a blizzard. Yes, I drive an old 4 wheel drive SUV, but even if I didn’t, I am not afraid of a bit of rain. I don’t slow down to a snail’s pace because the road is wet.
Traffic piles up because people seem to be afraid of driving their vehicles in wet weather. In a city this size that can become a bit of a nightmare.
Speaking of nightmares, I had a doozy of a nightmare last night. I really don’t recall much about it this morning. What I remember is being afraid. Of course my ex was in it, because for the past few decades he has typically been the main lead in my nightmares.
The man is dead. There’s really no reason to be afraid of him anymore. I keep telling myself that. Chiding myself for giving him space in my head. But I guess he may drift through my dreams, a silent specter, a premonition, from here on out.
Because he loomed large in my life for such a long time. And because I let him in.
I look back and ask myself why. Why did I fall for all that no one will ever love you like I do garbage?
Well, because no one had ever given me that much attention. I was so open to being handed that generous display of supposedly forever love. And too vulnerable to understand that nothing is free.
I recall telling myself: Now look, self, this is really too good to be true.
But what hungry for attention and love woman can resist all that? It seemed like such a miracle to finally be noticed and coddled and supposedly cherished. I thought: This is my moment in the sun. Because he seemed to worship the very ground that I walked on.
What I didn’t understand is that there is love. And then there is obsession.
Love is good. Obsession is dangerous.
“My sleep wasn’t peaceful, though. I have the sense of emerging from a world of dark, haunted places where I traveled alone.”
― Suzanne Collins
Isn’t it amazing how fast you can immerse yourself in a situation where all the barriers come down and you find yourself trapped within?
He’s gone now, but the memories are not. Smells and sounds can take me to a place much like that cellar where daddy long legs lived. Where I thought the danger was outside that big heavy door as storms caused destruction.
I was once a little girl who waited out the storms among neighbors in a dark dank cellar. And feared that the daddy long legs might crawl right up my legs.
I was a little girl who vowed never to let anyone all the way in. To never trust anyone that much, because what you give they take. And then they can break you into a million pieces.
“Strange, I thought, how you can be living your dreams and your nightmares at the very same time.”
― Ransom Riggs