My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Brain Waves

2005-11-14
The brain's a weird thing, how it stores all our memories and occasionally, for whatever reason, will dole one out of the archives when you're least expecting it.

All of a sudden this weekend, out of nowhere, I had a distinct memory, as a child, of spending the night with one of my mother's friends, Mary Anne. She wasn't, I don't think, a really close friend, but was a woman my mother knew through church. They'd been in the same Young Couples' Group and got divorced around the same time. Mary Anne, at one point, was my piano teacher. She'd been married to a lawyer, I think. My memory of her is hazy so I'm pulling out whatever I can. I'm not sure how much is true. She had lived in a fairly ritzy neighborhood on the other side of the river, up on a bluff, on a windy road that kept going up and around, up and around, until you reached the top and started back down again.

I don't remember much about the evening but Mary Anne was one of these adults that talked to children on their level. She accepted me as an equal and we had a pleasant evening chatting and perhaps playing card games, watching television, something like that. Dinner was simple, bachelorette-style, food, probably soup and sandwiches. Chips and soda. Nothing fancy but child-friendly

When I spent the night, she was living in an old one-bedroom apartment with ten-foot ceilings, a defunct fire place, character and hardwood floors. It might not have even had a bedroom; it might have been a "studio" apartment or an efficiency because I remember sleeping on her waterbed that was in a niche off the hallway. I have no idea where she slept. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the niche had no curtains and the full moon shone in and produced so much light, it was hard to sleep. It was already hard to sleep, being in a strange place for an unfathomable reason (I don't know why I was there or where my parents were), with her black cat lying by my side, purring and kneading my shoulder.

Mary Anne eventually became an alcoholic and stopped showing up for my piano lessons but I don't think she was drinking heavily when I spent the night because I'm sure I wouldn't have been there if she had been. I doubt my mother would have entrusted my care with an unstable person. At least, I'd like to think not.

This memory of me lying on that waterbed, on a moonlit night, came to me like a flash I had a distinct flashback picture of the scene in my head while I was taking a shower. Weird how that happens. The memory has lingered on ever since like some dreams will that just won't let go of your conscious thoughts some strange sort of bleed-over from the subconscious. Has that ever happened to you?

I still remember vividly a particular dream I had at the age of eleven that involved evil lizards, Mr. Rogers, Big Ben (the clock) and a giant orange eraser the shape of a Keds hi-top sneaker. I'll spare you the details (dreams are so boring to hear about) unless you beg and send my chocolate.

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Dusty is currently having her first video-less nap since September. This is her first day at her new preschool/childcare center. She's been very excited about going and is glad she's done with the old place. I have noticed her increasing relief, over the past two weeks, as we've talked about why she's moving on. It's been an enlightening conversation for me and I think it's been for her as well. I hope she feels more empowered to speak up about things that bug her that she knows she has the right to ask for change in a universe that doesn't pay children that much heed - than I ever was. Children learn quickly that so much of their life is out of their control and some of it for good reason that they tend to accept their fate even when speaking up could cause a change. Glad I'm not five anymore.

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2:11 p.m. ::
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