The days when she would dream of her parents were the best, even though in those dreams, she couldn’t fully keep them. They were always without their cell phone or she couldn’t find their number. They were out too long, at a restaurant or in their apartment and she would realize they hadn’t spoken in too long and wonder why she didn’t just go with them, go to them, sooner. There would be that sudden urge, need really, to call them and then she would be left fumbling for their number or the keys on the phone while that urgency grew and her heart hurt more and more with the need to hear them or see them.
Sometimes in the dream she would know they were gone, but sometimes there was a delay and there was only the purest of joy. In the real waking hours, in the true morning, not the dream morning, she would be happy in her bones. A true joy that she didn’t even know had disappeared. An inexplicable happiness and light equal and opposite to the extraordinary weight of some days, not all, but some. Where she awoke with a heaviness, seemingly unjustified and unprovoked, and unprecedented. Those days felt like she had received devastating news in her sleep and she had awoken with the latent hints of sadness, but not the morose feeling when you wake after someone has died and know it wasn’t a dream. This is the scar of that. The long closed over tattoo of a reminder of that morning when you woke up and death was still real and raw and crippling. This is the faint white line in your skin or the one that still has a little purple in it, because it’s not quite done becoming the finished product. This is that scar when she wakes many days. Not sure why she is so crumpled. Why the weight on her heart has chosen this particular morning to reinvest itself in the goal of stealing her happiness and her light.
But not today. Today there is no weight, even though they are lost again. Today is a lesson in perspective as they were here, right here, and she feels only that. She can hear herself saying mom and dad to them, not about them and wonders why they won’t come every night, if only for that.
On this day, she goes downstairs with a secret in her. A happiness like a new love, but better, because she knows she will have this again, one day. She lays down on the floor and lets the dogs accost her, rather than holding their love and ridiculous affection at bay, and lets them smother her face with kisses and whiskers. They are joyous in this victory and follow her out the door for their walk, bouncing and telling her over and again, we told you we could make it better. The happiness in their gait and the attention in their eyes make her wonder how she could ever have doubted them. She keeps treats in her giant, almost comical, Carhartt overalls so they can be off leash today, as she cannot hold them back- nor does she want to. They can’t take their silly eyes off her when they hear the bag crinkle, and it makes her laugh. Like clowns, they feed off of it and zoom around, and she knows, again, they are far smarter than she. It’s so easy, they say, will you please just let go. Like this. Every day. And she thinks, God, I wish I could.