Dreaming of Another Place

It’s a cliche, but the fog is lifting. The maelstrom of hormones and genuine frustration is all settling down, and even though there is still a swirling movement of dust, it’s not the roiling storm it was just a day or two ago. Whew.

My daughter was Leela from Futurama for Halloween. Nobody knew who she was! She made an armband from a toilet paper tube, and we dyed her hair purple. She's not in it for the candy, and she gives me all the Almond Joys!

There’s something cathartic about a particularly dark bout of depression, and I can see why people who are prescribed medication sometimes opt to not actually take it. Once you are used to the highs and lows of a roller coaster, a stretch of boring tracks that just go blandly forward are kind of a letdown. If I didn’t have my dark days, how would I have any momentum at all? Lately it seems as though any forward movement is propelled by being so utterly dissatisfied with myself that I am forced to change.

Of course, it’s not all gone. It’s just that the world looks a little less hostile, and I’m peeking out from under whatever rock or shell I’ve been in. I’m still not going to walk confidently back onto Facebook. Not ready for that! I’m still not going to go out socializing any time soon. Given the option, I’m going to hole up here at home and write and tidy up and gather whatever mental courage I can. And I don’t know if I’ll ever answer the phone when I’m supposed to. But now that I have a phone that actually works, maybe that’ll change?

Part of the fog lifting has got to be that I’m knee deep in my book, and enjoying it. When I’m writing, I’m there and not in my little house, trapped by a lack of money and a car that’s barely hanging on to life, and in a form of puttering stasis. Nope, when I’m writing, I’m not even in this century or country. I’m somewhere else completely. When I was still in school and my mom was married to her horrendous husband, I escaped so easily– at the drop of a hat!– because it was the only thing I could do to keep from giving up entirely. At the first sign of discord I could escape into my head, with paper or without, and be somewhere else. But as I grew up and actually had a semblance of control over my life and who I had in it, I began to lose that ability. I had to concentrate to do it. I didn’t have to escape as often, and so I lost the knack for it.

On the one hand, that’s a positive thing, because it meant that I was not physically or mentally in as much danger. I didn’t need the escape quite so desperately as before, and there is nothing at all bad about that. Would I even be here now? Maybe not.

On the other hand, when your coping mechanism gets rusty, and you find yourself needing that coping mechanism again– that’s a problem. Rusty escape hatches are not too efficient.

So, for me, writing is a way of keeping that mechanism oiled and ready to go. There is no need to panic, says one part of my brain to the other, because all systems are go and we are ready for lift-off. Lately, I’ve been getting back in the habit of escaping, and it is such a relief to have that somewhere else to go.

There’s something else, too, and I won’t deny it– I’m a simple creature. Kitten videos help. A lot. I’m a girl, and I’m more sentimental than I’d like to admit. I have a hard time hugging people, but show me a kitten video, and I crack so easily! Is it because I’m a girl? Do I have the Responds-Well-to-Kittens gene?

On the off chance that they help you, too, here are some favorites.

This one is my absolute favorite at the moment, in part because of the soundtrack that goes with it. And Thor the Magnificent Kitten loves it, too. He watched it over my shoulder the other day, and he totally wanted to help that kitten out. He was very concerned.

This is the one that cracks my daughter up. She is probably about two thirds of the over 4 million viewers the video’s had.

And this one gives me the giggles, mostly because of the randomess of it and the music.

And of course, because this is on the verge of becoming a Mikael Simpson fansite already (What is my deal?) there is even a Mikael Simpson kitten video. Okay, well, it’s a cat. But still, it’s cute! Seriously, though, I’m going to have to give Simpson a break, because last night I dreamt that he was our houseguest, and was recording at our friend’s studio. It was very mundane, and  everybody was sitting at the kitchen table waiting for dinner (and they were both cranky and hungover), and I was looking through the fridge, trying to figure out what I could cook that everyone would like– which was a puzzler because Simpson is a vegetarian, and my husband’s a big meat eater, and my daughter is so picky. That was my dream. Oh good Lord, I do need to get out more often. I mean, if you are going to have a dream about people you have crushes on, it should at least be interesting.

Thor, put that thing away!
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