To My Dreams,

I wake up each morning, knowing very well that you had been with me. I wipe my eyes. They have crust under them, the crust of dried tears and I know I wasn’t even resting in my sleep, that you were keeping my brain awake all that time. I wake up sometimes with no recollection of what went on during the night and as I move through the day it comes back to me slowly. Real slow, in fragments and snapshots, some dark, others as clear and lucid as the sun. I remember one particular time you visited, not the whole thing, but part of it. I opened the thin drawer under the microwave in the kitchen, the drawer that houses all of the miscellaneous kitchenware like serving forks and measuring spoons and the cheese grater. A flashlight was in the drawer, but it wasn’t supposed to be there, at least not in real time or real life or whatever you call life when you’re not dreaming. The translucent blue shaft of the flashlight, illuminating the wiring inside the tube popped out against all the silver filling the drawer. The scissors that Grandma gave me with black finger hooks that are faded and worn from clipping coupons and fixing stitches made that flashlight seem like an artifact lost from a different time, like a time traveling flashlight or maybe a displaced image from another dream or reality.  This is all wrong I thought. I pushed the flashlight out of the way, revealing a forest green barbeque lighter with a rounded hole like a trigger to flick the fire on and off.  They are trying to burn down the house; this lighter should not be here.  I slammed the drawer shut and opened my eyes.  It was 10:22am.

I go to sleep and wake up sore.  My neck is sore. My shoulders were hunched for eight hours as I lay in my bed with my eyes closed. Every morning I discover a new wrinkle in my forehead. I am too young for this I say. You are saving me and killing me at the same time. I hear voices and I know they aren’t mine, I know they are not a part of me, but a part of you, pieces of you that you left as traces of yourself like footprints on my brain.

Thank you for the pictures you leave and the stories you enable me to tell.  But, I would like to remember you when you come rather than wake up with anxiety or be jolted from my sleep, feeling like I have just run away from myself or fallen into a hole or  lost my mind somewhere in my pillow.

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