The letters are back with a vengeance! I just finished my thesis—a book of letters and personal essays. Three new letters were born from the books creation, as well as revisions of some of my favorite essays and the inclusion of the first chapter of my memoir about being twinless in Turkey. I’m leaving you all with a letter to get you going. This is an old one that has gotten a face-lift! CHeck back in for the three new letters in the coming days and weeks!

 

To My Dreams,

I woke up that morning knowing very well that you had been with me. You left your weight in my forehead. I wiped the crust of dried tears from under my eyes and knew I wasn’t even resting in sleep. You were carrying on throughout my brain all that time, running it in circles, talking to me like an old friend who hasn’t been around in years. Around and around.

I woke up with no recollection of what went on during the night, and as I moved through the day, it came back to me like an impending avalanche—bits of snow, ice, and rock falling in fragments and snapshots. With the sun, in light, you are negatives. Nothing close to the visceral positives that project themselves like a movie during sleep. You are pictures made entirely of brown hues and I don’t possess the eye to translate color. Does that burnt orange become green? Or is that the tone for blue? I spent the day trying to dye and stain the parts of you that had seeped into the photographic paper behind my eyes. Would you leave me a manual next time: Understanding the Language of Seeing in Sleep for Dummies?

I remember one particular moment from when you visited. We were standing in my new house, the adobe hut, but there was no roof. I was inspecting the kitchen or you were showing me the kitchen, and I lacked the muscle memory to maneuver through it like a dancer–the way cooking, gliding from stove to counter to pantry, is a waltz when you’re well-seasoned. I opened the thin drawer under the microwave, the drawer for all of the miscellaneous kitchenware–serving forks, 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 people call life when you’re not present. The translucent blue shaft of the flashlight illuminated the wiring inside the tube and it popped out against all the silver filling that drawer. The scissors Grandma gave me with black finger hooks made that flashlight seem like an artifact lost from a different time, like a time traveling flashlight or maybe a misplaced image from another dream or reality. This is all wrong I thought. I pushed the flashlight out of the way to reveal a forest green barbecue 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 bed with my eyes closed. Every morning I discover a new wrinkle in my forehead. I am too young for this. 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. They are pieces 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 prefer not to wake up anxious, my hand balled in a fist, all pins and needles, out of breath, feeling like I just ran away from myself or fell into a hole or lost my mind somewhere in my pillow.

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