The last few times I’ve been out of town for longer than one night, I’ve had the same recurring nightmare. I dream that I come home, pull up to the house, and discover that it’s a smoldering ruin – a rubble heap from which I can salvage nothing. In the dream, I stand there, wondering why I didn’t pack more clothes, since now all I own is what’s in the car.
It happened again this trip – as I lay in the cold bedroom on the lumpy twin bed, I tossed and turned, repeatedly waking up my sister who snapped on night two and suggested that I might be more comfortable on the floor in the living room (the couch was taken up by the other sister).
I know that it’s just a dream, but it’s an exceptionally vivid one, and always carries over into my waking life – I just can’t shake the imagery, and to drive it out of my brain, I do things like write stupid haikus (see yesterday’s post), and make a valiant (yet invariably unsuccessful) attempt to finish the New York Times crossword.
None of it seems to work, though. I spend the last day of every trip with this grinding, irrational anxiety gnawing at me.
Sure enough, when I got home, everything was intact, and the only catastrophe was a very angry cat – she’d eaten her food ration too quickly and had an empty bowl.
It’s good to be home.