In Newport I sleep in Beth’s basement which is actually her garage, which has no electric and no heat. The sleeping bag is arctic and keeps me warm and the couch down there is the one I slept so well on the fall I came up from Humboldt for Thanksgiving. So I look forward to it and then when it finally comes and it’s time to sleep I am a little surprised by Monday when I wake up and after the long weekend eight hours is normal again. I feel good, the way only well-rested nights round out your body from within.
I wake up from a dream and the sky is blue. It is October near the end so that’s not normal here. I was in a front pew or actually the fourth row back at the Catholic church. It was me and no one I knew but I was in St. Catherine’s and happy to be there and from what I recall the people all knew me or at least knew my face, and I seemed to know them somehow, too. When Mass was over I was in an alley of bricks and sunlight and Cynthia was there and the woman with short wirey grey hair and glasses and a soft, kind look was continuing a message about the mass, and I wrote to Cynthia on a piece of paper about the church disowning my power as a woman and something about the feminist movement but she couldn’t read my writing. Then this woman was trying to teach me what was at the core of the Catholic teaching for that week and what she came out with was this example of me having to pretend to be talking to a friend, which I pretended was Cashour, and what was she saying? And first she was talking about a guy and then about her girlfriend who was in trouble and the whole thing of it, the lesson, was about empathy, which I laughed and said I know that I study psychology and the lady, kindly, but with the kind of exasperation which said I clearly hate this part of the job or maybe I am too old for this wouldn’t relate that it was empathy we needed in order to practice the way of Jesus but just wanted to make sure I got that we had to understand one another, to meet people where they are at. Then out the window Sean G is there and now I am in a corridor for jail, an in the reception area, and I am talking with people about when he will get out, maybe it is my mom? And where he will stay? And Mandy is there and I am showing Sean pictures of her kids and Mandy is moved by the fact that I have a recent one in my wallet. And I assume she will take care of him but she is like hu-uhhh no way I have a man now, but in that relaxed reserved way that since she’s become a mom says I don’t engage.
And then I am at a big house, it is in a neighborhood and there is a long curved driveway and out the window we see that Sean is walking up, and he has no place to stay. And I am bummed, truly pissed, to have to take care of him and handle this but also kinda stoked because we will get to have sex. But then what about Josh Mudd Josh, if I sleep with Sean can I still sleep with him? And I am pissed again that Mandy can’t help me handle this, and at one point I seem to think there is a car load of them from back then on a corner of a backroad in the woods and Jeremiah is there, and Brad? But all I know is next we walk in to this bar which is “downtown” and there they all are, Serio and Brad and Hill and Donald Johnson, and Byron and Steve D and Hupman all of them with big, manly bodies and all grown up. Keith is there with Ashleigh, Steve is there with pictures of his kid. And Starkey, and there is a circle on the floor of people just talking and catching up. It is Christmas time and dead in this small, cozy town and people are arriving, they are all there and happy to be there and Katrina walks in in a red dress sort of like her Halloween costume and she is excited to know everyone and get to settle down. I want to follow her to introduce her to everyone but she seems to handle it just fine and I get stopped by this middle aged woman that everyone everyone everyone seems to know, and respect, and she is very… ordinary but strong, with power, and people get that she is a center, a coordinator of their social affairs. She reminds me of having old school punk rock stature. She wears glasses and is maybe a younger version, with the same short hair but not as grey, as the lady teaching me in church.
My mom and some of my girlfriends, Cynthia? Cashour, Mandy? Are at the corner of the bar and I hug Calvin who is really Donald, then Steve, and Steve picks me way up and kisses me but I fight it at first because of my mom and then give in. We kiss a lovely, gentle kiss and I feel warm and safe and good about it and he lays me down on a table and Donald starts rubbing my feet. I want to kiss a long while and am excited that it is my party and I can kiss all the guys I want, and then Steve and I are done and he lifts me back up and no one cares about this kiss, it is still warm and happy and welcoming and peaceful having everyone there, but also people are getting ready to leave and I am disappointed by this, then Annie texts me that she will be in Newport today but that Kaya has a game at 6 in Waldport and this is in real life and so there is a ding from the phone and I wake up.
And I don’t want to meditate, or spend all the energy having to write this dream down, this part of the story where we all turn out ok. It is sunny and cold out on the Oregon coast and all of that is many years ago and what is real is my life out West, there are friends here I have had now for 8 years, Brandon’s ex-step sister in law that I am trying to see because I feel a magnet to her in my heart these past two months, and also Derynne and Nici and the kids and other girls down in HB. Seeing Serena this weekend for the music fest in town. Hoping I can pay my rent this week but not caring if I do or can’t, bc it is temporary this cash crisis even though it triggers all my safety issues I hold way, way deep down from when dad first left and what a woman can and can not do without a man. And I am scared, it is the turn of October, the last part of widdershins and a Mercury Retro and I don’t want to look any further within, don’t want to look at any of this but also feel all these walls like so much sand just running and folding and pouring in and how like water consistent they just break me down. And more than anything I want to hitch inland a couple miles, up the river, and hike in to the coast ranges where it is finally so, so quiet and I can truly, really, breathe. And I want to find a cabin and write and also backpack a long long time through the forest and up some mountains on my own. But I am older now and know the time will come for these things, and for the first time ever understand this as an urge to be related to and comfortable with as an important part of me, not so sharp and extreme so that in all other areas I say fuck it and for this one driving need of green impulse call everything else quits. I don’t know what this means other than I have to go, I have to go back, I have to do this without interruption, this real work and breaking apart all the back thens that live inside and haunt or sleep quiet in blinded parts of me. And the money and the men and the wound of archetypal mother, the quiet treasure box in yesterday’s meditation that I got to get to because of Ben. How do I get to that for what it is, what is inside of it, are they pearls not meant to be given out before swine, or is it a box of fools gold that keeps me locked down there, trying to protect something and missing my life all along, out of a ignorant belief in a false need that this is actually how to be and always stay safe, protecting something that, other than an empty fear, isn’t even there?