A long dream in which my brother and I are being tested for an anti-social disorder which means we will be separated from our parents and forced to live in a group home. The group home sort of a shares a backyard with my cousin Donna’s house across the way. I am filling out my survey and my brother’s, as he is too nervous to do his own. “You’re in more trouble,” a woman tells me, because I am 26, and that means I am judged to be more anti-social by default, because I should be settled down by now. After the testing and some swimming in a pool that actually belongs to Donna and her husband, I am taken to a pseudo-conference room with stadium seating to take another test, and Claire is there, and we both already know each other, so we have a lot of fun together. The test-giver woman is not appreciative when Claire cranes to get a better view of something and stands on the desk, so we are moved to the back, where the rest of the people I would call friends are. How can I be anti-social when I have so many friends? I think. We are then handed diaries that are not ours. Our parents all dug out our high school diaries and gave them to this program to fix us, I guess? And now we are being handed each others’ diaries with the explanation that if you look you will find mean things about yourself, so the friendship will be undermined. We all make a point of accepting the diaries, pointed looking only at the covers, and then handing them back. Afterward I do get to see my own diary, which apparently had bad things about Robyn in it, and cannot find anything unflattering. I do find a note from my parents hoping I come back normal. Kathy and I are separated from the group again to go to a different section because we have been judged worse than everyone else, somehow. We go to the new section, which is clearly a person’s living room high in the mountains, and try to plan an escape.
I live in a city—apparently New York based on something said later—and wherever I go I see the mob killing people. It’s always someone trying to get into a cab, and then the mob shows up and says, you can take our car instead, and then the person is like “nah, no thanks” and then the mob threatens to shoot them and then the person gets in the car and the person is on the news that night, dead.
I am walking down what looks like Walnut Street in Philadelphia but way, way taller, when this happens again as I sit at an outdoor cafe. The man this time refuses to get in the car, and is threatened with a knife. A cop is watching the whole proceeding and comes over. The mob guy slits the officer’s throat in public and everyone runs screaming away. I go into a thrift shop and start to pull everyone into a backroom to lock up but a lot of the employees just look bored and there is a class of Chinese children being taught English and no one cares either. Meanwhile I am literally pulling people into this stockroom and trying to secure all the doors before I realize there is a whole in the wall in the back and there is a guy coming in the next day to fix it. Ben, one of the employees, sits with me in the back but is called up to the register. “He’s not coming!” I yell up, and the person yells back that he’s getting a warning. Ben gives me a look of “What can I do?” and goes up the register. Emily, a girl who is as equally terrified as I am, asks what happened, because she didn’t see, because she was in this shop, but it’s not as good as her favorite, which moved to Red Hook. The dream ends when my alarm goes off.
11:50 am • 8 March 2013
A very long and convoluted dream and what I remember of it is this: there are a series of murders going around and only partway through the dream do I realize I am the one committing them. There is a pattern to the murders and the investigators have figured out the next potential victim and so there is a friend of mine, a man created for this dream, who is guarding the potential victim, who is also a friend. I arrive to go see her and accidentally drop a package of floss, which was something that the killer was known to leave at crime scenes and my guarding friend and I stared each other down before I lied about it poorly and we parted ways knowing he knew.
On New Year’s Eve I killed him anyway though.
1:16 pm • 31 January 2013
I get an email that sounds like spam. “Ms. Ewing,” it reads, “we heard you…”
There is a school in New Zealand offering me everything I have ever wanted. School, for free, and money besides. Just say yes, they tell me. We want you.
And I say yes, no hesitation, until the day before I am to board the plane, when I wonder why I signed up for this, why New Zealand, why so far away, won’t I be lonely, won’t they all fall apart without me—
My mother makes me get on the plane anyway, and when I arrive I am the happiest I have ever been.
3:35 am • 10 January 2013 • 1 note
At our wedding, I am speaking into a microphone and getting teary, the lump in my throat hard to talk around, and you are all I can see at this reception, you, trying not to cry.
“And if I could just,” I try to say, “if I could just make you a tenth as happy as you’ve made me”—I am sobbing—“I would never forgive myself for not making you happier, but you would still be the second happiest person in the entire world. And I know it’s going to be hard, and it won’t be easy, but I can’t think of anyone else in the world I would rather hate sometimes, because there isn’t anyone else in the world I would rather try this with. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you so much.”
And you’re crying too in a much less ridiculous way and my heart is just collapsing under the weight of how much it is feeling and what a way, what a way to go.
4:47 am • 2 January 2013 • 5 notes
July 25, 2010
“I don’t really know what I’m doing,” I tell her, nervous, trying my best not to look at my feet while I say this. My chest clenches. It is difficult to breathe.
She just waits, and I can’t tell if she’s being patient or if she’s uninterested.
“I like you,” I say. My face is flushing. “I like you a lot, and I think you like me too. I dumped Peter, and he asked me if there was someone else, and I told him there could be, and I want there to be. I dumped him for you, and if you don’t like me, I get it, but I like you, and I want this to work.” I feel like passing out.
But she smiles, and everything is better.
In the summer, we stay in town for Canada Day, and then spend a day nursing hangovers before coming home. My mother will kill me when I come home for Independence Day on a motorcycle, but as she weaves us south, my arms clutching around her waist, it’s worth it.
4:09 pm • 27 July 2010 • 1 note
July 24, 2010
In Paris, at community college, with the cast of the show Community, and a few additional characters like myself, and a rather unfriendly older black gentleman, and a woman I used to work with, who looked like a teacher of special education who was secretly evil. Every day, late for class, running into the center of the city, which is grey and rainy all the time, to get to class in one of the legs of the Eiffel Tower.
1:07 pm • 27 July 2010 • 1 note
April 24, 2010
Am supposed to meet with Kathy for dinner at a restaurant, but I am walking to King of Prussia, and I end up forty minutes late. Rekha is there, by surprise, but they have eaten without me, and I am not allowed in the restaurant anyway, for I am a mess, and I missed my reservation, and the restaurant is crowded. Two old friends are outside, also not allowed in, and I talk with them a little, but feel out of place, as the conversation gets more awkward and stilted. We go to get ice cream instead, and when we come back to the restaurant it is night and Kathy and Rekha have gone. I slowly walk back. Then Kathy reappears, picking me up, offering me a ride home, and we are driving these summery backroads near Hillside, which is suddenly on a mountain within a valley. We drive up, climb up jungle gyms to get inside, and the school is an empty red castle, and we sit at the windows, looking down at the people moving like ants.
10:05 am • 27 July 2010
April 18, 2010
At school, in class about American history taught by old linguistics professor. I have been cutting class for weeks, all of March, because it’s mostly useless lecture stuff, but I feel weird to be going back, only to find the class I am returning to is a day of working out wizard duels, because apparently Benjamin Franklin and Harry Potter fought in history. Meredith is there, and she tells me it’s important at these things to choose who you root for beforehand, and I can think of no one in Harry Potter I care about until I realize I like Luna, so I choose Luna. Meredith is also rooting for Luna. We are watching the duels outside that first hospital in America out on Pine Street, and feeling lame. Britt is there, cheering.
I leave early, climb the smoky stairs, and outside, on a tiny Philadelphia street, surrounded by brick, I run into my father, and we start looking for places to brunch.
7:02 am • 27 July 2010