he runs on the couch and i panic. i see heads on hardwood floors and broken bones. i use my stern voice and he sits down quickly and then gets up and runs to the other side. as if i can't see him. this picture, in fact, was taken reflexively AS i was admonishing him to SITDOWNONYOURBOTTOM. but look at that photo. can you hear the laughter? cause i can.
there is so much i am afraid of. worries i stack up like cards and lay on my ribcage at night, folded. i sleep on my side and my arm falls asleep while my brain pretends. there are moments like this morning where i think i didn't sleep at all and that somehow i exited through the front door at two am and snuck back in hours later. i was everywhere and nowhere and it isn't until my daughter screams out in the middle of the night that i feel myself fall back into bed. the pillow soaked and the covers tangled.
my five year old has always cried out in her sleep. her dreams are vivid and sometimes downright terrifying. last night there was a fly and every time she tried to shoo it away, it bit her. i gave her a drink of water and covered her with blankets. her brother didn't even stir. i crawled back to my bed and thought of my own flies. my own bites. and i tried to will hers into my head. since i don't mind smashing them away. i tried to give her chocolate fountains and princess shoes and i like to convince myself that i have the power to sway her dreams when she doesn't wake again until morning.
last night was opening night for the show. my piece is heavy and pretty personal but it is something i feel very good about sharing. i always try to have a reason for sharing the real stuff, you know? not just a narcissistic need to be heard. i really believe that sharing our stories is something that matters. when it comes down to it, there are days when all that i am holding onto is the idea that i am not alone in this bullshit. and sometimes that means sharing our stories with each other, outside of our normal circles, and listening to each other. witnessing someone speaking their truth. perhaps it is because i grew up with secrets that i have a hard time living with them now. i like to air them out. give them fresh air. so that they don't multiply and decay and ruin the foundation of things.
this is my second round of this show. and i am unexpectedly emotional about the real and true feeling of community that has happened this time around. i can't really describe it just yet. it's scary. and liberating. and validating. and horribly vulnerable. basically, it is all the things that art really is. and it is always worth it. one end of the couch to the other.
*tickets for the show still available, fyi*