This morning I woke at four am, dizzied and lost. Those first few moments, when I reach for consciousness from the depths of sleep, always are the scariest for me. I don’t acclimate to reality from dreaming well. Maybe that’s why this summer has been so harrowing on my spirit. I suffer from terrible night terrors. I shoot up from my bed, gasping for air, grabbing my heart, afraid that I am dead. My friends all know this. I warn them. I tell them that if I wake up like this, the only way to remedy it is to just comfort me: hug me, tell me I’m not dead, that I’m safe. At some point in the summer these terrors stopped happening — actually though, that’s something I can’t be entirely sure about. I’m not fully conscious when they happen, people usually have to tell me I do this. This is the first summer I’ve slept a majority of nights alone.
However, on mornings like today, when a night terror is not what wakes me before my alarm, a different type of anxiety sets in. It’s as if all my history, all my past attack me at once. I’m a little girl, a teenager, a young twenty year old, and a girl in her mid-twenties all at once. This rush, this flooding of memories — good and bad— overwhelms me. I’ve lived many lives. They used to all be sharply separated, but lately all those lines are blurring. Things from different pasts are recurring at the same time, different selves simultanously arising. I’m not writing at all, especially in my journal. Maybe all the different selves are trying to reconcile with one another, trying to move on into a richer, deeper, and stable woman. That’s not how it felt this morning, though. Maybe what I experienced this morning was Holly Golightly’s “Mean Reds.”
Maybe I should grab a croissant, put on black gloves, round sunglasses, and a tiara and enjoy a breakfast at Tiffany’s to calm me down. Maybe, Maybe, Maybe. It’s useful being top banana in the shock department and I am living in a small apartment with my cat. & We belong to no one, not even to each other.