If the mind's a library and memories are books, overdue notices are those out-of-the-blue recollections that float through your days and dreams, all WTF?like. Do you want to return, renew or just keep the dang book because you've had it so long the fine would be more than the actual list price?
Last night I dreamed about one of my best friends from college, a biologist who, as I write this, may be in Kenya counting the rows of Os from which a lion's whisker grows. That's how scientists ID them, I remember her telling me the last time I saw her. I dreamed that we were going to take an exam in a class I hadn't attended all semester (You know those dreams? Sometimes you show up barefoot, too.), and she seemed positive I would pass. The night before that I dreamed about her college boyfriend (WTF? I told you!), and the last time I saw him was when I'd just gotten Bing, and I remember him saying how much fun it must be to have a kitten…
I've been dreaming about him, too. My therapist says it's not uncommon to dream someone to death as part of the grieving process, and I think that's what's happening. They're not sweet cameos of us together, but violent and desperate and confusing. In one dream I was about to be raped, and the attacker put Bing in a pink dresser drawer to get him out of the way. His cries kept me alive as I was beaten and hit and cut. I knew in the dream I would survive and rescue him--no physical pain could be worse than losing him. But geesh, who the heck wants a dream like that?! In another, there was some sort of disaster and I had to bring Bing and Derrick to safety. I dropped Derrick and he fell down the stairs, landing silently, still, in a snowpile.
More overdue notices: This morning I noticed that the ring I wear on my index finger, right hand, was broken. I'm not a big bauble person (unless the thing jingles, which likely means it's cheap), but I've worn this ring for, I don't know, 15 years. It was given to me by a beautiful and talented young friend who, just as she was in her freshman year in college, went into a coma. She remained so suspended for years, until she was taken off life support. The ring reminded me of life, only life, and her wonderful family and home, where I spent so much time during my teenage years.
What does it mean that the ring broke? I don't know. This morning I was all doomsday about it, but maybe I don't have to bring the book back after all. Maybe this isn't about letting go off the past, but of letting go of what you think you're supposed to let go of.
P.S. Excuse the mostly depressing musical accompaniment, selected earlier but still killer, doncha think?