Dream Journal Entry #1 — Thursday, April 6, 2017 (forecast: gloomy & rainy)

I just woke up from the strangest dream.

My friends, Irene and Danielle, are with me on a road trip. I am driving, Irene is next to me in the middle, and Danielle is by the passenger window. Somehow all three of us fit up front. We are having fun and singing along to the radio as we reach a long bridge that looks like the Golden Gate, but is black in color. It is almost nighttime and the mist around us is thickening so much that we can't see anything more than 10 feet in front of us. The gray clouds overhead is swirling endlessly; a storm is brewing. We are the only car on the road and we joke that it feels like we are in Harry Potter.


We cross the bridge and decide to stop for the night at a small, locally run B&B that we happen to drive by. There is a medium-sized front yard that is neglected and overgrown. The entire property is surrounded by an unpainted wooden fence and a thicket of barren trees. A frail-looking old woman with severely hunched shoulders greet us at the door, as if she has been expecting us all along. Her sunken eyes and sagging face give her the appearance of a very aged bloodhound. She beckons us over but doesn't say anything, and we follow her inside in good spirits.

While the outside of the house is rundown, the inside is opulent and well-decorated. There are great, life-sized oil paintings of old people all throughout the wallpapered walls. We have dinner on the floor in the lobby (next to a fireplace, which is the only light) and talk about where we would like to go next. We decide on a ramen place called Ramen Nagasaki in New Brunswick. I start to feel very tired because I had been driving all day and decide to turn in for the night.


The old lady who runs the place takes me to my room through a long, dark hallway. She is quiet and I can't see her face in the shadows. The room we enter is a traditional Japanese-style bedroom with tatami mats. The room is very small (just a little bigger than a walk-in closet), dimly lit, and completely empty. As the woman leaves, I start to lay down on the mats to sleep when I notice the walls moving strangely. I sit up to investigate. I touch the walls and realize they are actually very heavy, decorated drapes made to look like walls. I push the drapes aside and peek into the room next to me. It is completely dark, but I can see what seems to be the glow of a cat's eyes. Before I can pull away, the eyes spot me and the animal walks into my room. I try to pet it, but it hisses at me and I suddenly see that it is not a cat, but some malnourished kind of feral animal. I sidestep it and push the drapes back further to let some light in. I see a full-grown tiger just laying there... we make eye-contact— but its eyes are not the same eyes I saw before— and I suddenly have the strongest feeling of dread and unease. 


I rush back to Irene and Danielle, who are still chatting by the fireplace in the lobby and tell them about my uneasy feelings. I beg for us to leave. They are reluctant— it is very late, we are all tired, and they think my imagination is just getting the better of me. I tell them I will pay for a proper hotel for all of us and they start packing... really slowly. The bad feeling gets worse. I beg them to hurry up before the old woman notices us leaving. 


I dash to my car parked outside the front yard, turn on the engine, and desperately wait inside with the doors locked. I drive up to the fence and wait for my friends. By this time, it is raining heavily. After a few minutes, I see them on my rearview mirror, sitting on the stairs of the front porch, talking. 


I reverse the car back to the front of the house and yell at them to get the fuck inside. They don't understand why I am panicking. Suddenly we hear the old woman shrieking from inside the house. I yell at my friends to get in over the thunder, lightning, and shrieking. It is loud chaos. They get in, we lock the doors, and bust through the fence out of there just as another car pulls up to the B&B. We don't care— we're gunning it. 


As we are crossing the foggy bridge again, the sky begins to clear. Danielle pulls out a gold bracelet she found in the old lady's house. I tell her to toss it ASAP because it might be cursed. She listens to me this time, lowers her window, and flings the bracelet out over the bridge. It falls into the ocean below. We are back to the beginning— a happy roadtrip. I wake up.

End of dream.

Written on October 28th, 2020.

This horrible year is almost over. How should I begin?


This year, I lost my job and my 3-year relationship and was forced to move out of our shared home. I stayed in Ohio despite my friends' and family's concerns. I think part of me hoped for some reconciliation... but that was in April. It is already October. I feel lonelier by the day.


But a lot has happened. This year, I worked at two different jobs. I adopted Milo, my sweet dog. I moved into my very own place - a tiny house with a tiny yard (and no, I don't own it, I'm still renting!) ... but it's my first place without roommates. I joined boxing, I had a cookout, I learned how to crochet, and I started to drink "diet" drinks!


The months are flying by. In three days, it'll be Halloween. And next week, election day. I worry a lot about where my life is heading, but at the same time, I want to take it slow and step back. Some nights I still cry. Some nights I can't sleep.


But I think slowly, very slowly, I am learning how to stand on my own two feet. I won't deny that I feel scared sometimes... but this is the first time in months that I've written anything down. That must count for something?


I wonder what kind of person I am now? I often think about how my choices have helped shaped my life to be what it is today. Had I chosen a different path, would I have been a happier person? Or is my pain necessary for a growth that needed to happen? An extreme and belated growing pain.


I know it's going to be a long, cold, lonely winter. I'm dreading it like never before... I usually love this time of the year, when leaves are turning red and brown and the air starts nipping at your ears. But this year, I think, will be quite lonely.


In other news, my next-door neighbor, Brittany, came over last night for a drink. Her husband, Chris, walked out on her and their kids... it sounded like it was a long time coming, judging by their text conversations that she read to me in my living room. Perhaps there is something positive to be said about being single after all. I am beyond thankful, at least, that no children were involved in my case.

Snow like a thick quilt

Icicles like crystal bunting

The sun like a tattoo in the sky.

In a sea of happy single people

why am I sadly committed

sitting alone in a frozen house

where time has stilled

and my beating heart

the only thing moving on

this February Saturday,

like a seed that's been planted

and my legs rooted to this place

and my arms outstretched for eternity

fruitless and withering away 

the foliage of my youth turns gray

growing older but never wiser

in these twelve seasons waiting

for someone to cut me down.