Memories

“When you dream, it’s actually your memories coming back to say hello,” my mother cooed as my father pressed play on my pink radio. I could hear the Muppets getting ready to sing my favorite bedtime song, “Dream”, and my heart began to race. What memory would greet me tonight? Would I be able to remember it the next morning at breakfast?

Memories danced in this Dreamland and one by one, they all came to greet me. “Courtney, do you want to picnic with bears today?” A giant fluffy bear asked, with a picnic basket in his massive paw. We ate peanut butter and honey sandwiches while we watched the little cubs roll around. After a while, momma bear came out with a plate full of steaming scrambled eggs and toast. After three bites, a black and white cat darted over to me and ran off with a fluff of eggs hanging out of his mouth and a single piece of Christmas tinsel draped over his tail.

A roar of laughter came from three little bunnies as I jumped up to chase the cat, and suddenly I stood in my back yard with a hula hoop whirling around my waist. Dad cheered and mom clapped, and the wonderful smell of my great grandma’s fried bread filled the air. Grandma slept in the armchair while grandpa watched another marathon of Star Trek.

Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled and suddenly I was sitting on the front porch with Dad. Storm watching was always so much fun!

A light flooded my vision and I heard dad called “Court, time to get up and get ready for school!”

As I walked to the kitchen, heavy footed and all, my mom asked me how I slept. I beamed as I sat down and told her my many adventures in memory land.

All I heard as I waited at the bus stop were my parents calling, “dream big, little one”. At that moment I knew that everyday could be a wonderful adventure.

 

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Reset?

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Found this gem on Facebook, thank you to whoever posted this for the post inspiration.

If you were given the opportunity to reset your life, would you do it? This is a question I get asked a lot. I have many questions, but never the answer. Do I get to remember everything I’ve learned so far? Will I get to right my wrongs and still have a decent outcome in life? I guess now is the time to start thinking of the answer.

There are a few things in my life that I’m not proud of. I’m not proud of giving my all to people who didn’t give a damn if I was there or not, I’m not proud of quitting school when I was younger, and I’m certainly not proud of how I handle the stresses of everyday life. But would I really reset? This reminds me of a line from another great Spoken Word poet, Neil Hilborn, from his poem “The Future”. He says “I think a lot about killing myself, not like a point on a map, but rather like a glowing exit sign at a show that’s never been quite bad enough to make me want to leave”. Resetting your life is essentially killing the old you to make a new you, right? Or maybe that’s just my morbid thinking. Maybe this is why I love slam poetry, it makes the morbid thoughts of mine seem normal. Let’s get back to the main topic, shall we?

If I were to ever reset my life, how far would it take me back? Would I get to pick the age where my life started sliding into fuck town, or would it be an automatic reset of life in general? Would I get to choose my gender? That would be nice, not being a woman, but then I’d never have my son or the man who loves me today. But I’d be paid more and treated less ignorant than I currently am. Then again, I’d never be able to show emotion as a man without being told to “man up”, which leads me to another poet, and his “ten responses to the phrase man up”. The problem is, like Neil said, my life is a show that isn’t bad enough for me to leave. Despite how much I bitch and complain about my life, it’s never that bad. I don’t even think it’s that bad, at least the normal part of me. There is always one part that wants more. But what more could I have? Most people would kill for the job I have, or at least the pay. I have a very loving and accepting boyfriend who takes each and every break down in strides. You see, he isn’t used to someone like me, someone who can go from happy and content to sad and morbid in just a matter of days. He isn’t used to someone who’s mind thinks that everything will be fine, just as soon as you blow all of your money on things you don’t need. He now understands why I am so persistent on making sure all of the bills are paid, because if there is ever a moment I cannot control the constant nagging of my mind to do the dumbest shit, at least I’ll know we are set for that month. You see, he has dated normal girls before me. Now these girls danced dangerously over the line of ignorant and selfish, but they were normal none the less. Now that’s something I’d kill for – normality.

How many people do you know can’t go to a funeral of someone they don’t know? Well, if you came to this post not knowing anyone, you will leave knowing that I can’t. That’s right. Hypersensitivity is one of the WORST  things ever. I remember getting a call from my friend, begging me to come to another friend’s funeral, someone I had never met. She needed moral support, and more importantly a designated driver. I got ready, picked her up, and made the quiet drive to the funeral home. It took five minutes of being in the room, and I was whisked away by my own emotions. Tears streamed down my  face, my chest tightened, I felt like it was my best friend that died. Needless to say, my friend got upset. She couldn’t understand that I, being in the same room as roughly fifty distraught people was enough to send me over the edge.  That is a moment I would love to reset.

I struggle with my makeup, making sure it looks perfect. My sister sits next to me, talking me through each step. She smiles as I complete each step correctly, and she explains where I messed up. By the time I am finished, she is beaming. It was just a small amount of time spent with her, but I treasure it forever. Don’t take this away, Reset.

Or the time I came to my boyfriend now, when we first met, and told him I wasn’t ready for a relationship. I wasn’t ready for someone to treat me right, because at the time, I didn’t know I was worth being treated right. Hell let’s be honest, there’s still moments I don’t think I need to be treated right. But there’s something so special about someone who wakes up at 2:00 am when he should be sleeping to roll over and hug me tightly, no words spoken for a long time because he knows that all I need is to be held. He does this because he knows I can’t hold myself together, so once again he needs to be my glue. I wish I could tell him I get better. I wish I could tell him that this is the last time he needs to piece me back together after I have slowly destroyed myself from the inside out. This is a moment I wish I could reset.

My boyfriend and our children are preparing to head to the lake, and even though I can’t deal with cold water, I go with them. I haven’t smiled this much in a long time. Our children are the best behaved kids in the water, and we are still so much in love, much like the first time we met. Our fingers laced with our children’s, we floated there together, as if we were all slowly floating into space, dancing among the stars. I would not change this for the world.

My son comes home, throwing his backpack to the floor with such a high amount of sass that I am taken aback. I’ve noticed a pattern, this only happens on days that I have to leave before dinner is finished to go to work. He is angry at me, but I hope that one day he will understand, but until then he holds his anger inside. He learned this from me. He bites his tongue to drive the tears back to the deep well inside, but that well is about to overflow. He is only seven, but he is already learning how to numb himself. Part of me wants to pick up the phone and call work, telling them that I can’t come in because my son needs me, but they wouldn’t understand. I’d have a point against me, one less point to use when absolutely needed, and one day less that I may be able to pay the bills. Please let me reset.

I am standing on stage in my graduation cap and gown. My mother, father, boyfriend, son, sister, aunts, and uncle are silently holding their breath. This is a moment we all have waited for this moment. The announcer slowly says my name and I glide to the small black X located center stage. I hold my breath as the two people I’m standing in the middle of hand me my diploma. I finally did it. There are cheers from my family and I am shaking, fighting the happy tears. This is a moment to remember forever.

My father and I bond over a cup of coffee after he takes my child to the bus stop. We talk about life, or listen to The Beatles, or bake, or just sit in silence. I remember a time when I looked at him and said that I wanted to live with my mom, because I didn’t like the woman he married. I remember watching his eyes flash and pain replace them. I am not proud of myself. This man taught me how to be happy with what I have, how to love people for how they are, and because I didn’t like his current wife I am abandoning him. Perhaps that is why I’m afraid to start my own life, because I don’t want him to feel abandoned again. Please reset!

As you can tell, life is a mixture of happy and sad times. But for the life of me, I can’t find any reason to press the button. Resetting my life would mean killing every moment that has made me who I am. In some cases, resetting seems like a great idea, removing the extra stress on those I love. But they love me, and they would help lift the metaphoric boulder on my shoulders that I seem to feel that I need to carry. Resetting isn’t an option, moving forward is. And as Neil said: “I saw the future, I did. And in it…I was alive.” My future will not involve a reset button, because my memories and lessons need to be kept alive.

Enjoy “The Future” – my ultimate go to spoken word poem.

The Musk 

As I toss about in bed, unable to sleep, I clutch at your pillows. How I long for the moments we would go to bed at the same time, but we both know that we have to do what is needed for our family. 

As the tears threaten to free their blue-green prison, I catch it. The faint remains of your cologne dance along your pillows like a ballerina preforming a magical display. I inhale the musk, memories dancing in my head. I fall back to a time where I’d lay my head on your chest and your fingers would slip slowly through my hair, enticing the goosebumps to rise to the surface. You’d snicker and call me a whimp, playfully of course. I giggle as I fail to stifle a yawn. 

The musk lulls me to sleep and you are there in my dream. You stand proud in an impressive suit, your eyes dancing over me. I can’t understand why you are beaming like a child on Christmas until I look down. I’m donned in the most stunning of gowns, one that puts the Disney princesses to shame. I run to you, streets appearing beneath my feet and glass buildings appearing beside me. I turn to glance at the reflection in front of me and gasp. My hair is long, skin is glistening, and teeth are straight and close together. I am the picture of perfection with you by my side. 

You take my hand and we sway to music that only we can hear, in the middle of the busy streets. The drivers don’t honk for us to move, in fact, they take turns swerving around us. They create a protective barrier as we get lost in each other’s eyes. I rest my head against your shoulder, and there I am reacquainted with your wonderful musk. 

I fall deeper into the musk induced slumber, and the walls of our home begin building themselves. We are sitting on the porch, a hand built swing suspended from the beams of the porch. I watch our children play with their children in the sprinkler, while you tell stories of all the things you built for our home. The grandkids stop and giggle in tiny fits, exclaiming “don’t brag, papa!” I take your hand in mine and smile. We know the truth, every inch of this home was designed by you. 

As the dream fades to an end, I stretch and find myself in our bed, alone once more. I turn and take a deep breath, a smile breaking my lips. Even though I’m alone, you are still here. Your pillows were always my favorite, because of how well they preserved your scent. 

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