I’m tired today. Tired and stressed….so much work to be done and no time to do it (so I’m going to sit here and waste 30 min on a blog post….haha. Grainne-logic.) I do need to get my head on straight though and this dream I had earlier this week will not stop playing on repeat in my brain. Might as well write it out and free it from my head for a while.
The medication I’m taking to stay awake through the day is still working fairly well. Some days the *tired* creeps up on me but it’s not a daily happening. I’ve been crashing early again…like before dinner early….but I think that’s stress from work mixed in with the change of seasons. I love the fall but this time of year makes my bones ache so bad I want to rip my entire spine out of my body just for a break from the pain. Anyway….dreams. The days are okay and the nights are a bizarre mix of dreams, nightmares, suffocating, endless REM cycles and dreams where I think I’m awake but I’m not. The dream I can’t let go of was one of those dreams.
**DREAM – (although I didn’t think it was a dream at the time) STARTS HERE**
The other night I thought I heard someone (something….) screaming outside my house. It sounded like a wild animal….maybe a bobcat? Sometimes the sound was human but not a noise I’ve heard any actual human being make, and then it started to sound like a little girl. It was 4 am when I checked my phone so I got up to see if I could see what was going on.
I went to the window and then to the monitor that shows our security cameras that have night-vision lenses. (Yes, they are as cool as they sound. Dayne works with this stuff so we get to play with lots of fun new cameras and security systems as he tests their capabilities out before introducing them to his customers). There was nothing on the camera at all….not even little bugs flying by, which was odd because they are always triggering our cameras to record their little light trails as they zip by in the dark.
“Grainne? What are you doing babe?” Dayne’s voice said to me, out of absolutely nowhere.
I jumped a full foot in the air and spun around to face him but he wasn’t there. Strange. I listened carefully, now fully triggered with senses on fire; I could hear e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g suddenly. The fridge, the fan on the laptop from Colt’s room across the house, the fan in our room, the water heater and furnace kicking softly on, the electricity in the wires in the walls…..
“Dayne?” I called. It was much louder than I had meant to speak and the sound of my own voice startled me.
*Scream* – far off, outside, sounding more panicked than before.
I crept down the hallway back to the dark bedroom, peeked in on Colt as I passed to find him sleeping fitfully all tangled up in his blankets the way he is most comfortable, and walked into our bedroom. Dayne was sound asleep in bed. I touched his foot and called his name but he only wiggled away from me, rolled to his other side and resumed his deep breathing rhythm.
Huh. “Must be hearing things….” I whispered aloud to myself when I heard the scream from outside again, only this time it sounded like it was right outside my bedroom window. Something rustled in the lilac bush on the other side of the window and a hand reached up toward the window screen, as if to pull it off by the little plastic tab that was (for some strange reason) on the outside rather than on the inside.
“Dayne!” I shrieked, shaking him now, panicking and trying to figure out how to get the fuck out of there without leaving Dayne to be murdered by the screaming would-be intruder (or the one causing the screams which was an even scarier thought that flashed through my brain).
I couldn’t get Dayne to wake up so I ran to Colt’s room to rouse him, at least get him to safety. I had a plan to get him into my car and lock the doors with the key fob and then return to get Dayne out of harm’s way. As I left the bedroom I heard Dayne again, right in my ear. “Grainne. I’m right here. It’s okay babe….everything is okay.”
I froze in fear. I was looking directly at his sleeping form on the bed. The hand outside had left the window but I didn’t know where it had gone or, for that matter, what sort of creature it belonged to, but worse than that was the confusion that overwhelmed me as I stared at Dayne lying in bed, sound asleep, while I could clearly hear him talking in my ear.
I crept closer, studying his sleeping face; watching for movement. “Babe? Grainne? Come on back to bed.” He said with not a single movement aside from the rise and fall of his chest as he inhaled and exhaled.
“Dayne?” I answered. “Where are you?”
“I’m right here beside you. Come on now….it’s time to sleep, let’s go back to bed.”
I was now standing directly beside his head, bent over at the waist, staring at his lips from 2 inches away. “I don’t understand…..I kept hearing this screaming….” I said.
Still close enough to him to exchange breath, I jumped when his eyes suddenly flew open and widened to an unnatural shape and size. I stood up and stepped back and, as if attached to my body with string, his limbs mimicked mine as he lay there. His eyes rolled back into his head his mouth movements synced with mine when I spoke, only no words came out. “What the hell is going on?” I cried out, terrified now, as he lip-synced my words and expressions.
I heard a noise behind us and spun, afraid it was whatever had been trying to get in the window earlier, but exhaled when I saw it was just Colt. He was standing in the doorway, white as a ghost. Dayne was twisted up like a pretzel on the bed, limbs following mine even though he was not standing, blankets getting knotted and wrapped around him as he moved.
“Mom?” Colt said in a quiet voice.
When I looked at him, I opened my mouth to answer but the words came out in a scream; the same scream I’d been hearing outside only it was coming from my own throat. I couldn’t stop it once it started.
“Mom!” Colt yelled above the racket I was making, hands clamped over his ears.
“Grainne! What’s going on?” Dayne yelled, fighting the blankets that seemed to be holding him back, trapping him where he lay.
The scream tore out of me until I ran out of breath and then kept going, pulling everything from my body once there was no air. I tried to stop and breathe in but it wouldn’t let me and I started to panic, clawing at my face to break the noise my body was making. My heart started to slow and my lungs were burning for air, pulsing inside my chest, diaphragm in painful spasms, body starting to curl in on itself as the oxygen faded from my blood. Dizziness overtook me and I fell to the floor, still screaming even though my body was no longer capable of sound.
I felt the last spark of life leave me and everything faded into blackness; my vision gone, my senses numbed and sending incoherent signals to my oxygen starved brain. As I slipped away, I no longer felt any pain or fear but I could still hear the scream ringing in the background, drowning out everything else. My heart stopped in my chest and I felt the blood slow to a stop in my vessels but still, that scream was still sounding. My very last thought was that it wasn’t my body, but my soul that was screaming….and then I wondered what came next.
**DREAM ENDS HERE**
A moment of blackness was abruptly broken as I felt myself being roused from sleep. I opened my eyes to find Dayne beside me in bed, eyes open and full of concern.
“Babe I’ve been trying to wake you for nearly 30 minutes! You were scaring me this time. What in the world was making you scream like that?”
I was too afraid to answer. I didn’t want to find out I was still dreaming so I just shook my head, turned to my other side, flipped my sweat/tear soaked pillow to the dry side and curled up in my blankets so tight I could barely move, hoping to keep myself safe until morning.
I was a Dairy Queen yesterday evening with Colt and Dayne to order Colt’s ice cream cake for his birthday. We always get an 8 inch cake (feeds 8-10 lol!) and we all have a slice on his birthday and put the rest in the freezer. Colt will have ice cream cake desert for the entire next week, which he looks so forward to and savours each year. Dairy Queen, if you’re not familiar, is a fast food restaurant who specializes in incredibly delicious ice cream, sundaes and other frozen treats like ice cream blended with chocolate bars, M&M’s, brownies, cheesecake etc. Everything there is delicious. My favourite is their plain vanilla soft serve ice cream dipped in a chocolate syrup that hardens instantly into a shell….mmm. So good.
We arrived around 7 pm and there was one couple ahead of us in line….nice and quiet for a hot summer evening. Ordering the cake only took a few moments as we are picking it up tomorrow so they only needed our preferences (strawberry ice cream with a cheesecake and fresh strawberry middle layer with more strawberry on the bottom. *drools*). We ordered a treat each and then settled in to wait…for some reason, they always seem under staffed at these stores and each item takes a long time to prepare so it’s always a bit of a test in patience, ordering there. We were waiting while they rang in the next people and, as the number of customers who had paid and were now awaiting their ice cream grew, we all shuffled around to make more space at the counter. Dayne poked me and leaned in.
“I think that woman over there is plotting to kill you.”
I looked in the direction he had nodded and met the eyes of a woman in her 50’s, very conservative looking and very much in keeping with the sort of people who live in that end of town. (We went to the DQ in the north end where all the gated communities are and where the doctors, successful business owners and University alumni build their enormous homes). The moment I met her eyes, she dropped hers, but the mask of contempt, of offence and judgement was well maintained.
“She must not approve of choice in ice cream.” Dayne whispered, making me laugh.
I get this sort of thing quite a bit out in public. I am professional at work and the only ink that shows is my falcon (on my left arm), my ankle piece (if I’m wearing sandals) and, occasionally, a few of the orange/red maple leaves on my shoulders if I happen to have a sleeveless top on. My jewelry is all gauged but I choose subtle designs, like hoops with metallic captive balls and my only facial piercing is a small, plain silver nose ring. When I’m off, I don’t bother with sensible cardigans and hair styles that shield even more of my style, and last night, I was all out there. I had on a black dress with red, green and yellow stripes at the hem, a black velvet choker-style necklace, and my newly brightened red and black hair half up and half down. My ears were uncovered by hair, my back piece was almost entirely exposed by the low back of the dress, and when I walked, the hem would shift to expose the bottom of one piece on my right thigh and the entirety of the left (on the outside of my leg, just above my knee). I also had on my kick-ass five-inch black Guess wedges. I felt so comfortable and so very much in tune with myself.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do realize that when I present myself in that way, people are going to notice. Some will like the way I look and will tell me; some will like it and say nothing; some will think me a freak and wonder what could have possibly compelled me to do these things to my body; some will dislike it very much and will tell me so and, finally, some will silently seethed in judgement from across the room and loud-whisper insults to someone else, making sure I hear them without having to actually speak to me. ALL of the above reactions are just fine by me. It took me a long time to figure out that it was up to nobody but myself, how I presented to the world. I love my style and the art I wear on my skin and the opinions of a stranger in a DQ line mean very little and do not influence my taste in the least. Maybe that’s what pissed her off so much.
She stood there, several feet away, glaring daggers into my back for the entire time we were there waiting for our order. I could see veins pulsing at her temples, as if her entire face was clenched in the effort to keep her annoyance and anger to herself. I smiled every time I looked at her but it only made her dislike me more.
“Grainne, stop it.” Dayne said, trying not to smile himself.
I then went over to where Colt was sitting and we chatted for a few moments. I wanted her to know I had a kid. I actually contemplated telling her I was a lesbian and had my clit pierced (lol….no, I don’t actually have any genital piercings) just to watch her erupt but decided it would be a not-so-great lesson for Colt so, just continued to smile and wait. She barely took her eyes off me. Our order was finally called and I went up to rejoin Dayne at the counter. The angry lady was now only a person or away from me and when I looked at her again, and smiled, she shook her head, mouth set into a tight sneer, and doubled the intensity of her glare.
“Disgusting!” She muttered, eyes flicking off to the side as she spoke the word.
Colt, having picked up on the outright aggression flowing my way, put his arm around me protectively.
“Why is that lady angry with you?” He asked.
She immediately turned from us, having been called out in front of a now very long line of customers.
“I don’t think she likes the way I look, Colt. Some people are just like that in the world. All you can do is smile and remember to be yourself, no matter what people like that say.”
(I enjoyed that more than I should have)
“It’s okay mom. Sometimes people don’t like me because I’m different too.” He gave me a hug.
I’m not sure if she realized he was autistic but the look of pride shining in Dayne’s eyes would have told the story had she glanced his way.
I generally won’t pick a fight over things like this because, as I said earlier, it really doesn’t bother me when people disagree with my ink or presentation as a whole. That I had the opportunity to turn the experience into a life-lesson for my son was a great thing, but watching that smug look drop from that woman’s face was the best part. She turned to watch us walk out and I caught her eye long enough to wink at her as I passed the store on the outside through the window and then I giggled all the way home.
What a world eh? There are SO many things out there that people could spend their energy focused on that would make a positive difference in the lives of others, and yet so many people choose to focus on the insignificant things that irritate them personally and use that focus to try to bring other people down. If people would just choose to hold each other UP, being Human would mean something entirely different.
Anyway – here’s some shots of my ink for my newer readers – so you can see what caused this stranger such displeasure while she waited for her ice cream on a hot summer evening.
Okay, NOW I feel like I’ve had a break from work. I still won’t allow myself to dwell on that work that is currently not getting done and will be awaiting me upon my return next Monday and it’s working pretty well. Today, I have done absolutely nothing. I got up, took meds, got the boy some fresh strawberries for breakfast and then played on my phone and laptop until this moment, and it’s 325 in the afternoon. I have to get Dayne’s nice pants and shirt ready as he has an interview tonight after work but I have time for that yet. I think they are all hung up and ready to go so there won’t be much to do but lay them out for him. (He’ll have about twenty minutes turn around between getting home and getting to his interview. Might end up having to deliver his clothes to him and waiting for him until his interview is done so he can collect his work truck and get home for the night. He’s taking Thursday and Friday off so we’ll have a nice long weekend between us. It’s Colt’s birthday this weekend so we’re planning on enjoying whatever he wants to do with his day. So far we have been requested to: Decorate the living room for when he wakes up but ONLY the lining room and not too much; out for breakfast to the local joint that makes the best waffles I’ve ever tasted – and now that all the local produce is ready and fresh, they will be spectacular!; A visit to a little park with monster slides and a water/splash pad thing (which he doesn’t really like much) and a huge bouncy, inflated trampoline (that he adores); Then, back home for dinner, presents and ice cream cake. As long as I promise not to sing too loud, decorate too much, or get too excited, he’s good to go. lol…
Colt spent last week diligently creating little paper puppets he’s drawn by hand and cut out of artist sketch paper. There’s a video series he is addicted to on YouTube called “Object Wars” which is a crudely homemade version of “Survivor” with …well…objects. There’s “Notebook” and “Fridge” and “Can of soda”…..very simple idea, and the viewers vote on who gets eliminated each week as they go through contests and such. He decided he wanted to make his own, since the next episode was taking too long to come out, and I’m super impressed by his handiwork. They are really cute, very expressive and their little faces are all unique and convey clear emotions and personalities. It’s been really cool watching the process of him creating something he’s not only having fun with, but is happy with. Colt never liked to create things because he could never get them to come out the way he wanted them to. If it didn’t look like a HD photo of a school bus when he was done with his crayons in Kindergarten, he was done, it got ripped into shreds and was never attempted again. These days, he’s so patient and careful….creative. It’s been wonderful to be a part of.
I got an email the other day from a friend at work who is turning 40 in September and he has been struggling with it. My turn was last year so I’ve had plenty of time to settle into the idea (and I’m actually totally fine with it – quite thankful for the life experience gained so far, in fact) but he remembers me not being so happy with the idea. He’s been ignoring it all year, the fact that he’s about to hit the big Four-O and now he’s found himself with less than a month to prepare his mind and he’s a bit stressed. I spoke with him this morning (took up all my socializing tolerance for the day!) and was quick to remind him of all the good parts of being this age. When you get to think back through all the relationships that have been built and destroyed, jobs you’ve worked and friends you’ve had….I mean, it’s pretty vast by this point. If you are 40 or above, you’ve likely been to school for many years, met dozens of people who became close and cherished (even if they’re no longer in your life), have lived through menial and (hopefully) fulfilling employment, possibly several times over. You’ve maybe been married, had children, been divorced or cheated on or left. Maybe, you’re still with the one you promised to love until death and there is still so much more to come. You have been through illness and recovery but have also lost people to illness you never thought you could live without. You have healed and blamed, and healed again, then understood….maybe forgave or maybe learned that you don’t always have to forgive people for what they have done with or to you. You have discovered how strong and courageous you really are. You have experience in the world and with life and there is no one to answer to but yourself and your own good judgement. Maybe you’ve learned that your judgement is shit…lol. That’s a valuable lesson too. You have messed up and made mistakes, taken blame you shouldn’t have and denied the parts you knew were yours to carry. You have also made a difference though and have brought happiness, love, comfort and wonder to some of the people around you. There are undeniably people out there, somewhere, who will never, ever forget you. I told him all this and then asked him what he thought the next 40 years would bring…..he told me to shut up and that I should go work for Hallmark writing greeting cards. lol! (If he didn’t want to hear it, he shouldn’t have asked!)😛
Dreams this weekend and last night were … active, to say the least. I’m now regularly waking up in random rooms of the house after sleep walking around. Last night Dayne, unable to remember if he locked the front door, flew from the bed and went running past me (I was in the washroom having a legit and fully awake pee) to check. It was locked and he calmed when he saw me, awake in the hallway. Poor guy nearly broke his neck.
Wow. Am I ever relaxed today. I needed this break. I just sat here for ten minutes and couldn’t come up with a single complaint. I mean, I have a headache and I’m pretty sore from all this lying around and doing nothing (wah me eh? lolol) but that’s not new. It’s just been a really nice week so far and I’m looking forward to a long weekend with my boys. (Oh and my house is so clean!!! I LOVE the house being this clean. One room per day has been my approach. Yesterday was my bedroom and just going in there makes me happy!)
I wish I always had this much time to spend on the important things. Something to take with me back to that office – but I won’t be thinking about that until the weekend comes. :)
I have always been terrified of storms. I’m not sure why, exactly, as I’ve never been in any physical danger when a storm hit, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been afraid of them. Wind, in particular.
I remember back when I was very little, living with my foster family in a Toronto subdivision. We were not exactly in prime tornado territory but we often get weather warnings in the summer because there are a lot of thunder storms that move through the region. Where I am now is the place that gets the most lightning in Canada, in fact. It has something to do with being surrounded by the Great Lakes, I think. One of these ‘tornado watch’ warnings came through the television “emergency broadcast” with the horrifying bomb siren sounds screeching from the speakers to get everyone’s attention. There was a severe thunder storm brewing and a cold front moving in and funnel clouds had been spotted in the area. I was only little….maybe 3 or so, and I panicked. I ran around the house slamming windows closed (I didn’t know it was best to keep them open – I just wanted to keep the storm out!) and locked all the doors. I went so far as to lock the tiny little flip lock on the handle of the metal framed screen door at the front of the house. Then, I went into my closet and hid, waiting for the scary event to pass. I told my mother I was afraid but she just blew me off. I was kind of terrified of everything at that point so I don’t think she was being cruel on purpose. She just knew me well enough to know I’d be okay once it passed. (I could have used a kind word and a hug, now that I think back on it. I was just a little one and I remember tears rolling down my cheeks and my whole body trembling with fright.)
I went to hide and stayed there until I heard a loud pounding on the front door.
*OH MY GOD IT’S THE TORNADO!* I screamed in my head, too afraid to actually move or make a sound.
Of course, it wasn’t the storm…lol…it was my father who was stuck outside in the torrential rain, unable to get inside because I’d locked the screen door. My mother thought it was hilarious but he wasn’t so amused.
I still hate storms. I hate new articles about damage caused by storms, stupid shows about people who idiotically drive INTO storms for the sake of the thrill, and I hate videos of storm photos or damage. Hurricanes have the same effect on me, however, it would have to be a damn huge one to reach as far inland as I am so I don’t worry about them quite so much.
This morning, Dayne woke me by text at 9 am.
**Hey did you hear that there was a tiny tornado (ground spout? funnel? I can’t recall what the news called it but it was an F-0 on the rating scale they use) behind X’s house yesterday?**
I was up and wide awake in seconds. I looked it up on the news, checked out bystanders videos and then, reading there was very little damage done, relaxed a bit and kept investigating. I read that there was a children’s wooden swing set that had been picked up and deposited into the neighbour’s yard and some damage to a bit of siding on one of the homes right next to the house where the family who babysits Colt live. They are away on vacation (which is why I’m off as well) so I thought it a good idea to go check on the house, no knowing if neighbors had contacted them. When we pulled up, it was obvious it was their swing set that had been tossed about as the bright yellow slide was jammed, at a very awkward angle, into the neighbors shed roof and the other bits of it were scattered into the fields behind the houses. I took pictures and texted them to the family, just in case no one else did and they need to call insurance (they have solar panels on their roof and at least one was clearly smashed) and headed back home. It wasn’t until I got here that I suddenly realized, with a gasp, that had they not been away, all of us parents would have been at work and the kids, including Colt, would have been there, alone, when the storm hit. It wasn’t a long ordeal and the winds weren’t even that strong (80 mph but we get some pretty high winds here this time of year) but it would have been terrifying for them had it happened that way! Thank heavens they were away and Colt wasn’t there.
The other thing that bothers me is that they were the only house affected. Another home had some siding stripped off but it was a chunk of the swing set that caused that to happen, so really, a tornado formed, touched down, destroyed my friend’s swing set and called it a day.
I guess, if it had to happen, this was the mildest, gentlest way it could have gone. Regardless, I’m not leaving my house again today. More thunder storms are coming and I’m much happier holed up in my house, nice and close to the basement crawl space. I even have a plan to get the cats down there, if need be. Mind you, they will never talk to me again if I throw them into a dark hole in the ground without warning. Still….the other option would be decidedly worse.
And that’s my exciting Friday! Got my car fixed, got my phone fixed, got the kitchen, living room and bathroom clean, did my nails (twice), took Colt out for lunch and I’m done until tomorrow. Planning on a peaceful evening with no tornado warnings! (Work with me here, Mother Nature).