Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the mongrel cat came home, holding half a head

last night i had some bizarre dreams, bizarre like i used to have. bizarre like i have something going on in my head again. the first part was some older man in my life trying to marry me off to another older man who i only slightly knew. i started protesting, "but he's much too old!" and the man told me that "it doesn't matter to God." i'm sure it would matter to God that i didn't love him, though! my mom seemed to support this marrying-off thing. i was like, "but i'd much prefer a guy like joe," (an estimable friend from my real past, who ironically i dreamed years ago that i couldn't marry). their answer was, "but you don't know anyone else like joe."
part two we get to the serious stuff. i was over at a friend's house and discovered she had a face that looked just like mine, my "extra" face in a square aluminum pan. she gave it to me to care for. it was just the front half of my head, though i still had my own. it was heavier than i expected, and the back was open and exposed and vulnerable. i suppose that's how you attach it to your head if you need it... the poor thing looked hot and feverish, and i wondered how long it could survive like that. i put it in some cool water and soon it looked much better. it didn't look as feverish, and the lips were just a little chapped. i carried it away with me. i felt protective tenderness for it, but how do you care for just a face?
part three: i still lived in japan, so i wasn't familiar with many people. one of my friends died. her body was wrapped in plastic, and since there was no one else to respectfully treat her remains, i put her in a wheelbarrow and walked a long way through early winter streets to the cemetery, so i could bury her body. when i arrived, i realized i had forgotten a shovel. sigh. but then i ran into my friend sadye, and she had a shovel. i could see there were some bugs inside the plastic on the top of my friend's wool coat, and i was loath to see my friend's body touched by them when we put her in the ground.

that's it. i wasn't as disturbed by these dreams as i could have been. i was more grateful for them, because at least they're imaginative. what is my heart trying to tell me? the strongest thing i felt when i woke up was the need to start loving my face with the rest of me. i've always been happy with my body and displeased with my face. long and skinny with an under bite and too much chin, poor skin when i was younger, swampy eyes. but in my dream i was like, "it's a good face. and what's more, it's my face. who's going to care for if i'm not?"
i know, deeep. but it's true.

i was a little jumpy in my sleep due to a late-night nerds candy fix. sugar before bed, not a good idea. (oh the connotations that statement now reeks with!) i woke up when someone walked by my window about 4am, and then again several more times until my alarm finally went off. urgh. then i fretted over my lack of money and went to school.

when i got to school, i barely had a moment before a young teacher came down to invite me to a yakiniku/onsen party this evening. she began to list the people coming. the second person she mentioned was of the sucrose persuasion, so it was decided, of course i would go!
i recently got some information passed to me from one of the office girls that at the most recent enkai, she overheard an older man known as "kuma-san" (mr. bear) who was observing me talk with mr. sugar comment, "they look like they get along well. maybe they should get married." it happens to be kuma-san who told the teacher to invite me tonight. what's he playing at? it's probably nothing, but it's an unusual time for a party, so i am excited.

last week i was in the middle of composing a deflated post called "now sugar-free." it started, "it seems my last giddy post about mr. sugar was my last giddy post about mr. sugar." he almost visibly, physically ignored me for a month after our happy, comfortable baseball lesson. one day when we came face-to-face and i started to say hello, he gave me a look like he was drowning. i just kept walking. i mean, who does that!? it was just a hello. the next day when we passed, i gave him the stinkeye. maybe it was a subtle stinkeye, but it was still there. that night, i had a good cry and started to feel better. i embraced the idea that i can't force anything and don't want to waste time feeling sorry over some guy who can't pull it together enough to figure out if he likes me.
the very next day, dressed in a slate blue shirt that was dead sexy against his dark skin (sorry, it's a fact), i looked up to find him waving from across the room. what is it with that wave!? it gets me every time. i waited several minutes and then went over and we talked for a bit. it settled me on many levels. i guess it is unlikely we will be anything more than sometimes friends, but i feel better about that since then. it felt less final than the drown-face.

one of the things i told him was that i have decided to take the JLPT, a japanese language test. finally, i have started setting some goals. having this to work toward has made a huge difference in my life. i have also been feeling like it's time to write my book, i finally have something to say again. my voice comes in fits and starts, but like a temperamental fountain pen, it's getting stronger the more i scratch it across the paper.

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