The Airport Dream

April 5, 2024 4:19 AM

Just woke up from one of my recurring airport dreams. It starts with me at home, packing my suitcase, talking to my dad. All of a sudden, I realize that I don’t even know when my flight leaves. I check the schedule and, sure enough, I’m late! I hurriedly stuff belongings into a suitcase and rush to the airport. How I get there is unclear. And then I’m running around the airport in circles, going up and down stairs, looking for my gate, while anxious thoughts race through my mind. I’m wearing the wrong shoes. These ratty, paint-splattered Converse won’t do, I left my Doc Marten boots at home. Should I go back and get them or can I afford to buy new ones there? As I mentally debate how important the shoes are, I also realize that this time, no one will be waiting for me in Berlin.  My friend A no longer lives there; my other classmates have graduated. I finally really look at my ticket and realize my plane has already left. As I frantically run around, I debate asking my dad for the money to buy a new ticket. Probably about one thousand dollars should do. At some point, climbing down some ladders to get to the level below, I realize I’ve left my 8-year-old son, behind.

I wake up, relieved to have left that chaotic mental space. I try to analyze what my subconscious is communicating to me. I used to have recurring dreams of being unprepared for exams, or for a class I had to teach. In other recurring dreams, I ran around, unrehearsed looking for a costume and learning my lines for an imminent performance. Now, the recurring dream is always me trying to get to the airport, trying to get back to art school in either Berlin or New York. I’m always going back to finish. As if I hadn’t quite. As if there was a component or a project I hadn’t completed or given my all. And it’s really important that I go back and do that.

Clearly, a part of me wishes she could return to that time in my life when I could easily travel to worldly urban centres and focus on art-making. But, in this particular dream, I’m full of doubt. I’m already too late. I don’t have the right shoes. I’ve already missed my flight. My son’s wellbeing has been completely forgotten. And I can’t afford it anyways. My dear Dad, who surely would have reluctantly but generously bailed me out and bought me another ticket, is no longer alive.

Last night, before going to sleep, I calculated what I owe in current bills this month and it’s about one thousand dollars. That’s not huge but that amount doesn’t include the $8 000 owed to my credit card company. Or the future dental and medical bills I am putting off paying, by delaying appointments and procedures. So clearly, I wish my dad could still be around to send me money when things are rough. My mother is more complicated and less generous. I don’t blame her for it. I do understand. That’s a whole other conversation about patriarchy and economics and feminism and it’s just a fact. I’m complicated because of all that stuff too.

I feel like I’m in way over my head, financially speaking. I am living beyond my means, because of this over-priced apartment. Damn housing market! And yet, I’m so happy here, living in my own space, close to my friends. And work is starting to flow in. So, I do have faith that I can make it work. Do I really? That doubt again. Well, yes. Eventually. But how much debt will I accumulate before that happens? As for working on art, well I am. Nothing that exciting is happening right now but let me remind myself that I play violin in a band once a week, that I just submitted a grant application to write a play, that I’m currently researching and that I somewhat regularly go to my studio (whose rent I also can’t quite afford right now) to work on visual art. I also do half a dozen things for money: work on 3-4 different podcasts, teach English as a Second Language, translate documents and work my creativity on a different level, supervising 11-year-olds during their lunch hour. And, hard to forget, except in a dream, I raise a kid almost full-time.

I am going to try and go back to sleep now.

Work in progress

I’ve been working on this collage for months, very very slowly. Trying to tell the story of a Montreal party, with as its title “J’aurais tellement du la Frencher” (English translation: “I really should’ve French-kissed her).

Monday October 02, 2023 9:03 AM

 

Z has started at his new school. GO. He’s in the same class as his best friend L, who has the same name as the nice secretary who helped us do the paperwork to get him in, and M, his frenemy or maybe his future best friend. His teacher seems kind and told us she doesn’t assign homework. BONUS.

I put the remaining boxes on the curb for recycling so it’s starting to feel like 85% of setting up this new home is done. Can I STOP obsessively tidying and organizing and get on with the real WORK NOW? WRITING & MUSIC-MAKING.

Today the caps lock key keeps Accidentally activating DUE TO MY BANDAGED MIDDLE FINGER and I’m letting it tell me what IT WANTS. Sometimes it autocorrects itself sometimes it doesn’t. Today, IT SMELLS LIKE CAT SHIT HERE though it may be the bowl of Life cereal beside me or does everything just smell like cat shit for real? Mental note to further investigate source of smell.

The inside of my mouth still preoccupies me. My geographic TONGUE tastes and feels everything acutely, including the slightly acidic taste of my mouth and the gaping hole where the two teeth were removed last week. Mental note to email DENTIST FOR X-rays so I can get a SECOND OPINION on whether or not I Truly do need to spend $2000 for another curettage and subsequently visit my dentist every 3 months for the REST OF MY DAYS as he claimed during my last visit. Mental note to watch T’s recommended YouTube video of ex-dentist’s prescribed regime for maintaining most optimal PH-balance for saliva and to pick up some apple cider vinegar tablets for general optimal health. Also, to email dental clinic to send me the X-rays so I can go shop around for a second opinion. My dentist is too handsome, gay and charming and so very smooth and quick to print out a bill, schedule a next appointment. He also appears to love inflicting pain a little too much, although he also feigns sensitivity. Dentists are professional scam artists who prey on people like me who are both poor and full of bad habits they feel guilty about.

Before the endless mental to-do list surges and overwhelms your mind, THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE TO WRITE ABOUT.

Dreams. My dreams lately have been more vivid. I remember dreaming last night that Maman sent me bedsheets in the mail, that my siblings were gathering around a table of food and all of this made me feel happy. That I visited my old place and C. was busy painting it lilac and M. was telling me she was going to move in once the health regulator inspected and approved it.

Although it is sometimes logistically challenging to live without Internet, now that it’s been over a week, I see how much influence it has on our lives and choice of activities. Z. has rediscovered Lego and rainbow-looming, since video gaming is no longer an option and I’ve rediscovered reading and writing because I can’t numbly scroll through social media posts. Wifi’s supposed to get installed here on Wednesday but I pledge to set much stricter online & screen-time boundaries from now on.

The trick with Z. is to include myself in rules. Any rules or goals I set I have to follow as well. That way he won’t feel that they’re hypocritical and he’ll enjoy the challenge of following them more if we have to face it together. Hope I am right about this.

I must get ready to go to Café Moustache and work on Internet-reliant things. Send emails and such. Work on final edits of gentrification podcast. Work on uploading first medicine podcast recording, work on an email to A. and H. to follow-up on last night’s Zoom art talk. Listen to latest the Radio Renoviction episode. Write to M. about organizing a spa day and write to C. about helping me drive stuff to Ecocentre.

That’s lots to get done, and it doesn’t include groceries, emails to Z’s new school and after school care, and probably more tasks I’m forgetting right now. The list really never ends. But blessed be this day of action. I’d rather have endless tasks than no tasks at all. It’s autumn, the lazy, hazy days of summer are done, time to get down to business again.

 

 

I’m looking for a friend today

 

Here’s a recording of my dear friend Lookens singing one of his compositions, “I’m looking for a friend today.” And a picture of us improvising some kalimba music in my kitchen a year ago, on February 16, 2022. Today is Valentine’s day, the 14th, and my thoughts can’t help but turn to love, to mon amour, Loulou, one of the greatest friends I was blessed to have, for about 8 years of my life. He died on February 21 last year.

Life can be lonely, right? I mean, even surrounded by other people, we all have those moments of unbearable solitude. Moments when we feel so isolated or disconnected from others. And when the absence of others is a void that’s hard to bear.

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