The return dive into the mundane begins

Currently reading: Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury.

"How do you measure—measure a year?
In daylights—in sunsets / in midnights—in cups of coffee
in inches—in miles / in laughter—in strife—
in 525,600 minutes / how do you measure a year in the life?"
    - Jonathan Larson, Rent

A sign of how much things have changed since I first moved to Huntsville—I now occasionally meet people I know in the grocery store. It still catches me by surprise, as it's been quite some time since I was in a position for something like that to happen.

Growing up, I lived in a place where it was impossible to turn around twice without bumping into someone that I knew or was related to. When I moved away to go to college, I became accustomed to shopping at odd hours on odd days, and never seeing anyone that I knew.

After Jeff and I married, I found that I sometimes missed the random companionship of grocery stores—life's way of throwing you back in touch with people that you'd forgotten to call or email. Even now I like shopping early on Sunday morning—"shopping with the Muslims," as Jeff and I gaily refer to it—but sometimes my routine gets disrupted and I end up going to the store … and running into people I know.

Most geeks I know live in a self-imposed physical isolation, but even that is misleading. I had trouble explaining to my co-workers at the credit union that no, I didn't have friends here when I moved to Huntsville—but that I didn't lose touch with any of my friends from before. Why? Because those friends didn't live near the last place I lived, so why should things change if I move again?

It creates odd dichotomies. I know a decent portion of what goes on in Andy and Brad's lives, and they are on opposite sides of this continent. Just don't ask me what the names of my neighbor's three boys are; I couldn't tell you. I think one of them is Austin; I think sometimes they wonder about the strangely quiet neighbors in house 117. We don't bother anyone, we're rarely seen, but the cars do come and go.

I'm listening / music in the bedroom
laughter in the hall / dive into the ocean
singing by the fire / running through the forest
and standing in the wind / in rolling canyons

I will not take these things for granted
    - toad the wet sprocket

(somewhat gruesome)

I opted not to write an entry yesterday, mostly because of a very strange dream that I had the night before that left me a bit shaken for most of the day. I mentioned it to Andy and Brad, and both of them concurred on the general weirdness of it. You've heard the adage that says, if you die in your dream, you die in reality too? I can now definitely say that isn't true.

It's very rare that my dreams terrify me; I can't think of the last time it happened. But this dream wasn't terrifying in the standard sense of dread and foreboding—I found it most terrifying because of its emotionlessness.

In the dream, I was sitting in a vehicle—a large one, with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. There was an indefinable something in my lap (I never saw it). In my right hand, I held a small knife. I sharpened the knife, shook my head, and said, "I have to do this. I don't have a choice." Then in one quick, clean motion, I drew the knife across my neck. The blood came out quickly, in spurts.

It's warm, I thought, and it didn't hurt nearly as much as I feared it would. The world around me grew dim, red fading to black liquid warmth, my eyelids sliding shut.

Silence. Cold. So this is what it's like. My eyes snapped open. As I focused on the ceiling fan I reached up to touch my neck with my hands. Nothing. No warmth, no gaping hole, no knife. Just the sound of my breathing. It was five a.m.

Needless to say, I was most grateful this morning when I did not remember any of my dreams.