I've just finished reading my third novel written by Augusten Burroughs, and I can't help but to wonder if the reason why I love his witting so much is because I feel like he is witting my story. In his memoir "Dry" he writes:
"Like when I sleep. I look forward to sleep because I hope, or sort of wish, that I will dream about him and that it will be so real, I will have no choice but to accept that I slipped through some kind of wormhole, over to the "other side" and that the Pighead I met in my dream is the real Pighead."
So now you are probably wondering who Pighead is, and what this little bit of script has to do with Weenit, right? So then, go back and read my blog, make sure to find one of my posts about a dream I may have had, then you will understand that most every time I dream HE is in it, and HE is my Pighead. For Augusten, Pighead was the man he loved, the man who died of AIDS. Only problem was it took Augusten forever to accept that Pighead was really dead, that the Pighead in his dreams was not the real Pighead, no matter how much he wanted it to be.
My Pighead may not be dead, though he is just as far from being a part of my life that he might as well be. It got to the point where I would rather spend the night dreaming, if even for a second, of him than experiencing life. And I dreamed of him every night.
Until I had a lucid dream one night, he was in it. And I remember wondering how he could be standing there in front of me because he was gone. That is when I realized I was dreaming, that is when it became lucid. So I thought to myself how I could do anything I wanted as long as the dream remained lucid. I felt lucky to have suddenly become aware of my dream just as he showed up, it was as if God had asked me what one wish I would like granted and I said "I'd want one day to spend with HIM doing whatever I want." And poof, just like that I had my wish. Even if it was just in a lucid dream, it felt like heaven.
So there I am facing him in my dream and I put my hands on his shoulders and begin to say to myself while looking in his eyes, "Just remember Tamy, this is a dream, don't forget you are dreaming, this is just a dream."
I did that because, for me, remembering that I am dreaming is the hardest part of having a lucid dream. It seems like the second I realize I am dreaming and start to take control of my dream I forget my consciousness and the lucid control of my dream is gone. But this time I was going to make damn sure this dream remained lucid because HE was in it, and I didn't want to loose that moment.
So there I am chanting to myself while I look into his eyes, and then all of a sudden he acts confused like any real world human being would if I were to gab their shoulders, look them in the eyes, and say, "This is a dream Tamy, don't forget". But we were not in the real world, we were in a dream world, my dream world. And that was when it dawned onto me that man I see in my dreams was not the real him, it was my dream world version of him. I mean, I had always known it wasn't really him I would see it my dreams. I have enough common sense to understand that everything I see when I sleep is just a figment of my imagination. But what made that moment when he looked at me with such confusion so defining is that it was the first time I realized that was all I had left of him. the real him was gone, was never coming back, and I was using this imaginary man as a crutch to trick myself into holding on to him because I didn't want to let go.
And then in my dream I leaned over to try and kiss him but suddenly I was loosing control of my dream, and his face began to contort into that of a strange and almost homeless looking old man. I could not, no matter how hard I focus, remember what he looked like.
And from that night on, which was more than a month ago, I have not dreamed of him once. That is remarkable considering I dreamed of him every night because, for me, dreaming about him was a way for me to avoid facing the fact that he was gone. I was addicted to my dream world version of him in much the same way Augusten was addicted to alcohol in his book. And much like alcohol was a crutch for Augusten to avoid facing Pighead's death, I used this imaginary man as a crutch so I didn't have to accept the blunt fact that my Pighead was gone as well.
And like Augusten writes "Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic" rings true for me as well. This man was my addiction, and my memories of the way he smelled, the way he tasted, they will always be there. And every now and then I will think about him, and all the carnage left after him, and I will still miss him. But I won't give in, I won't relapse, I won't got to him.
And for the first time I feel more like a mentally healthy human being, more so than I have in years, before I let all those feelings destroy every good thing I ever had.
So I decided to call him last week, for an alcoholic that would have been the equivalent of going to a bar and ordering a glass of wine, then smelling it and looking at it but not drinking it. And when I spoke to him I could feel a world of difference. I hung up the phone and for the first time I felt relief. I felt like he no longer had power over me, that this time it would be me to end the conversation, me to turn away and not look back, it was a good feeling.
So now all that is left are these pieces of my life to pick up and put together. But now that I am off of him, these pieces look so small, and their interlocking sides that were once so damned puzzling seem so simple. It's almost worth a good laugh to think there was ever a time I would have looked at them and not understood how they were suppose to fit together.