I’ve got dreams, too, Dr. King

Categorized as 08/08/11 Goshen News column

There’s no picket fence, and the birds that twitter overhead are the same ones that poo on the car down below.  Whose owner, by the way, does not “heart” that.  The reason I’m thinking of dreams, I suppose, is because mine have been disrupted lately.  With everyone home for the summer, the back door’s been slamming at odd hours again, and my sleep patterns have tanked to who-shot-Lizzie.  Dreams?  I’d just like to have a few.  Meanwhile, I’m left to console myself with entertaining and colorful daydreams.  You know, where no one’s getting punched, slapped, or chased over here because it’s a kinder, gentler world?  Because just for once they simply go with “I love you” instead of a hearty whack to show their affection?  Yeah.  That one.  I used to dream about being a cheerleader, but that was almost 30 years, 4 babies, and some odd pounds ago.  Oh, I can still kick over my head.  The issue now is getting that leg back down, so that dream is dead.  Rats.  The younger me also dreamt about being a nurse, bringing hope and light into the sick room while soothing the fevered brow.  That didn’t happen either.  Now I play a grumpy Florence Nightingale, packing a square hypodermic to keep surly patients in line.  I’ll never be the next Celine Dion, either, stunning the world with my magical pipes.  The only solos I ever sing are just that – so low you can’t hear ‘em, and they take place behind closed doors.  No paparazzi, no screaming fans, no shattered crystal in Tupelo.  It’s just me, the four walls, and the comb I’m using for a mike.  Mr. Schrock had dreams, too, only his involved an odd mix of chocolate and independence.  I always said he bleeds chocolate.  Cut him, and he’ll ooze brown.  That’s how much he loves it.  As a kid, the ultimate symbol of freedom was a whole, entire can of Hershey’s chocolate syrup.  All his, see, which he planned to carry in his car.  Once a fellow was old enough to drive and drink chocolate syrup straight from the can, he was really a man.  Makes a certain kind of sense, I guess, even though my teeth curl right up to my gum line, just thinking about it.  I still have dreams, though.  I do.  I dream, for instance, of a day when I can walk across the kitchen floor without stepping in grape jelly.  In white socks.  I dream of the day when the white shower curtain stays white.  When no muddy hand prints appear two hours after it’s been bleached by someone who’s not Celine Dion.  When there are no matching footprints on the freshly-washed rugs just beneath the curtain.   I dream of the day when the counters are free of milk that Nobody spilled.  When the Oreos don’t have to be locked into a cast iron safe to prevent “evaporation.”  When a simple phone conversation isn’t broken up by an ominous game of Charades.  I dream of getting an entire night of sleep with no one opening and closing doors, loping up and down the wooden stairs, or flushing the toilet just over my head.  I dream of – well, dreaming.  In the future, I’m hoping there will be date nights with The Mister that aren’t punctuated by the modern-day equivalent of slipping notes under the bathroom door.  Someday, we’ll shop in peace with no texts dinging, “Where r u?” and, “Can we open the chips?” Yup.  I’ve got dreams.  Come to think of it, though, they sound a little…boring.  And quiet.  Maybe I’ll just give thanks for what I’ve got before I roll over and try to get back to sleep. 

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