I was on the telephone, or trying to be. I was crying, and I wanted to talk to her, even if it meant begging and begging for just five minutes of her time. I realized what day it was, September 10th, again, and it had been two years. Why should she think about me after two years? Those years seemed so long, of course she wouldn't remember me, I was ancient history. And what had I done in those years since she had left? For the past year or two years, I had been alone, stationary, and had done nothing. When I was thinking of making the phone call, I realized that I was in the exact same situation as I was the previous year, still alone, still desperate, and with absolutely nothing to show for an entire year of my life.
I woke up from my nap. And realized that I just had a nightmare, where the entire frightening, desperate nightmare was a good summary of my own life. It was pretty much all literally true, other than the time frame. It is not yet September 10, 2011. Other than that, the emotional paralysis, and the (in some ways) stagnation of my life are all true. As is the loneliness, probably more prominent now because of the cabin fever that has left me alone on Thanksgiving Day in -10 to -20C weather that will leave my eyelashes frozen on a bicycle ride to the store. To wake up from a nightmare and realize that the paralyzing nightmare is just a literal retelling of your actual life is not the most encouraging thing. However, as the caffeine and internet slowly warms my soul, I am recovering.
One of the most persistent nightmares that people suffer is that they are trying to escape from something chasing them while their muscles are frozen. Supposedly, this is a result of feedback to the brain from sleep-paralyzed muscles. In any case, it is frightening to be in a situation where you can do nothing. I find it somewhat ironic that my own nightmare featured someone who I was in a state of emotional paralysis with, someone who is totally unresponsive to my pleas for communication. This is a frustrating state to be in, and the only reason I can think of that I am being ignored is that in the year 2010, silence is still a tool that women instinctively turn to punish and control men. And the silence is frustrating and makes me feel powerless as if I was crawling away from a monster in a dream. I wish that I could present her with a Pascal's Wager card: that if she would please, please just take the small expense of listening to me for ten minutes, that it would be of great benefit to both. I feel like Vir Cotto in The Coming of Shadows, helplessly begging someone to listen to me and put aside their selfishness for just a few minutes. But such a thing is not to be.
These are perhaps odd thoughts for Thanksgiving. Is this holiday not supposed to be about gratitude? Why would I return to blame? Is this just the crankiness of a man trapped inside who woke up from a nightmare? I would say not: Chesed and Geburrah are linked together, if there was no potential to judge someone, mercy would be a meaningless concept. And if there was no potential to hold someone in true and total blame for refusing to acknowledge someone's right to exist, which is little better than creating a monument to non-existence --- could we ever know what gratitude is?