The last time I had the Dream was back in June. It was never about anything specific; one time I would be driving down Niagara Falls Boulevard during the holiday season rush, another time I would be sitting at Panera Bread with Shirley, or just walking down Elmwood Avenue in the middle of summer, and there was once I was crossing the Boston Common to get to BAE. I used to have the Dream a lot when I first came back to this country, but by May it had tapered off, and after it came to me in June, I realized that I only had it when something in my life was so bad that I was wishing I could go back to the U.S.
I had the Dream last night.
Maybe it was because my brother’s departure sent the memories of my own departure flooding back. I remember being so eager to leave back then, desperate to escape the life I was leading here, desperate to escape the miserable relationship that had completely taken over my life, aching for a new beginning in a new place. Maybe it’s the memories of all the mistakes I made since I left. Maybe it’s the current circumstances of my life that have made it all the more unbearable. Whatever it is, I’m back in that phase where I would lay down my life, sell my soul, to be able to have that chance to go back there and start all over again, and have the chance to do things differently so that I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in right now.
Sitting at D’Haven with Becca a few hours ago — and in a much more confessional mood because of the alcohol — we were talking about the people in our lives who aggravate us so much that at times we want to strangle them, but who mean so much to us that at some point we overlook their faults and accept them the way they are because we want them that badly in our lives. We’ve all had the friends who weren’t really good friends, and the other halves who weren’t really good other halves, but whom we put up with just the same because the little things they did for us at some point were enough to make us want to continue having them in our lives. We know that we’re little more than a mere convenience to them, but we bear with it just the same because we can’t imagine being without them. And so we make excuses for them and for their behavior, because we love them enough to know that some things are not worth losing them over.
But when push comes to shove, how many more excuses can we make for them? When we know that at some point we have to face up to how little we matter to them, what do we do then? Do we turn a blind eye and continue defending them? Or do we give in to the fact that we really can’t put up with much more, give up on them, and walk away? Which one, then, would be the sign of courage? If it were the latter, then I’m a bloody coward.