I dreamed about Kate last night. We sat behind her, me and the family, the wife and our girls, in Poland, in an auditorium, no leg room between our hard wooden seats and the ones in front, one of which was hers, Kate’s.
As the massive crowd let out, outside, the girls ran ahead, as they do in my dreams. We lost them in the crowd, and I spent the remainder in two separate panics. One searching for my girls, one worrying about my wife, and Kate. Did Kate see us, sitting behind her, us having come all the way from the States to Poland? Did my wife know that was Kate in front of us? And would I ever find my girls again?
I woke up, rolled over, tried not to care what time it was. I’d already gotten up to pee twice. The alarm would go off soon, pretty sure. The mind woke up before I did, got me thinking, showed me my mistakes, where I went wrong, and I was letting it win lately, couldn’t laugh.
I swiped left and checked the news, laying on the pillow, bad eye blocked. Checked email, hoping for something good. Touched Twitter, knowing I shouldn’t, started scrolling, there with one eye only.
Daughter One was in the bathroom, the faucet sounding in the wall between us, the brush tapping on the sink, getting ready. Didn’t know about Daughter Two, hadn’t heard her up and about, assumed the worst. The worst can be bad on a Wednesday. There is potential for screaming, fists, spitting, overturned furniture prior to 8 a.m. We’re trying to better them, the Wednesdays, to help her. We can’t kill her Tuesday’s just yet without telling her she’s failed. Failure would be fine if it were just failure, but it’s not. It scars. It scars her. And us. Us her. We scar each other. We do damage.
There is limitless potential in the infinite. But in becoming finite, the infinite limits itself. This is its sacrifice, and we are stuck with it. We dream, relax into limitlessness, and bring with us our own limits. Then we wake up.
I found a hand-written note, folded, on paper stuck inside a card, in an envelope 16 years old, from Poland. It was in a shoebox buried in a bigger box, deep in a closet, unopened since before the move from this state to that state, years ago, then back to this state, more years ago. I’d been searching for another relic but found this note, this note from a former student who’d spoken with Kate’s sister 16 years ago. My student said Kate’s sister said Kate said I’d not wanted anything to do with her that last month, I’d stayed away. I shouted no. I was wide awake, didn’t remember ever reading the note, but knew I must have.
Title from the lyrics to “Via Chicago,” by Wilco.