I used to sleep nestled on a hardwood floor every night. My mother would lay blankets on the floor and we would lay together. She would tell me, “Neatie, let your mind drift away, think of a magical place like Disney. Think of a beach or a forest. Dream some place magical up even. Drift away from here, visualize your special place. Build your own lands and you go there when you need to go. If you ever need to escape from this harsh world that is where to go! That is dreamland!”
My mother saved me every night from nightmares. Mostly she did. Some nights I was awakened by dad coming in, a demon on his back, riding him.
The nights I did escape, which were often, I would dream of magical lands. I dreamed of records and I dreamed of lands that were very much like ours but older. Some days I woke up with “butterfly stomach”. I still do.
In 2011 I woke up with the worst case of it since dad had died.
Let me explain, because I know I speak a different language. Yes, I know. I do. Butterfly stomach means I’ve had a premonition. Someone is coming into my life to change things or I’m about to change things or a change is coming. Period.
Butterfly stomach happened to me on April Fools day 1987. It snowed that morning. My father died that morning. They revived dad. He was on a ventilator at Adena Reginal Hospital. I felt the moment he went. The moment he came back. I was furious that he left me. I walked out into the snow. Yes, it snowed that day. Knee deep. Even God was furious. Biddie Cox came to take us to her house so Kenny would have somewhere to stay while Jerry came to take me to the hospital to sit at ICU.
2011. The Brewing. Stirring. Bonfires into 2012. Butterflies. Into 2013.
I think back to my grandmother laying on the couch watching me as I would rise. She would whisper to me “come”
I’d crawl to her and sit at her feet and take her lotion and rub her legs, only down so I wouldn’t hurt her. Circulation and all. You never wanted to rub up, just in case a blood clot was stuck. Only rub down Renita. That’s what she said. Rub down. So I would rub her legs and tell her my dreams.
Some days I would dream I was in battle, with the men. My head would be shaved with only a tiny bit on top. I would be wearing skins. Fighting right along with them. Covered in blood.
Some days I was in the bayou chanting, hearing screams. smelling smoke. I smelled corn and foreign smells and spices. Languages I didn’t understand. I saw sights I didn’t understand. I saw alligators and I saw chickens and I saw blood and guts and saw women vomiting and babies dying and men doing horrid things and I cried and cried and she would hit me and tell me to stop crying and to understand who I was. That I was to just get over what I was. I was to just get over it.
I didn’t know what I was and I was sad. She was mad. So I just rubbed her feet and dad would just tell me to come on in to make coffee and the butterflies would just keep coming.
Though all of my life I have struggled. Humans have never understood me. I don’t understand me. It’s easier for me to just sit alone and observe most of the time. Stay quiet and try not to get pissed. I try to be a good person. I prefer children to adults most of the time because they are honest, most of the time. If they are lying it’s because they have a core need. They want love or food or to play. I undertstand all of that. Manipulation? I do not understand because I don’t have time for it. It’s gross and I don’t like gross. If I am gross? It’s because I’m exhausted.
That’s all I have today.
Peace and Love.