I’m Thankful for the Bad Dreams

My hands are dry and cracked and bruised. When I bend the index finger of my right hand, sometimes the knuckle splits and bleeds. I think this is the way my hands should be. They are more interesting this way. They remind me that they’ve done things. And that they have purpose. And during morning walks, I sometimes keep my gloves in my pocket and wrap the leash around my bare hand and let my skin go numb in the bitter air to help the process along.

Right now, Honey is asleep beside me. Sometimes she barks at the things in her dreams. I wonder what these things are, and if they have names like “Daddy” and “Kong,” or if her dreams are filled with monsters and ominous knocks on doors and garage doors opening. When Honey’s not asleep, she’s frighteningly awake. And when it’s cold, she prays to a god called “The Space-Heater.” She says one Hail Mary and three Our Fathers. She also farts.

My chest burns from Sambuca intake. Then it subsides. Then I wait. And I swallow again. And it burns some more. Sometimes, on a Saturday night, this is the cycle of things.

There is usually a call I do not want to make. Usually, I make it anyway.

Last week, C gave me two of the best birthday presents I’ve ever received. I watched one of them Friday night and it made me glad to be alive. I will listen to WNYC through the other present this week. And it will be good. Pretty much as good as it gets.

I used to figure life was something I was working towards. That it was full of good intention and determination and grand purpose. The thing about that—the thing about believing in a life’s purpose—is you have to accept the fact that maybe it already happened. And you missed it.

When I go to sleep, I hope that I will dream. Usually, I do not. When I do, the dreams are usually bad. I’m thankful anyway.

I’m never too sure what a particular day will bring. But I’m always quite sure it won’t bring anything resembling wonder, or awe, or any other thing I used to feel before thirty. Maybe I’ve forgotten how to be a kid. Maybe I need to stop making friends with the people on the radio. Or maybe I just spend too much time looking at my hands.

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