It’s early. It’ll be a little while till Robbye wakes up. Anyone that follows her blog knows she’s been a bit of an insomniac of late. My snoring contributes to that, and I am trying to get that under control. It’s a difficult fight to fight, much less win, as I’m lightyears away when it’s happening.
That’s not the only reason she’s having difficulty sleeping, though.
Life, with all its promise and possibility, is a tenuous affair. The phrase “passing through the eye of the needle” makes its way out of our mouths with notable frequency. When all is said and done, we will be great. In fact, despite a few nuts and bolts that need tightening, everything is great now.
But it—life itself—is a stressor…on myriad levels and in numerous forms. Hell, for my own part, living right now feels more like the storming the beach at Normandy scene in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN than anything else. I’m relieved simply to exit the day intact. Taking the bunker isn’t even a consideration.
I know that this life—for all its positives—has proven to be a rough road for my beloved. Rougher than I think was expected. Definitely more bumpy than she deserves.
Which, of course, makes me love her all the more. I often tell people that Robbye is the bravest person I know because she stepped into all this—the somewhat psychotic tempest that frames my existence—and she did so without hesitation. And she stays here. The fact that this wonderful woman doesn’t run screaming from the house on any given day amazes me. The fact that she’s still here and that she loves me as she does lays me low. It awes me.
Because I know that the pressure cooker of our life leaves her feeling blistered and burned at times. I know she worries. I understand she has fears.
Of course, she talks about them. That’s good. But the bigger, deeper worries and fears come out another way. In an altogether more insidious manner.
Enter my new nemesis: Dream Bill.
Sleep is a precious commodity right now. I am trying work the mornings to give her all she can get. Thank heavens Boy and the dogs have been cooperating lately. That’s the difference sometimes between 2-3 hours of sleep and 5-6 for her. Every hour counts. Because she not only loves sleep (as is well documented), but she needs it. And she deserves the rest.
When Robbye wakes up, she likes to share her dreams with me. She has about he most vivid and exciting dream life of anyone I’ve met. Since I’m a person that rarely dreams, it fascinates me (and tires me out a little) to recount the excitement that unfolds as she slumbers. Usually it’s fun to listen. It’s a lot like Cute Overload…on psychedelics.
Then there are the other times. When he shows up, and the party’s over.
Dream Bill does all sorts of raunchy and terrible things. He disappears. He runs off, even. He says bad things and does even worse ones. He’s an ass of unspeakable magnitude. And when Robbye awakens, Dream Bill haunts her. Casts shadows over her thoughts and a shroud over our morning.
It’s not as difficult as it used to be. In past days we’ve logged serious time helping her see that Dream Bill and Real-Live Bill are two very different guys. That I would never do the things Dream Bill does.
As we move farther along in our relationship, she’s more trusting this as opposed to intellectualizing it. We find ourselves laughing about it more often than not.
Yet, occasionally, Dream Bill does something so deplorable that Real-Live Bill needs to answer for it. Like last night.
There are times when I wish Dream Bill would take his own heat. That I wasn’t taken to task for his crappy faults just because we share the same face and name. He makes his bed, but I gotta sleep in it. Which used to make me a little grumpy.
I’m learning something about Dream Bill, though, that lately has me appreciating the guy..if only a little.
Dream Bill represents—of course—my beloved’s deeper fears. You don’t live 30+ years without gathering up more than a few of those babies, right? And the scars we carry are, I believe, the windows to said fears. They speak to their presence and validity.
Hell, I got ‘em. We all do. I think it’s part of what makes us, you know, human. They’re part of the journey, and I’ve come to think of them more as badges of honor than baggage.
I know talking about Dream Bill’s shenanigans provides her a venue to talk about her fears and address the scars in a tangible way. And a way to meet the fears head-on. I realize if Dream Bill didn’t exist, we might not ever get a chance to talk about them, and our relationship would suffer for it.
So…Dream Bill. I don’t like you, man. You are—to put it mildy—an absolute dick.
But thank you. I don’t know whether you mean to do this or not, but thank you for the light you shed on our relationship. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to talk out some very important and foundational issues, which is making our life together better and our bond even stronger.
And thank you, Baby. For your courage and for walking beside me every day.
And for your love.