Conversations While Dozing

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.

I’m half dozing but my mind is going like crazy. It just never stops.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

The emotions I feel are jumping all over the place, and I can’t get  a fix on any of them for very long at a time. It’s someone else’s emotions, that’s why.

Rather than shield, I let it pass through me but the emotions are  so different from how I’m used to feeling emotions that I occasionally let one of them catch me.

They have me feeling independent and needy and indulgent and  confused and lonely and distant and rebellious. Not quite all at once, but so quickly in cycles that I can barely detect the end of one spurt of emotion and the beginning of the next.

I don’t think about it. I just let it go, go, go while I go about my  business  of  all the  things  I must  finish  this week.

Then, while half-dozing, the emotions come to a halt, to a quiet that’s strange among this discordance of every- thing at once. It’s deathly quiet.

Then, in my dozing, I hear a man’s voice, soft and concerned,  a  little  incredulous  as  if  he’s  just  realized something, and quite fearful. I’ve never heard a man ask me this before…at least not in this quiet tone.

“Are you mad at me?”

Half-dozing,  I  tell  him  yes,  then  tell  him  why.  He shares his thoughts while I sleep, but he never speaks to me when he sits close.

“Oh,” he says. There’s genuine surprise in his voice, and distress,  too, even after I assure him that I am well and I do care, but wish he  would show his feelings not just below the surface but above as well.

Then somewhere  a bubble  bursts and my  thoughts quiet down and the jarring  emotions  ease.  I don’t  feel everything he feels at once now. All I feel is my own jangled  nerves,  calming  now  without  the  barrage  of  self- questioning and self-deprecation.

It’s not that he’s gone. I still feel him close.

No. No, he’s just letting me sleep. Thank you.