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  • Writer's picturePaige Harris

I Had a Dream

I had a dream that I was running, running fast, through muddy puddles, crying, wanting nothing but to be home. But the home in my head isn't the one I see now. The home I wanted to go to was one where there had been many bad memories, memories I often forget, but somehow never leave my mind.

Tacky floral tile floors stained with exhales from nicotine gums. A tiny fridge placed in the corner of the room with no food, only alcohol, possibly some spoiled milk in the very back. A dark maroon rug, or maybe it was orange, and a brown couch. Most of the tables were milk crates. My room was a small porch where the cigarette smoke landed for me to exhale. Or is that a different house? The houses of my childhood all seem to blend together, but one thing always stays the same: piles of cigarette butts and empty vodka bottles. Why does it seem so far away? Why do I seem like someone else?

As my dream went on, I was just running, constantly crying, crying to be home, knowing that there is going to be no one there when I get there. I am surrounded by more and more mud. I can see my house down a back alley, but I can't get to it. My feet are stuck, and I first lose my shoes, then my socks. Two people come to help me as they hear me hysterically crying before. I tell them I want to go home, I tell them I need new socks, new shoes, and possibly a whole new goddamn childhood.

Maybe this dream is from a memory of me trekking through mud with my mom while she was drunk when we got the car stuck in a back alley. I just want to go 'home,' but maybe this dream means that I'll never get there. I'll never be home because that 'home,' the 'home' where my mother is sober, and tells me she loves me and means it... doesn't exist. And won't exist. Maybe I haven't accepted that. Maybe just ignored it. Ignored the little Paige that was so hurt when she was younger, and this stubborn adult Paige is just masking it all. Masking everything I was because I thought I was the problem, I was told I was the problem. And now, after years of suppressing those thoughts, I have to deal with them because they are breaking me.

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