Sometimes waking up is gratefully like being fuzzy and blind and a pupa in an extremely comfortable cocoon.
I'll usually drift awake, readied to feel anxious, tensed to feel stressed about something, but on these occasional sweet mornings, I will find myself delighted to be waking up.
Instead of slowly drifting open, through half-dreams, heading into the worried seasickness of morning anxiety, something else happens. Eyes still closed, my mind pops quietly open, awake, unfolding into the morning, and I lie there quietly, folded in the dark blue living room behind my eyeballs, wondering what time it is. I smile and wonder where in the world this opportunity came from to wake up so pleasantly. A dream starts to remember itself, and I work at it in my mind for a moment. I feel the socks on my feet and how toasty they are at the bottom of my bed. I nest in my black-and-white flowered down comforter and smile even more, still with my eyes closed. I wiggle a little and sigh, falling in my mind back into an epic, lawn-sized pillow. I wake up this way, poppingly and sweetly, from a dream about being at a warm beach with my friend Ben. I don't drift uncomfortably out of the dream like I usually do out of most of my dreams, without control--this one is just ended like a nice sentence with a period. I am awake. And I remember my dream.
Ben has blackish hair and used to wear an orange Beaker t-shirt all the time. There's a little cove in my dream, wavy and sunshiney, with dark rocks and a light sky. Ben and I lie there on the sand comfortably, with my cousin Megan, who is two years old and seems to have come along for the adventure. She's wearing a little sand romper and fluted beach cap, walking in small circles around us, pad pad pad, and I'm wearing a ruffly black swimsuit that is somehow echoing the soft comfort of my bedspread--so much that I'm finding myself having a hard time not falling asleep in the warm sand. My skin is pale and warm. Ben is there, my friend, just sitting next to me. We are at the beach.
A dozen or so yards from us, down the stretch of sand, are Wes, Lex, Alex, Eric, Connie, Sarah Russo, Caitlin and Pam. They're just playing at the beach, softly and quietly, a little distance from us--like one of those old Charlie Chaplins, they're fuzzy and quiet, muted and animated, and they take the occasional break from their beach activites to wave and smile. They let me know they're there, they're close. Lex waves again. Eric blows me a kiss. My cousin Abby is there too, I think. They're wearing those beach "costumes" and playing some fairly complicated game with cycling black-and-white beach balls that looks effortless and light. I can faintly hear the tinkling piano rag that goes along with their little movie, just down the beach. I breathe the sand air and lay perfectly still, remembering in my dream that this beach vision probably came from the vat of sand passed around in my biology class yesterday. Remembering that I remembered in wonderment, the beach. Like when you forget that Christmas exists, or something, and remember it after not thinking about it for a couple of days. Christmas. I remember the beach, and the disappointment I felt when the sand vat didn't get to me, and the transporting I did of myself from the stuffy MARB classroom to the beach in Coronado, in the sun, with a tan and a book.
Ben isn't wearing his Beaker t-shirt, in fact, I can't really remember or tell what he's wearing, but he's there with me and we are just being. We aren't talking, we aren't even looking at each other or taking much notice of each other at all, but our presence is a conversation. We hold a conversation in a cove on some temperate golden sand and my friends play commitedly down the way, nearer to the water. The water doesn't really look like water, it's swirling and gray, and sparkling a little. It's not splashing as it flows, it's silent. Nobody is in it. Not even a seagull down there. This is also a seaweed-less beach. I know in my dream that nobody is to go in the water, that being here at the beach is a still place not to get into the water at.
Megan sits next to me and places her tiny hand on my back, smiling and babbling into my face, and she commences pacing. Ben sits on my other side. I am reclining on my elbows in an effortless way. We sit this way, in our spot, and stare out into the whorling gray water. It is beautiful and I think if I got in it, it would be scary. But to sit and watch it is about the nicest thing. The sky is light. I am comfortable in my black ruffles with my friend Ben and my friends down the way in their movie and I remember this dream and I lay in my bed, and I smile some more.
These are the mornings I get my cocoon.