Another night where I woke, a scream scrambled in my throat, unsure of where I was until I flipped the switch on the lamp that resides beside the bed. Drenched in sweat, I take several deep breaths attempting to tell myself that dreams are harmless; a product of an overactive subconscious mind. If only I really believed this.
I walk slowly to the bathroom, tossing a soaked nightgown on the bed. The shower is hot and steamy and my body slowly loosens up as the water cascades down my back. I want to close my eyes but the dread of reliving the horror that woke me is too much to bear so I leave them open and focus on the wall instead. I stay in until the water turns cool and then cold and only then do I climb out and get a towel.
This is becoming a nightly ritual. Wake up biting back a scream, take a shower and then change the sheets even though I know I won't be going back to bed. I put everything in the washer and turn it on. I know I should wait until daylight so as to not disturb Elizabeth but she's the child who could sleep through a 100 piece marching band practicing beside her sleeping head so I add the laundry soap and make my way to the kitchen to make coffee because I know the day is going to be long and I'm going to need it.
Some days, I can go back to sleep on the sofa in the living room where it seems that I rarely dream but most days, this one no exception, I turn on the television and let the low sound fill the room so it's not so silent and I find myself drinking coffee and watching whatever happens to be on.Waiting for the world to wake up.
I think I am going to go work on the painting I started last night. Right now, it's nothing. Some color on a canvas. If it turns into something recognizable, then great. If not, oh well. The sheer act of painting is therapeutic in and of itself.