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According to the noted Swiss psychologist, C.G. Jung, said, dreams are real, as real as real life. If that is true it means it really happened. Dave Eggers really did kidnap me. Only, I won’t be pressing charges and their was no ransom demands. I wish I had more to tell you about the dream. The dream was very light on content. It was pretty much a voice over that said, “Dave Eggers kidnapped you.”I woke up feeling simultaneously excited and a little concerned.
I told Igor and shockingly he didn’t know who Dave Eggers is.
“Are you kidding me?” I was dumbfounded that he didn’t know one of the greatest writers of my generation.
“No”, Igor weakly defended.
“Dave Eggers is one of my favorite writers and he wrote AHBWOSG. You have read it, haven’t you?”
“No,” Igor said with no tone of embarrassment.
I felt a strong impulse to after the session to go and buy him the book that is the Gen X equivalent to “The Catcher in the Rye” and ask him what the hell he is reading anyways. I planned to buy him the book and bring it in next week until I realized it would become a huge transference issue that we would have to talk about forever. “Why do you want me to read it? How did your parents not know what you valued? Would you feel more loved if I read this book?” Blah-blah-blah-blah…. I decided it wasn’t worth it to endure that line of questioning. Why can’t a gift just be a gift and not a loaded symbolic gesture?
“Tell me more about Eggers”. Igor asked.
“He is a brilliant writer from Lake Forest.” I then shared all that we have in common. I also shared a new bit of synchronicity, “Dave is also a Pisces and our birthdays are just two days apart.” I said as a way proving unequivocally how much alike we are.
“Hmmmm….. So do you like him? Igor asked.
He said it in a way that was so loaded that it couldn’t drive because it might get a D.U.I.
“No, it isn’t him. I don’t like him. I have no interest in him. It is his writing that I like. And, I like that we have so much in common. But, him as a person…I am not as interested. I guess that because of all that we have in common that maybe it gives me hope that I will write my own “Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”.
Igor did the Igor posture. Eyes shut and his hands stroking his brows as if they contained some magical insight powder that was released only upon repeated contact. If he was a cartoon there would have been steam coming out of his head so as to indicate how hard his brain was working.
“This hope that you will be like Dave Eggers, it impinges you. It takes you and you are not free. It grabs a hold of you and then you can’t move.”
His interpretation was not at all what I had been hoping for. As soon as he came up with that it I felt a depression coming on as undeniable as hiccups and it got worse when he immediately changed the subject and asked if I was still planning on going back to work in the fall.
I read his subject change to mean that I should quit writing and focus on my work. I was too upset by my reading to ask if that is what he was really saying.
A week later I went to see the film, Away We Go , written by Dave Eggers. I didn’t know much about the movie before I went. I had read a few bad reviews that didn’t talk a lot about the story but instead were baffled that Sam Mendes could make such a movie. I saw the movie and to be honest with you I have no idea if it was a good movie or a bad movie. I just don’t know. It is not for me to assess it as a creative work but rather to share with you how it affected me.
What I know is that it was not a movie I should have seen alone and without an Ativan in my purse. It is a movie about a happy young couple with child who are trying to find a home for their soon to be baby. Perfect movie for me, huh?And, I went to see it in a pretty vulnerable state. For the last week I have had two cases of ruptured ovarian cysts and I can tell you they hurt like a mother. Any *female* issue always brings up my unresolved issues about our intractable childlessness.
“Away We Go” is a sort of “On the Road” on hormones, a light hearted Kerouac for those shopping for cradles. The happy couple travel the country and try to find home in Tuscon, Arizona; Madison, Wisconsin; Montreal; and Miami, Florida. It was when they got to Montreal and met up with college friends who had just gone through their fifth miscarriage that I went into a hormonal/PTSD/and mild histerical outburst. I sat alone in the Westwood Pavilion director’s lounge theater and sobbed until I shook. The 50-something man in the seat in front of me did his best to ignore the crazy lady behind him. By the time they were in Florida and lying on a trampoline and making vows of what kind of parents they would be that I thought I might need an ambulance to get out of there as I thought my heart was going to break and if it did I was sure I wouldn’t be able to walk to my car with a broken heart. Heart and feet must be connected somehow.
Spoiler alert: In the movie the couple finds a perfect home for their soon to arrive baby and it is in watching that scene that I realized I may never find home—as home for me has always included a baby. When I had that realization is when my heart did break( it turns out you can walk with a broken heart, good to know). I sat alone in the theater after everyone left and I sat there and cried and grieved something I have grieved before. I said the mantra that goes with this grief, “it’s not fair.” When the usher came in to clean out the empty theater I took a quick look at myself in my compact and saw that I resembled a swollen raccoon and that dark glasses were in order. I walked out of the theater and to the car in darkness, feeling everyone could tell I had been crying and that I was an unfertile and bitter woman and if there was a god he must hate me and I must have done awful things to be denied this basic biological function that my body was designed for.
For 48 hours last week we thought He-weasel might be transferred to North New Jersey. I had made connections with Realtors and friends from NJ to seek thei
r advice. Thanks to Realtor.com I had already found a 100 year old house in Bernardsville that I really liked and could imagine us living in. I started to imagine the kind of life we would live there. But, at the end of “Away We Go”, when I saw the happy couple in their happy ending, I realized that we would likely be the only couple in Bernardsville without kids. People move to places like Bernardsville and Lake Bluff because they have kids—and we don’t.
Friday night I found out the job in New Jersey had been filled and so we would not be moving anyways. I was sad, sure. But, I wasn’t as sad as I would have been if I hadn’t seen “Away We Go”. Dave Eggers movie had kidnapped my hope that I will ever find a home. I hope he sends a ransom note soon. I’d settle for an offer to publish a piece in McSweeney’s.