Last night, Jim and I talked in the lobby for about an hour after dinner about all sorts of things. It was wonderful seeing him; real one-on-one, face-to-face contact is so much better than any amount of phone calling or time spent emailing each other articles we’d found interesting and thought the other would enjoy. Even though in the background, my internal call-and-response mantra/catechism continued to cycle like a perpetual-neurotic-motion-machine, our talk cut through some of the recurring patterns that wallpaper my mind.
Shortly after midnight, very sleepy, I climbed to the room where Caroline and Jane had already gone to bed. It was practically pitch-black, but the heaven-colored and textured cream-white bedding shone through. Because I am known for my pattern-recognition ability, which I am told is the mark of the truly intelligent, the survivors, I headed toward the sleeping form closest to the room door. If I couldn’t discern my wife’s sleep-posture from my daughter’s, I must not be the man I thought. I’m not. Seen simply as shapes, Jane now sleeps like Caroline and Caroline like Jane. I didn’t get into the wrong bed, but I nearly did. I had forgotten that Jane always takes the “best bed” on trips, which for present purposes was the “other one.” Now awake – they’re still asleep – my thoughts are totally disordered and I can’t figure out next Tuesday at all.