I wake up in the morning around 5:30 to 6:15 and shuffle down fifteen steps to my desk.  I work out of my home.  I put in about three hours until the staff starts to arrive.  During those three hours I read over online papers and blogs, preparing the day’s lists for the staff, and then I jump into writing.  I write for an hour or two, sometimes longer.  I often have little idea what I’m going to write about when I begin.  Like now.

When Marcia and I last went traveling, as soon as we shifted to the Eastern Time Zone, I woke up on the button at 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time.  Every morning, with no alarm clock, my eyes popped open at 5:30 a.m. during the whole vacation.  So I wrote each morning.

What was odd is that my unconscious made a seamless transition to Eastern Time while we were headed east, but when we crossed the Indiana timeline back into the Central Time Zone, I then woke up at 4:30 in the morning, 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time.  Somehow, I was not transitioning easily back to Central.  I have an internal alarm clock that works faultlessly, but it is strangely relaxed about which time zone I might be in.

My dad and I were sitting on opposites sides of my wife at our favorite bar/burger joint, Beinlich’s, in Northbrook.  I could not hear a word my dad was saying.  I’m not sure he was hearing me.  I proposed we switch positions so that both of them would be on my good side with the ear that hears well.  I then found out my dad has a bad ear, the opposite one from mine.  So, by switching positions and having Marcia stay seated, my dad and I were both able to hear each other easily, our good ears now pointed at each other.  Part of the dance of growing older.

My father, my son and I went on a houseboat fishing trip up near Oshkosh about ten years ago.  The boat had a toilet, beds and everything.  We tooled around the Fox River and some lakes, not catching much.  Toward the end, we watched a remarkable display of meteorites from the houseboat roof while listening to the harmonies of heavy metal from some serious partyers from across the lake.  I’m not sure how it came up in conversation, but it being the evening of the fourth day, I discovered my father had not taken a crap.  Neither had I.  My butt is very particular about where it chooses to unload.  Then, to my dad’s and my astonishment, Elia revealed he had not dumped.  Three generations of Lehman males, all disposed to not go to the bathroom in an unfamiliar environment, all unaware that the others were similarly possessed.

Consciously, I have no problem with strange toilets.  It’s just that I experience absolutely no urge to take a crap unless I’m home or in a place my gut has decided is a close enough approximation.  Why some places qualify and others don’t is not always clear to me.

With my first wife, if I was really pissed, I’d find myself yelling “Terry!”  My sister’s name is Terry.  My sister Terry, when she’s furious at her husband, Craig, tells me she finds herself yelling “Andrew!”  In both cases, we find ourselves less angry, feeling like idiots for confusing our childhoods with present day.

There’s this weird thing that happens.  Sometimes my son tells me a dream he’s just had and it directly relates to what I was doing during his dream.  It’s happened so often it’s become routine.  On more than one occasion I woke from a dream as my wife awoke.  She told me her dream.  It was the same dream that I was having.

It’s happened I’ve awakened thinking I was another age, for example, 20.  Lying there at 20 I suddenly remember I’m whatever, say 45.  Then the intervening years all come rushing in.  In dreams, I’m often a girl, only to wake up a boy.  In dreams I’m sometimes an animal, only to awaken human.  In dreams, I sometimes realize I’m dreaming and am aware that I am in primary process consciousness with one time, one place and no negatives, unable to read, living in a world that in every detail is created by my unconscious.  There is perhaps no feeling more secure than to know your greater self is totally in control.

In one dream I saw a friend while I was aware I was dreaming.  I asked her if she was aware that she was dreaming and was this also her dream.  She said yes.  When I awoke, I went and found her and asked her if she remembered the dream.  “No,” she said.  She was amused.

Sometimes my son has lucid dreams where I am with him in his dream, and he thinks it might be a dream I am also having.  So far, I don’t remember the dreams he thinks we might have shared.

Often I’ve dreamed I woke up to look at the clock and then went back to sleep to later discover upon waking that it was a dream.  Sometimes I can’t figure out if it was a dream or not.  More and more often I can’t tell ancient dreams from early memories.  There is a blurring of past dreams with past.

I’m feeling like my life is an instrument being played by a musician, my unconscious.  A common theme is the one where I am played to make believe that I, as conscious, am alone.  I’m not exactly clear why this particular song is so entertaining.  But it’s becoming clear that awake is often not aware, and asleep is not unconscious.  I’m looking forward to when awake becomes fully conscious, and dreaming becomes a lucid part of my everyday.

In the meantime, I’ll awaken at 4:30 or 5:30 in a time zone that my mind finds comfortable that morning.  Writing in the morning is relatively easy.  It’s not always clear when I’m awake.


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