The Second Sleep

I had a very interesting dream this morning. It was one of those enigmatic dreams that has you waking up wondering what its message truly was. You see, last night I went to sleep asking myself to have my subconscious send me a message about my marital situation, and was pretty certain that it would do just that as I was fast asleep. It did, but before I can explain that, I’ll need to recount the events of yesterday.

This past week has been a sort of recap in miniature of the events of the previous month. Over the first few days after I saw my wife last week, she at least left her cell phone turned on, and I’m reasonably sure that she was checking her voice mails. Her new blog lay silent and her posts to the adulterer’s professional Facebook account had stopped. Then, this weekend, things went blank. She turned her cell phone back off. On Tuesday morning, I had a peek at her blog, and she’d written two new posts. This was followed by a couple of pictures posted to the Facebook account. Only the latter were current; the former were recounting events from a couple of weeks ago. This struck me as rather odd: why didn’t she just post these events after they had occurred? I mean, it’s not like she is really busy, or anything like that.

Yesterday morning she texted me just after 9:00 a.m. She was back in town and was asking me if I could come pick the dog up at her colleague’s house. I called her right back and she answered. I told her I’d be happy to pick up the dog, and I’d need about 20 minutes to get ready. I packed a couple of quick gifts, and set off to meet her at a cafe nearby her colleagues house.

I arrived and our time there was pleasant enough. She looked very tired and had dark circles under her eyes. We chatted about her dissertation, and it turns out she’s rather worried about the response she got regarding getting an extension to finish up; the response itself seemed to leave out some critical information. I encouraged her to follow up in person on this matter, but she claimed not to have the time to do so. (This is basically because she is not living in town these days; in reality, she has all the time in the world.)

After a few minutes of chatting, she asked me if I had time to take her to the bookstore. Her brother’s birthday had passed a couple of weeks ago, and she had not bought him anything. I told her I was happy to do so; I thought she had wanted to go to a nearby bookstore, but she actually wanted to go to another one — one of our favorites — across town. I agreed, and off we went. We picked up the dog at her colleague’s place (the bookstore is dog-friendly) and had a nice time browsing the bookshelves. She got him a nice gift and had it wrapped. Then she asked me if one of our favorite restaurants downtown might be open. This was a pretty sly way of her asking me if I’d have lunch with her. The restaurant is quite popular, and is only open 4 days a week — it’s run by the retired father of a very famous chef, and it’s basically just something he does for fun, rather than profit, even though the business clearly is very profitable. We agreed to drive by and to eat there if the line weren’t too long; often the line to get in will snake around the corner. Well, there was a line, not a long one, but a line nonetheless. So we opted to go have pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) instead. Since the dog was with us, parking was an issue, so we ended up at a fairly upscale Vietnamese restaurant, and had pretty much a legitimate “date” — this is a place we had been on an actual “date night” while we were married, and so that context was there this time as well. The food was great, and we had a good time. But, I had to get to work and time was getting short; she offered to take the bus back to her colleagues place, and I pretty much had to agree to drop her off at a nearby bus stop. She didn’t seem to mind very much, and I made it to work with about 2 minutes to spare.

After working a full day, I had a bit of time to decompress and to try to figure out what the significance of this meeting was. I do think she is finally exiting the fog, yet at the same time I think she finds both the choices in front of her and the consequences of her actions quite daunting, and rightly so. I am trying to cushion her landing as much as possible, but I do think it will be a pretty hard landing when it happens. In fact, my deeply intuitive sense about all of this right now is that she is poised for a major meltdown, and that meltdown is coming very soon. It only needs a trigger, and the least little thing can trigger it without much difficulty. I know my wife better than anyone, and believe me, I know when she’s gotten to that fragile point at which a meltdown is imminent.

So, last night I set myself the internal question of “what is this all about?” and then went to sleep. I had two dreams. The first one took place at Lake Tahoe. Now, I haven’t been there in over 20 years, but the context was one of inviting people to show up, and they would then arrive. This was a bit ambiguous, but I think this meant that I now need only to invite my wife to show back up in my life, and she will. I was rather uncertain of this message, though, and so I went right back to sleep with that same question. The next dream also took place in Lake Tahoe, but this time in the context of me driving through there on my journey home, which was at a totally different location. (I’d have to drive north to get home, yet I was driving south.) I stopped in Lake Tahoe for gas, and the attendant agreed to fill the tank for me, ostensibly at no additional charge. I walked around a bit, and noticed a couple sitting at a table behind their parked car, with their dog sleeping on the ground next to them. Just next to that table was a little fence that demarcated the California-Nevada border. The gas pumps were in California, and the cashier was in Nevada. I walked back over to pay the bill, and one of the attendants quoted me a price that was clearly too high. She then said I had been charged a $39 service fee on top of the gas price. I was livid, because this fee had not been explained or laid out anywhere. I took the receipt and scribbled out that fee and told her I would not pay it. She told me I’d have to, so I took the receipt into the cashier’s office and raised a big stink. The young lady was standing behind me, and I told her she could just go away. I knew internally that getting angry and making a big stink would not help my case at all, and that if I wanted to have that charge removed I’d have to be calm and personable, but still I was making a big stink. I told the lady behind the counter that I would not pay this additional fee, period. She looked at me and smiled, and said, “it’s the second sleep.” I was very confused. I then said, “what on earth is that supposed to mean?” Again, she smiled — this time revealing some rather bizarre looking teeth, one of which was studded with a small gemstone, and a strangely receding gum line. And once again, she said, “it’s the second sleep.” Then the dream dissolved and I woke up.

Now awake, I asked myself, “what does that mean, ‘it’s the second sleep’?” And the answer was a bit convoluted, but also somewhat revelatory. It means that I was aware, even in this dream, that it was my second dream in a row on that topic, and that I was looking for an answer and not finding it. I wasn’t going to find it, because the answer was the dream itself. Translating this to my wife’s situation, it means that she has been in her “second sleep”; the first “sleep” was the wall of silence that occurred over the previous month. This “second sleep” was the miniature version of that wall of silence that occurred during the last week. Just as this “second sleep” came to an end in my dream with the awareness that it was just nothing other than sleep, my wife’s “second sleep” is similarly coming to an end with her own process of awakening.

There is likely more to it than that. Enigmas do not give up all their secrets at once. However, the process of awakening is irreversible, and I eagerly look forward to welcoming my wife back into the waking world.

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