Long Night's Journey into Day

On Friday, in those moments of sudden stillness, N tells me that apparently the body releases some kind of paralyzing chemical during sleep, which is why, he says (after telling me not to quote him on this), you sometimes have those moments during dreams in which you're frantically, desperately trying to move but cannot.

I've had dreams like that: I want to run or get up or turn but I'm stuck, leaden, right where I am, as if some greater force is exacting control over my limbs. I wake up with a start, relieved to realize, though it takes some time, that my body is mine again, that I'm free to move as I please.

This morning I thought of that dreaming, of that sleepy paralysis, and realized that, if you (like me) go in for the occasional grand extrapolation, you might say that much of the grand ol' US of A is on the cusp of being pulled out of just such a dream. It was a long one, and exhausting, in which we thought we could move or scream or do something, anything, to stop feeling like so much was out of our control (and quite possibly getting worse all the while). Something kept us frustratingly still.

But it's morning in America, my friends, and I don't mean the Reagan kind of morning. I mean the kind when we wake up and understand that we can move again, understand that our futile attempts to shift our frozen limbs or open our mouths and hear something come out are over, understand that though much of the past eight years were significantly more than just a bad dream, they're over.

Tomorrow morning, human voices will wake us, but with apologies to TSE, we won't drown. At long last, the senseless, useless flailing and sinking are over.

We won't drown. We'll swim, finally, toward what looks once again like a reachable shore.

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