dans mes rêves


So I had a real mindfuck of a dream last week. I could tell it like a story, but I won’t. It boiled down to this: I was granted my most fond wish – I got to move home, away from here. And I didn’t want to go.

I wanted to go  because it’s insane living as a liberal, agnostic, mentally ill, intellectual, feminist in Montgomery, Alabama. And I didn’t want to go because noplace else in the country has private schools so cheap. And quite frankly, I doubt I’d fine one with such high quality.  No other professional ballet company would be so welcoming to my kids. There isn’t another city ballet this laid back, period.

So the true part of the dream, the worst of the true part, was that I’m fucked. If I stay here, and at the moment, that’s my only option anyway, I continue to drive people away simply by being myself. Not that I’ m incapable of that elsewhere, but other places in the country, friends don’t run in droves when they find out my politics. I’ve got a small posse of pals down here who are good with me as I am. But only one of them can rush to grab my kids at a moment’s notice (thank GOD for you, Linda), and she’s stuck just like me.

Please don’t think that all of the conservatives, or Christians, or conservative Christians I know run around with their heads up their asses. They don’t. The ones who stick with me in spite of our differences are actually some very very good people. But I’m lonely as hell.

If we moved (not that it’s even an option), I’d have to homeschool the kids, which would be a house war, because Scott isn’t a big fan of home schooling. And Caroline and I are like fire and gasoline. The child would probably wind up abused and miserable if I homeschooled her and bullied and embittered if I put her in a public school. She has no idea how bad school can be right now, because her experiences have been, with one small hiccup before we found Churchill, so very good.

Ballet costs would skyrocket, and the level of technical skill required of both of kids’ age groups would jack up, too. They would probably both lose the only extra-curricular activity that both of them adore. And if they didn’t lose it, they wouldn’t be able to love it at this level. They wouldn’t be in a city that uses every kid who tries out in its Nutcracker every year.

So the upshot is that, although I am not much keen on Montgomery, I’ve grown some roots here. I was talking with friends at a labor day picnic (Linda and her husband Robert, who are liberal like me; Beth and her husband Kelly who are staunch conservatives and a couple of the smartest sweetest people I’m just getting to know). We agreed that it’s kind of sad to live in a city whose biggest calling card is that it’s close to everywhere else (1 ½  hours to Birmingham; 3 or 4 to Atlanta or, in the other direction, the beach; 5 to Chattanooga or Nashville; 8 or so to Louisiana.)

But I think that conversation is really what triggered the dream. The two biggest advantages of Montgomery for me are very concrete, very local. And as much as I love those institutions, that realization has been reeling me around in one nasty bipolar spin. On the outside, I seem normal, but inside, I’m just this side of needing to throw books at the windshield.

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


dans mes rêves — 18 Comments

  1. Montgomery is less than three hours from our beaches. I live in a small town, but am about an hour or two from much bigger cities. Tallahassee is only two hours east. I like my little town, but it can be lonely here too.
    Hop over and visit Tara R.’s recent post Rainbows and leprechaunsMy Profile

    • I imagine so. I grew up in a small town, and I rue the certain knowledge that I’ve outgrown it. Because I do miss small town life. Your beaches and their closeness to Montgomery absolutely make up for a LOT of the stress of feeling stuck here.

  2. It is the WORST when a dream throws something at you that’s real enough that you can’t shake it when you wake up. They can have a power that’s really disturbing.

    I’m sorry you’re not loving your options right now; it’s hard to know you can’t do anything about it for a while. I hope it doesn’t dog you for too long.
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  3. I understand this, sort of. I live in a liberal area in a conservative state, but, having gotten used to Northern CA politics, I definitely feel like I’m walking on eggshells around here. However, we moved here for lots of reasons, not the least of which was to be close to family, and it’s a permanent(ish) move. So here we are. Not Montgomery, but not Berkeley either. Not that I’d exactly fit in in either place, but you KWIM. 😉
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    • I have a feeling you can identify with it very strongly. I think yours is the ONLY liberal area in your conservative state. (Granted, it’s the one place in the state I want to visit, and oh my GOD I want to go to SXSW.) But yeah, it is like walking on eggshells.

  4. How do you think I felt during all my years of working on a racecar? Some of my best friends thought Sarah Palin was a rockstar! They yelled at me when I got my green card thinking my vote would erase theirs knowing I was pro Obama (they were so relieved when I told them not to worry, greencarders don’t get to vote). So yeah… as long as your sweet darlings can crack some ballet nuts at Christmas – you’re in paradise!

    p.s. I love when you speak French to me!
    Hop over and visit Marie’s recent post Life In The Fast LaneMy Profile

    • Oh WOW —

      a) I can’t believe they would think something like that
      b) I can’t believe they would say it to your FACE
      c) Of course I DO believe it because you said it, but you understand the hyperbole, I’m sure
      d) I had no idea you couldn’t vote if you have a green card. How stupid is that?
      e) Is Canada accepting immigrants? I’m sure I’ll need to move after this election cycle no matter who wins!!

      • People in racing are true blue Republicans. They LOOOOOVE Sarah Palin! LOVE her. Swoon over her! And yeah. I’m only a resident sans voting privilege. If people only knew how much of a privilege it was, voter turn out would increase dramatically.
        Hop over and visit Marie’s recent post Face Down In The MuckMy Profile

  5. I have been through the dilemma of choosing through what seems to be a list of wrong options. So I think I can relate to your feelings. I am really sorry to hear you are going through such times but I do think you will tide over them with a flair.
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  6. I hear what you’re saying, Jessie. Such of circle of feelings, concrete facts, and preferences all tangled up.

    Here in Chicago, I’m stuck on the wrong side of the city. I’m on my way downtown again today, just to walk and be somewhere else where the chances are better of meeting someone who thinks my idea of conversation isn’t weird. I’d rather go to a couple of other neighborhoods, but that would cost at least one extra bus fare so I can get a few groceries on the way home. Those extra fares add up pretty high if I start thinking I can go wherever I want, but the loneliness keeps me trying to get downtown at least once a week.

    • I had a dream about you last night. I was trying to visit you on the El (I have never been to Chicago, so my El was more like the touristy trains we take places and nothing like I’m sure it really is), and I kept missing your neighborhood, trying to get the engineer to go back. But the other passengers were turned around facing the other way. (Why was there an engineer back in our car? Who knows). Then I started trying to get the other passengers to turn around and help me, but every one of them had a blank face, without any features at all. Just a skin web from chin to forehead. It was weird, and eerie, and not, I suspect, unlike the way you really live.

  7. Jessie, your frustrations are mine at heart. I am so SO SO tired of people trying to categorize me based upon a handful of things, decide from that whether they like me or not, and never really even TRY to get to know me. I can like a person who believes just about anything. It is not a requirement that they believe the way I do, worship the way I do, vote the way I do or any of that other stuff. People are interesting, and there’s almost always something worth knowing, regardless of all these polarizing things upon which our society seems to focus. I hope you can find more people like the ones you value in Montgomery.
    Hop over and visit Andra Watkins’s recent post Back to Our Regularly Scheduled ProgrammingMy Profile

    • It’s maddening isn’t it? The world would be so DULL if we all thought alike, and yet there’s this assumption that the people who don’t think alike are flawed. There’s more than one way to ‘right’!! I’m an agnostic married to a Christian, and I have no doubt that he and I couldn’t stand each other if we were any more alike than we already are!!