Path of Least Unhappiness

My dreams are more interesting to me than real life.

Yesterday I dreamt that all the bulldogs were alive again. My mom kept trying to convince us that they’d never died. There’s some symbolism in there, but it’s not readily available. There were 900 lots around my parents’ house for sale, and they hadn’t sold one. I kept trying to fall back asleep, but my phone kept ringing.

Real people in the real world wanting to know that I’m ok.

I read a scientific study somewhere once that said people with unhappy parents have a much harder time finding sustained happiness.

My father’s father was a brilliant chemist who liked to drink alone when he got home from work. “Time to slow down the synapses,’” he’s been quoted as saying. It wasn’t the alcohol or cigars that killed him, but I’m sure they didn’t help.

My father’s mother died when he was in high school, alcohol-related of course. He found her and insisted on going to school that day, but I don’t know much else because he never talks about it

I didn’t know these two people like I didn’t know my mother’s father. He had a stroke years before I was born and was partially paralyzed. He was still around but you couldn’t really know him unless you’d already met him before the stroke. Pain pills, mental anguish, and physical pain were his daily life.

My mother’s mother was the only one I ever really knew.

She was always cooking and was a perfect grandmother, but she was profoundly unhappy. Get too close to her soft translucent skin, and you could feel it coming off her in heavy waves.

Oh, what a life, what a life”, she used to sigh,

My sister doesn’t remember this one when I ask her about it, but she does remember our grandma saying, “just leave me on the hill and let the crows pick at me“.

I can’t stop laughing, but my sister is upset.

You really shouldn’t say stuff like that to your thirteen-year-old granddaughter“.

We both sigh like my grandma used to. Maybe we just weren’t meant to be happy.

I think of that study and hope that it’s not true. My mother, the gorgeous CFO, alone in the giant glass house. My father, the brilliant mathematician, alone with his motorcycles.

Freedom can get awfully fucking lonely, don’t I know it.

Maybe it’s all just an excuse. An excuse to fuck up again, an excuse to run home, an excuse not to get out of bed for 48 hours.

Until another study proves me wrong I guess I’ll keep searching.

For the pill, the person, the drink, that makes me forget who I am and where I come from.