Cool Water cologne and holiday not so cheer

Usually today is my most favorite day to blog….Nothing to do but curl up in sweats, watch football and blog about the week and the week to come. Not today, though, and it’s a shame because it was bitter cold, rainy, dark and bleak, just like Germany likes it, and it was perfect nap/blog/nap weather. Instead, though, we did 86 million moving/packing/cleaning/post wedding/pre Italy tasks and at 9pm, I’m just sitting down to write. No worries, though, I have a few random things to spew and then I’ll go back to the chores. Thorough, thoughtful blogging will have to wait until later this week….

So, first thing before I forget. I need someone to back me up here. Cool Water cologne. (picture chosen because of Mr. Holloway, not this gross, Italian bath water) Yeah, as in the cologne every guy we went to high school with wore on Friday nights after the football pep rally with the hopes that his hand was going up your shirt or his gross tongue in your mouth. Anyway, back to the Italian bath water. I’m sorting through our bathroom baskets and I dump out a pile of cologne on the floor, crinkling my nose and telling my Mr. H that his cologne are old, gross and in poor taste.

He dares to hold up Cool Water, spray it towards me and say, Cool Water, Heath?, as though I must have not seen that one lying in the pile of crap.

“Yeah, especially Cool Water. That’s for Italians, high school kids and brothas.”

“It is not for brothas.” He acts like he doesn’t know that Snoop rapped about it in “Lodi Dodi.” Duh.

“Yes, it is. You’re not one. Throw them out.” End conversation.

Can someone please back me up here that Cool Water is for one of those three categories: 1. Italians 2. High school kids 3. Brothas. I’m trying to prove a point here and no, it’s not racism, it’s appreciation of good cologne.

There. Not so serious topic to break into my depressing topic of the day.

It’s holiday time and I knew it was coming. I was just wondering when it’d hit. Well, last night was night three of the “Dream About Trying to Save Your Dead Father” series. It’s one of my most*fun times of the year.

So the other night I woke up confused, sitting up, realizing I had been crying, and hard. I was still doing that catch your breath thing little kids do when they are crying so hard they can’t talk. I couldn’t even remember when I had been dreaming about until I put my head back on the pillow and stared at the wall for the next three hours, wishing I had just one more week without the holiday sadness. And then I remembered.

It was just the same as every dream, but all the different versions in one with a new twist. This time we were at Katie’s wedding. The grass was lush and green and we were all wearing celery colored dresses, that pale green my sister knows the fancy name for. There was an apple tree with a wooden swing hanging from tattered rope, which seemed out-of-place because it didn’t belong at Katie’s wedding. It was from one of the fields from a house we used to live in when we were young and my father was very much alive. I remember sitting in that apple tree in the dream, in the dress, swinging and wondering why I felt so child-like for a few moments and then I realized my out-of-body Heather was in the dream too because she was there, trying to tell pretty in a dress Heather that the tree didn’t belong. I didn’t belong there.

I can’t explain to you why Heather in the dream is always accompanied by Heather who knows what ends up happening in every dream. It’s current me battling past me and I sometimes just wish the current me would leave the unsuspecting in dreams me alone. I know, sounds like a lot of crazy shit, but it’s not. Ugh, well, it kind of is, but it’ll all be over in a month and a half. I promise not to subject any of you to a daily dose of my holiday crazy.

So next in the dream, I’m having dinner with my step-mother and sister and I look out the window. There, as clear as day is my father. He waves and I look at my sister to see if she sees and I look back. He’s gone, but not because he’s disappeared. He’s now walking in the door. We all look, silenced by the surprise and then stare at each other. My step-mother gasps and cries out and then jumps up to see if he’s real and I am too stunned and cannot swallow and my sister can’t stand. He’s real and he’s come to say he’s sorry, he needed some space and he’s sorry for how it all went down, but he’s back.

I hate this dream. Even dreaming Heather hates this dream because every time I have it, and this is no exception, I losemyshit and start yelling at him, lashing out as though I forgot that for three full years I thought he was dead. Forgot, as I’m swearing and foaming at the mouth and hitting him over and over again, that Real Life Heather would trade everything on earth for that one moment.

And then phase three of the regret and desperation dream series. The part where I can’t make him stop. I hate this more than the part where he casually tries to walk back into our lives. I hate this part because no part of this is a dream. This is what happened. This is what I’m left with and this is what I can’t fix and probably what I’ll spend dreaming about for the next five years or so or forever because I thought maybe this would be the year the dreams stopped but I guess not.

We’re walking in the woods and there’s a frost. He’s telling me how proud he is of me and how he’s sorry he missed my wedding. I’m telling him funny stories, the ones I’ve been saving for years, the ones I would use now if it was July of 2007 and I needed material to keep him interested in life. As I tell him, I hear him laughing loud and the corners of his eyes crinkle and sparkle, like Katie’s. He reaches for my hand and I feel relieved and hug him and kiss him on the cheek and then Out of Body Heather whispers in my dreaming self’s ear, You better hurry. He’s about to leave you again.

And then I pull away and dreaming Heather and Out of Body Heather start to become the same and I start to wake up but never before the worst of it. He is starting to fade, to become invisible and I can only feel the slightest touch of his hand and I realize that I’m losing him again. He always goes away.

“Please stop,” I plead. “Please, decide to stay and I think you can stay. Just want to be here. Please. Don’t leave me again.” I can barely see him and I’m crying and barely able to stand or speak. He’s almost gone.

“I miss you.” And then he’s gone.

I’m thankful, though, that I can still see his face in my dreams. It’s the regret of not being able to say goodbye that turns my dreams to nightmares and makes it so much harder to miss him. I wonder when I’ll stop wishing the holidays away and get over wanting to say goodbye.

I think not being able to say goodbye to someone you loved with every last inch of you is probably the world’s worst punishment in the world. Goodbye is what allows people to let people go. I wish he had given me that. Actually, I just wish he never left in the first place. Dear Santa……..

And so, here is today’s song of the day, Mindy Smith’s “One Moment More.”