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Jayne Dullahan


Finding joy in the little things! At times I am good at it, but in my Costanza-like way I hang on a universe of begetting, with every peep of the joyful there will come the slight of the bad. One does well not to get caught up in the euphoria, distracted from the lurking demons ready to take you down a notch in every corner of life. I forgot that little mantra last week, and, euphoric over the joy of others surrounding me, I was utterly dumbstruck by the comeupance of rejection. A small step to be sure, except that it affects everything else.

She: "Just be happy."

Me: "Yes."

O I am joyful for so much kindness in the world, I don't know what I do to deserve it. Perhaps I do not let it show. I feel it in my heart; my face betrays that my thoughts are somewhere else. The spiral drives me down hung up on the sucker punches, so I resolve to block them out.

Me: "Does it hurt?"

Me: "I don't care."

O, but not to be left alone. I know what I have to do...it's just...I'm afraid to do it.

And no one can hear it anymore and I am alone and alone and alone. They tucked me in. They said goodnight. Off goes the light. They shut the door. I am alone and alone. Do I fight sleep or do I give in? The night drags on endlessly if I don't, and I run through a million scenarios that go from bad to worse. My heart pounds. That is what will come. I don't know what to expect of sleep, except that the time will pass more quickly. When I awaken, O remember the little things, the joyous things, the not-alone things...

Once upon a time there was a person at college. The person made a friend, the best friend ever. The Person invited the Best Friend to visit. They went to The Person's room. They spent many happy hours there. And then as so often happens, they fell in love. The Friend was the friendliest friend, The Person the happiest person.

And we sat on my bed, and my friend kissed me and it was the best thing that ever happened to me, and we parted again, and I missed my Friend. And my Friend came back, a succession of nights passed and how comfortable I was! My Friend had the lovliest, deepest smile, a soul that lingered through time and space. And I was lying on my bed. And my Friend was sitting at the end of it. And my Friend smiled, kindly, lovingly, ... wantingly. And my Friend got up on hands and knees, and began coming toward me on all fours, smiling in so...enchanting a way. Enchanted. I was enchanted, caught in some kind of mist, or the room disappeared and there was nothing in the world but us. Closer my Friend came. That look in my Friend's eyes...O it sent shivers down my everything. I opened my arms, closer my Friend came. Smiling so kindly, so wantingly. Hands caressing my hair, my forehead...my cheeks...my throat...shivers...now two hands on my throat...and my Friend smiling so kindly and the grip on my throat tightened...tightened...smiling so kindly and those eyes...still smiling so kindly but the eyes, the eyes suddenly glittering with malice, and still smiling so kindly, and then laughing...killing me...killing me...I can't see anymore...I can't breathe anymore...

I sit bolt upright in bed and catch my breath and I can breathe again but my heart is pounding. Still not sure if it's a dream or I'm awake...and then the knock at the door reminds me that it's a dream, I am here and not there, whereever that was. I shake it off.

Me: "Try to shake it off. The joy. Remember the joy. All the love and the joy."

A smile greets me in the morning.

"How are you this morning?" it says, so kindly. Kindly.

It is the face from my dream.

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