February 2, 2009 at 10:30 pm 6 comments


Me: I mean, just because I’ve been “okay” for a week or so, I don’t want you to get to thinkin’ I’m fine or anything like that.

Former psychiatrist: Don’t worry, Lauren: I would never think that about you.


Lately, I’ve been following guys around who resemble Alex from certain angles or who share his name. I stop staring and/or following only until I am 100% certain the person I am seeing is not my brother. With this in mind, I had a dream the other night about shopping alone at the Book Stop by the Olive Garden in Humble (now Barnes and Noble and within Deerbrook Mall). One of the book store employees had “Alex’ written in green lablemaker across his name badge. After keeping an eye on him for a bit, I lost interest because he looked and acted like a bit of a schmuck – sufficient evidence that he was not my Alex reincarnated.

I continued through the shelves of text, half-heartedly looking for a few items to add to my John Updike or African American literature collections. I passed the children’s section and noticed a display with Where the Wild Things Are and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and a few other books Alex and I read as kids. Suddenly, a spell of nausea ran over me, and I steadied myself against a row of travel guides. The room began to spin as I screamed out, “Someone help me!” before falling onto the floor and curling up into a ball of panic. No one came to my assistance. And then I woke up.

The problem is that, even while awake, I feel alone and helpless in this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad situation. No one comes to my assistance. No one can. The most I can hope for is the ability to move forward, if even an inch at a time.

Throughout troubled times, I sporadically become childish in my use of body and spoken language. In the dream, I symbolically curled up into the fetal position. I think the desire to return to one’s childhood or infancy reflects a need to be taken care of beyond what is available or even possible. Of course, if I could somehow return to my childhood, Alex wouldn’t be gone anymore, thus further fueling my sense of desperation.

Maybe someday I will grow up and effectively function as a responsible, productive adult. Until then, I prefer to live in a world of crossword puzzles, films, and literature where I stay distracted from the “unbearable lightness of being.”

Entry filed under: Family. Tags: , , , , .

John Updike Silly Valentine Rhymes

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. AndiKay  |  February 5, 2009 at 5:52 am

    I always loved this picture of you guys. I’m so glad you posted it here, it never fails to make me smile. Love you.


    • 2. Lauren Davis  |  February 6, 2009 at 12:40 am

      Yeah…it also reminds me of that soap they used to make that was like whipped or shaving cream. I think I had the pink Barbie variety. Do you remember that?


  • 3. Sandra  |  February 5, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I wonder if that former psychiatrist actually listened to you…

    Either way,

    A virtual hug, from me to you.


    • 4. Lauren Davis  |  February 6, 2009 at 12:44 am

      I appreciate the e-hug. This particular psychiatrist did indeed seem to have a difficult time listening. For example, I complained for months that my anti-depressant medication wasn’t working, but he insisted upon “giving it a fair chance.” When I returned home for the summer, a psychiatric intern determined within 10 minutes of meeting me that I needed to switch prescriptions. I have been responding well to that medication ever since.


  • 5. AndiKay  |  February 7, 2009 at 2:08 am

    I do remember, but I only had the crayola bath things like in the picture… I wasn’t big on Barbie unless I was having them killed by the GIJoe Firing Squad after neatly setting them up in their soap opera like houses. I did a lot of holocaust/Nazi raids on my Barbies with my little army men. Terrible, I know. Do you remember that project I did one year with the Barbie guillotine made from pop sickle sticks and nail polish for blood?


  • 6. Lauren Davis  |  February 7, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Yes…What class was that for? Remember our Where’s (Ralph) Waldo (Emerson)? project we did for Mr. Rundell? That was actually pretty cool.



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