Three strands: Me, my mother, and sleepwalking
A beginning: white, translucent skin kissed by the sunlight in a thousand scattered freckles, so similar in body, her skin, my skin, her compassion, now mine. She is the owner of the love in me, my first draft, me her masterpiece.
Growing up wild in the desert, her mini me, infusing her into me, her music, her burning incense, her fingertips covered in slick aloe vera, sending the sharp, healing scent into my pores.
I grew into me, apart from her, but still have her nose, her smile that spreads across my face when I look in the mirror and see her. She said I was dancing in the hallway, my eyes open, but not awake, dancing and dreaming.
My mother, who loved to dance, she was a dreamer too, and she wasn’t afraid. “Go back to bed,” she told me, and I didn’t even remember, but I did what she said.
I remember evenings in the four-poster bed, lying in the sheets she shared with my father, my brother trying to talk to me, to turn my senseless mumblings from dreams to conversation. She laughs now to remember it, her tiny daughter telling the secrets of her dreams.
I always wondered, did I get it from her? Did she hand it down to me, the restless nights, the “active sleeping,” like the color of my eyes and my tendency for lethargy?
Once, as an adult, I shared a bed with her, like in the old days. Her sleep was so unsettled that she raged, lashed out, nearly flung herself off the bed, so violent that I didn’t equate it with my own nocturnal activities.
But I wonder. We share the same blood, she and I, and many of the same demons run through it.