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2003-11-13 | 11:15 p.m.

I laid down an hour ago to read to Jasper and stayed there after he fell asleep because I felt tired. My body was happy to be in bed, under the covers, warm and relaxed. But my brain was wide awake. No, more than that, my brain was excited, happy, giddy. I drag through my days hardly knowing where Iím going or what Iím supposed to be doing, then I tell myself itís okay to fall asleep (donít feel guilty) and my mind is suddenly acrobatic. Itís so unfair. My house is such an obstacle course I can barely walk through it, yet lying in bed, Iím able to move furniture around, strip and refinish my hardwood floors, redecorate the rooms, sand and re-paint the trim, create a garden with California native plants that attracts wild birds, bees, butterflies, and children, and become a girl scout leader with a hand-picked troop that meets once a week. At my house, naturally.

Iím telling you, I go through these tasks in minute detail. In my mind. When I sand a windowsill, Iím really working on it. Iím thinking about what sandpaper grit I ought to use, and in what order. I can see the curled paint chips popping off as I scrape the sill. The paint color used to be forest green, but after oxidizing in the sun, itís a prettier shade of deep Mediterranean blue. I ask myself if I should repaint the trim in forest green, or try to match the prettier shade of blue. I ask myself if I should be wearing goggles, to protect my eyes from the paint chips. I can feel a tiny speck of hard paint lodge under my lower lid; I remember how uncomfortable it feels.

I can go through an entire exercise routine in my mind and feel as if Iíve worked out. Honest to God, it seems as if I ought to get credit for that.

The life I live in my mind seems so much more mine than the one I lead out here, stumbling and crashing along in the physical world. I wish I could find my power cord and plug it in to the rest of me.

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