April 21 Sunday
Tonight Prof. S. asked to borrow Juniper for a walk. When he returned her he gave me Astible’s leash, the one he promised.
“She’s too small for a choke chain. I don’t want to tell you how to train your dog, but you know, she’s only eight pounds.”
I agreed, wishing I did not feel the need to control her so cruelly, but the fact was she minded better with the chain.
“Don’t we all?” he asked. “But there are other ways.”
Had a nightmare about Marshall[AG1] sometime early this morning between waking for the first time, always at 3:30 a.m. and the second, get up time at seven. In this one, he left me at the river. On the day after the abortion, we joined two friends of his and went rafting on the Chattahoochee. I had no business doing this. It was far too strenuous and by the end of the day I was nearly in tears. His friend’s girlfriend and I drove home together in one car while the guys drove the other. All the way home, I kept checking the mirrors and turning around, something certain in me had decided they were going to dump us, take off and keep going. That Sharon was going to drop me off and join them and they were going to fly off, leaving me to face the white walls. Perhaps I wanted this to happen. I wanted to be tucked in bed with tea and toast and a soft novel, but I was hiking and pretending I was a Protestant and that the night before had not happened and, by God, I was going to keep pretending.
In my dream the guys did disappear. At a turn in the road we went one way and they went the other. Sharon wouldn’t stop. She hadn’t seem them laughing. I tried to take the wheel but whenever I touched it, it folded and turned to jelly. I woke up yelling, “Wait. Wait!” Only when I woke up, I was not yelling and Juniper was licking my salty face and I felt like such a coward.
Marshall chickened out on me. That’s all. And I chickened out. And maybe we were supposed to. Maybe you didn’t. He did. And you let him? Wait. Wait.