by JoAnn LoVerde-Dropp | Kennesaw, Georgia, USA
Originally published in Issues 003 & 004: November & December 2017
You are ashamed because last night you dreamt you couldn’t stay awake while driving—that your car swerved while you prayed to survive and your head lolled slack upon your shoulders. Ashamed, even in the dream, because you couldn’t stay awake and you swore in the dream before this one that you would never again drive while sleeping.
This is something only Dr. Covey will understand. The one who does not blink when you shyly pull out your hand-sewn, full-body bonnet from your oversize handbag then ask for help with pulling on your tights.
Dr. Covey, the one who cares enough to transform her office into a miniature golf course for her 3:00 on Tuesdays. You know this because you are her 1:00, and the two of you often picnic on the greens. It costs a little extra because you have to pay the delivery fee from Boston Market, but you don’t mind. You don’t mind because she understands that coaching isn’t taking notes and nodding emphatically while you talk in circles about the same shit for fifteen years. She knows that when you open your palm and a dozen tiny hair bands bounce onto her desk like caterpillars in a pride parade it’s time to take your car keys, call Brandy at Sunshine Cabs for a 2:00 pickup, and get the vodka from the filing cabinet.
What you don’t know is that your Friends for Life Coach™ did her doctorate work in The Urbanization of American Gerbil Communities; that she belongs to an underground social experiment organization called Project Play Date (you are subject 45C); and that she files her tax returns under the registered business name Furry Friends for Life, LLC. What you also don’t know is that for the past five years, you and Mr. 3:00 Augusta Nationals have been funding a research study on “The Psychology of Snacking” as it pertains to domesticated gerbils left alone for more than twelve hours a day. A study unequivocally denied both federal and state grant monies seven years running. To date, you and 46C have supplied 64 Gerbil Cams, 128 exercise wheels, 6720 liters of pet bedding, and the internet domain www.galaxygerbilrescue.org. None of which matters because scribbled in a one square inch box under Friday, March 12 are the words, last night I stayed awake in the dream. ■