When the going gets tough, I fantasize about running away. The first memory I have of this is when I was about 6 or 7 and my dad and uncles went to the farm for the day around Easter time, and they brought me home a “pet” baby goat. I will spare you the details, because I don’t want to deal with pissed off animal activists (my brother is vegan, so I have heard it all before) but I abruptly discovered that the baby goat would be Easter dinner. The betrayal, trauma, sadness, disgust, and anger were so great that all I could do was pack a bag and leave. They found me at my neighbor’s house later that evening. I never ran away again, but I have wanted to countless times, and even moreso as an adult.
Sometimes, it is the innocent fantasy of a luxurious tropical vacation when dealing with the reality of winter is too much to handle, but other times, the fantasy is not so light. In recent years, dealing with my explosive and energy-sucking daughter and all the mindfucks related to raising a child with autism and hyperactivity disorder, I have taken daydreaming to another level. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I often find myself wanting to pick up and leave. Checking out. Giving my husband no other choice but to figure it out on his own. When it’s not so bad, I sometimes even look into a weekend getaway with a girlfriend that I don’t really intend to follow through with, but more often than not, it’s a nagging thought when I am driving alone, on my way to pick up my daughter from daycare. Keep driving. Don’t go get her. Go somewhere. Anywhere but home. They’ll be okay without you. I am so ashamed of the thoughts that spiral from that voice that I cannot even bring myself to type them. On those dark days, I fantasize about running away alone.
In recent years, whether I fantasize about spending a month in an ashram or hitting up Miami, it rarely includes my husband. How sad is that? When we were young and in love (well, at least I was young), it was nearly our mantra. We were freakin JLO and Marc Anthony, all Escapémonos tan lejos de aquí, Distantes de todo, En la oscuridad donde no haya más, Que ver en tus ojos… fast forward 10 years and my fantasy is to get away from him?
Until yesterday. In the thick of the darkness in my clouded mind, I yearned to get away from it all and be on a terrasse with him somewhere in Europe, people watching and sipping on a stiff drink. With him. Like it was once again him and I against the world. As though I could once again let myself be convinced that when he holds me in his arms, that everything will in fact be okay.
I need to let that last line sink in a bit. It’s been a while since I’ve let myself fantasize that everything will be okay. That daydream is too painful to snap out of.
But when I snapped out of this one, my first reaction was to try to make it reality (then I realized we have no money to spare and I am scheduled to be back at work next month)… I proceeded to tell him about it and he enthusiastically offered dinner and drinks in little Italy as a consolation prize. The reality was that I had to turn that offer down too, but it felt good to pretend, at least. It felt good to want it. To dream it. To believe in my husband enough that I want to let him in on my secret escape. To run away with me…