Throughout my trip in Italy I slept poorly. It may have been the foreign beds, the unfamiliar hotel rooms, my snoring father, the remnants of jetlag, or any other of minor concern. The result of which was recalled and vivid dreams. I don't know if it has to do with how I sleep when I sleep poorly or that I am sleeping poorly that makes dreams clear and more energetic for me. Normally, I do not recall much of my dreams even when I am well-rested and rise quickly, but I am often bothered by that elusive sense of having forgotten that dreams leave behind throughout the following day.
I recall, still, running into my (now former) housemate Sam in Flagstaff and catching up with him. There was a peculiar tension as if our landlord - full of his own problematic idiosyncrasies - had shifted his gaze from Sam to Tim and I. There was a sense of uncertain ground, that my housing situation was perturbed and ready to crumble. This may be, in fact, the source of my anxiety that my room would not be waiting for me upon my return to Flagstaff. It seemed a lingering possibility that my room would have been broken into as much by my landlord as by a thief. It is by no means a secure locale, but all of those details had been sorted before I left and I should not have really been so concerned. That said, a rather large number of my glasses, including wine glasses, are not where I left them and I ended up considering Sam the likely, if unintended, pilferer of them even though Sam does not have much preference from wine. How strange it is to be swept up into such assumptions by the ethereal weight of dreams.
Being on the road, and even in Lincoln, I have a strange dreaminess to my perception. Nothing is quite as it should be and nothing stays in place. (As a sidenote, it was the perfect mood with which to watch the Buffy episode "Restless.") Associated with that is the passing of familiar faces in a crowd of strangers - so common for me in airports. Commonly, my dreams will involve amalgamations of friends and family, which was not a trait of most of my dreams in Italy, but encountering strangers and dreamily constructing personae for them left the impressions like characters in a story in my recollections of Italy. Even the peculiar and sometimes painful juxtaposition of familiarity with strangeness, such as the imposition of a foreign language on the mouths of friends, seems a consistent quality of travel and likely played some role - though I often have a passing knowledge of dream-languages - in my dreams in Italy.
Back in Flagstaff, I am relieved by a sense of concreteness, a reality to this place that surprises me. Perhaps it is the crisp, high desert light or the regularity of my sleep schedule, of the return to a more defined sense of my place here that is gradually abandoning my perception of Lincoln. (Though I could say more on this, I have difficulty articulating how I feel both welcomed in Lincoln and both frustratingly misplaced. My life there always seemed out-of-joint with the lives of friends and family there.) What I find so winning about Flagstaff is not as much a quality or experience, but a sort of dialect of how I perceive this place and my presence here. Sensing a comfortable familiarity with a place, for me, is like finally pinning down some grammatical rule in a second language that you weren't even aware you were frustrated over. "Ah, now I understand the future imperfect sense and can say what I will be doing in the indeterminate future." In fact, that is what Flagstaff often is to me in the best of ways: This is where I am managing what I want to have accomplished but am in the process of learning.