The evil eye, lasagna, and daddy issues

Paging Dr. Freud. I’m making lasagna right now. Here’s why.

Okay. So. I have a recurring dream that my father is shot and killed by someone wandering on to the campus where he teaches. In the dream, I am always at my parents’ home in their room, taking care of laundry (the curtains are always down in the dream, I get the impression they are being washed as well) when the kitchen phone rings and a call comes to report that he’s died.

Just before the phone rings, I am always thinking two things: first, that once that load of laundry that’s in the washer is done, I’m going to shower, and second, I wonder what the Detwiler twins are doing lately? — these are two girls around five years younger than me that we used to babysit in San Jose, who moved to the Valley around the same time we did. This is very consistent, no matter how many times I dream it: I am always thinking those two things as I fold sheets.

Right when I think the last bit of that thought about the twins, a weird presentiment of dread comes over me, like I am remembering already that I’ve dreamt this, and the phone is about to ring with terrible news. The dream is very vivid, down to the dim light from the overcast sky and the muggy, heavy feeling in the air through the open, uncurtained windows. I look up from my folding and the phone rings. I hear my mother pick up the kitchen extension and I know that she’s being told my father has been killed. I wake up.

All right, I told you that story so I could tell you this one:
After I finished school and moved to Portland with my husband, I figured I was off the hook forever from this dream coming true, as I was a married lady and all grown’z up and would never again be in a position to be home, folding laundry on my parents’ bed, when the kitchen phone would ring and someone would say he’d been killed.

Then I took this lovely nerve-wracking break from marriage and moved home with the kidlet. Things have been pretty good with my folks considering they’ve taken in an adult child and her child, but he and I argued last weekend and things have been “off” since then. I said passionate and unfair things to him like, “I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment. I know you think I’m a failure and that my feelings are only an inconvenience to you,” and I even managed to bring up the time that he told me offhandedly that my mom loved me more than he did.

That always stuck with me because I am one of those sick women that believes their father hangs the moon and would never steer me wrong, say something false, or make a wrong decision, so if I perceive that he disapproves of me or thinks I am not living up to my potential, as he is God, that makes him right, which makes me crap. To get mad and yell at him is like throwing rocks at Heaven, for me. (Yes, I am aware that I need to acknowledge his flaws and humanity if I want to have any kind of ordinary relationship with men other than him. Why don’t you suck it? I’m working on it!) Anyway, we dropped a whole strafing series of bombs rife with psychological napalm at one another for a while. We eventually ran out of gas, apologized, and made up. But it’s hung over my head since then.

So, now, I told you that story so I could tell you this one:
I was folding laundry about an hour ago and the phone rang. It was not sheets, the curtains were up, my mother was not home, and I answered the phone; not the kitchen extension, but an extension they have in their room now. It was a robo-call from my father’s school district offices. It was a recording of his principal, reporting that the school had been on lockdown earlier because of an adult intruder, and the lockdown has now been lifted and parents can come get their kids if they want. I know, right?! I freaked out. Apparently, it was necessary because of some jerky vagrant who came on campus, got in a fight with security, and was quickly apprehended by police and never even got the chance to enter a classroom.

I called my father immediately on his cell phone and he didn’t seem too shaken up, but he did ask that I not go out with Panda Eraser tonight, as I’d been planning. I am okay with that; this week has been so-so for me other than going to mall with Miss D, so I’d have been not very upbeat company, anyway, probably. She wouldn’t mind, she’d understand, but I’d have felt bad for being a downer. So I texted Panda to see about making it up to her by treating her to sushi on Monday, which is her day off from the Cosmetology School That Shall Not Be Named.

Finally, I told you that story so I could tell you this last one:
I’m making him lasagna now. I’m much more shaken up than he is. I have a couple scheduled posts that will appear later. That’s it from me today, though. I am way too much of a Daddy’s Girl to do anything but sit around cooking for him and fretting. I feel like if something had happened to him, I would’ve done it somehow via the evil eye, like invited the retribution from the fact of being so rude and ungrateful as to get sucked in to a fight with him this weekend. In general, he’s kind of a grouchy, contentious, loveable curmudgeon and I try to ignore the baiting, which is good-natured more than anything else, but I was on edge and lost my temper, a total lapse in grace. Naturally, that means that fight we had makes this all my fault. You see? Hence the lasagna. That will make it all better.


“Evil eye tree” by Isarao on flickr.

I’m such a superstitious freak, I swar to gar.

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