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  • My eyes burst open this morning with a fright. I had the kind of nightmare that leaves your bed sheets crumpled in your fist, forehead wet with perspiration, and dizzy from landing too hard into the waking world.

    I dreamed I had spent the afternoon at our family counselor's house.

    But in my dream, she didn't seem like a woman that, how can I say this delicately, had her act together. She didn't seem how she seems when she's listening to my daughter's go at it about what's fair and how I'm the mom and I make the rules, so tough.

    In my dream, when I arrived at our counselor's home office for a therapy session, she looked like warmed over shit. Barely awake, and little sleep; not even in pajamas, just baggy pants. She even looked as though she was in the latter stages of molting a stained, white fabric on the upper extremities of her body. The ironic part is that it was, in Dream Standard Time, the middle of the afternoon.

    Surveying the scene, her house looked like a disaster. I mean, newspaper, dishes piled high in the sink, dog hair on the floor, mounds of laundry on her coffee table in the middle of the living room. Not to mention the squalling babies and the smell of an unchanged cat litter box noxiously pervading the air. Scrambling, running her fingers through her short hair, all she could say was "Umm..." and then look away, fearful of catching my opinion in my eyes to the surrounding overwhelming reality.

    She looked like she could use a helping hand. She didn't look like a person in a position to offer advice. So I offered to fold her laundry. She immediately took me up on my offer.

    I finished stacking the towels, t-shirts, her husband's tighty-whities, and finally the residual, mateless socks neatly in wicker baskets just as her fire alarm went off. Dinner was burning on the stove, the smell of burnt Hamburger Helper wafted through the air. On that note, I asked if she needed her yard mowed. I proceeded to find the mower in the shed outside in the backyard, behind the overturned swing set. It cranked easily. Just as I came around the corner of the house to mow her not so green grass, I saw her husband, in his tighty-whities and unmatched socks, watering the petunias. He threw up his hand for a nice hi, howdy, and hello.

    That's when I woke up, at home, in my bed, thankful for my own piles of laundry, dog hair, and dishes in the sink.
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