I found Loudon Wainwright's Therapy on vinyl shortly before I moved. I downloaded his digital discography a while ago, but for some reason hearing side A on vinyl conjured up childhood memories that were previously lost: playing in someone's driveway in the summer, presumably a party my parents went to. There was a white house, a flat driveway & lawn, and bushes lining the left side. It felt like July because the trees were a lush, dark green, I was sitting in something (sandbox? high chair? playpen?) and maybe some hot dogs were consumed. Any other details are still buried deep somewhere inside my head, but the images I do have are vivid.
For the past few years, I've taken melatonin at night due to terrible difficulty sleeping. Occasionally it was so bad that I had to call in sick to work because I didn't sleep for even 1 minute the night before. I started with 3mg on weeknights, and by the end I was taking 5mg every night; sometimes I'd double it and take 10mg. The night we left LA, we slept in the RV at a truck stop in Kingman, Arizona. It was 45 degrees, so I opened the little window next to my head and got the deepest, most blissful sleep I've had in years. Our drive across the country put us in Amarillo, Texas the next night, and then Joplin, Missouri on the last. I slept like a baby at truck stops with loud, monstrous trucks driving 30 feet away and wind whipping through the RV in 35 degree weather. I've stopped taking melatonin since then, and haven't had a single night of poor sleep since we left Los Angeles. Turns out, my sleep troubles didn't have much to do with me at all.
It's spring now; we timed our move specifically so that we'd miss the bulk of a Buffalo winter, giving us a chance to grow accustomed to our surroundings without snow. I live in a cozy, beautifully renovated loft that used to be abandoned; originally the home of F.N. Burt Company Box factory in the early 1900s. At night we open huge windows above our heads and let a cool, unpolluted breeze float in. In the evenings, we have drinks at Buffalo Proper or we curl up together on the sofa with old episodes of Frasier. Even the cats are happy, bouncing around and chasing each other like I've never seen them do before.
Moving back here has been nothing short of a miracle for my sleep, my heart, my general wellbeing etc etc etc, and it will only get better as things start to bloom. I used to spend January - April begging the trees to turn green while I was growing up, and every single spring I've ever spent here has stuck with me in a really significant way. I've got a feeling that this spring—marriage and honeymoon in Europe aside—will be the best I've ever had.
In the several months leading up to the move, I had recurring dreams of a garden. Usually the beginning involved me frantically racing someone or being chased through the woods or through a house with lots of twists and turns and stairs and corridors. I'd find a scary, dark, claustrophobic tunnel or door and slide down it because I knew I had to, only to end up in the most beautiful place I had ever seen. It was usually different each time, but it always felt the same, and it was always such a paradise that I lucidly begged myself to stay asleep so I could stay there for a while, making note of how I got there so that I could return. I haven't had that dream since we arrived here, and I think I understand why.