Mercy waking.

In this dream, I have gone to Cambridge, only while I'm there, I'll be living in a tall, narrow house with many people, some of them undergraduates, none of them my undergraduates. I have somehow packed and/or shipped whole rooms' worth of books, so many books that, by the time I arrive (late, somehow), the others have begun unpacking my books and stacking them wherever they'll go: on shelves, on other books on shelves, on the floor, everywhere. Dismay begins its cold rise in me, and just then a person I dated for a couple of months walks in, and I realize (icing over altogether) that he too will be living in this tall, narrow house. We acknowledge each other, if only a little, but do not talk again. My room will apparently be on the third floor. Somehow, I never make it to my room because of miscellaneous things that must be accomplished--like fretting about why I brought all these books, and about how much it's going to cost me to ship all of them, plus all of what I'm no doubt about to buy, home again. Meanwhile, the person who never even achieved boyfriend status seems to be relishing his superior standing with the others who have all been settling in for days. Somewhere, someone does a chemistry experiment, but nothing explodes.

Upon waking, I find the excellent dog sound asleep on the floor in the living room, being patient until I wake up again and take him out walking. When he sees me, he rolls over on his back, balances on his long spine, greets me with his massive white belly. When I drag the wire brush through his thick fur, his lips part into a smile. By evening, his excellent parents will be home; by nightfall, someone we don't know will have mistaken us for a biological family, out walking the dog who will not be just in the other room if I wake up tomorrow from another strange and grim dream.

But rather than dwell on this short-term goodbye, I go home--really go to it as home, for the first time. And I set a mousetrap. And I rewire a lamp, and it is just as simple as my father promised it would be. And now I'm ready for a first night's sleep in this new place.

My horoscope for today arrives when the day is almost over. It tells me that today will be a turning point and that I will need to manage it well if it's to be a good one. I know what the horoscope means. I'm not sure I've managed it well. But I know that tomorrow I will manage it splendidly.