In the precious few seconds between deep slumber and the awakening consciousness that comes when one emerges from naptime lies a peaceful solitude. It is at that time when one feels the warm emotions of a world where things are the way they ought to be. Inevitably, that joyous slice of heaven is erased by stark reality as soon as full consciousness takes over, a reminder that the world is as imperfect as ever. Such was the case when I woke up from an afternoon nap this beautiful Saturday afternoon.
As I emerged from the veil that shrouded my unconscious thoughts during deep sleep, my mind settled momentarily upon a hazy vision where all was well, and the problems of the past were no more. I basked in the warm serenity of that mental picture as long as I was allowed to before complete consciousness took over. For a fleeting moment, I felt that a truce had been called between all the past conflicting manners in my life.
My thoughts touched upon harmonious situations. I envisioned speaking with my ex-wife, Tara, about the fact that I’m not such a bad person, as she portrays me to be, and she believed me. I then reasoned with my current wife, Shu Mei, that yelling and physically punishing our sons is not beneficial to their future progression, and she believed me. After that, I met with my sons. Cameron and I had a brief encounter in which he understood that I loved and cared about him, and we both mourned for the time lost in which we had no relationship, but vowed to remain close forever more. Finally, I spoke with Billy and Tyley together, for they are the closest of brothers, and they understood that everything I say to them comes from love, with my only desire being for them to be happy.
By design, all of those fictitious encounters happened almost instantaneously, for I knew that it would all be over in a flash. Sure enough, as soon as I had reached an accord with my second and third son, the sound of Shu Mei broke through the haze. She was yelling at Billy and Tyley to pick up their toys. She threatened them with a spanking if they didn’t. I tried to return to the utopia I’d just experienced, but the piercing tones of Chinese cut through the air like a knife. She Mei was shrieking at the boys in her native tongue, which is something she reserves for the worst of her verbal assaults, as she feels it hides her juvenile behavior when dealing with the boys during times of stress.
Unable to return to the peace I had briefly experienced in a mental world that didn’t exist, I tried to pull it into the world that did. I got up and left the bedroom and headed to the computer room, where Shu Mei was sitting, surfing the internet. I tried to enter into a discussion with her about Cameron, petitioning her as to why she thought it was Tara had brainwashed him into believing I was a terrible person all these years. Ever the one to not let an opportunity for degradation go by without a comment, Shu Mei said, “It must have been something you did.” I’ve learned to let these kinds of frequent comments go, like water off a duck’s back. Instead of protesting that supposition, I tried to change the subject to Billy and Tyley, and my feelings as to how they should be handled with positive reinforcement, rather than negative lambasting.
No more had the mention of this left my mouth than Shu Mei got up and left the room, me in mid-sentence. She knew what the subject matter I was trying to raise would be and she wanted no part of it. I had tried to discuss this matter with her many times before, and she has stubbornly refused to listen. I guess that Shu Mei has always had difficulty with being compliant and humble. Her stubborn and selfish nature is a definite blockage to her progression. Luckily, she excels in other areas, which balances out those two character flaws to the point where they are often unnoticeable. Sometimes, like this particular time, there is no denying them, though.
With reality swinging into motion, I went about the rest of my day. Although I yearned for things to be as they were in those precious moments, common sense told me that they never would be. It takes a great deal of effort to unravel the misconceptions that permeate through the minds of people one encounters. Even then, there has to be a willingness on the part of those people for any progress to be made. Therein lies the great stumbling block, one that is undoubtedly a permanent fixture of the real world.