Bubble bubble, bubble dream. Blow the bubble make a wish.
Alcohol makes me euphoric, I’m a happy drunk craving for attention. As much as I hate to admit it, it helps me let loose of a shyer, stiffer, awkward version of myself. Duty and self-control washed away with a few beers or a nasty cocktail, my spirits lift up and although the world looks a lot blurrier it also shines under a new bright light.
My romantic soul peeks out through the cynicism I practise everyday to survive our hard reality. My tired, lazy body is fuelled with unexpected energy impatient to move, to dance. For a few hours, sometimes a whole night I am positive, euphoric, friendly, sociable, flirty. Everything I’d like to always be, but am not and therefore I drink.
Then there’s the one extra beer that transforms a jolly night in a memory full of wholes, wasted drama queen raising trouble I won’t quite remember. The hangover is a ruinous fall to hell. Unavoidable low in the company of regret and loneliness, compiling a list of apologies.
As uplifting as a dream can be, there will always be an alarm clock to wake you up. I fight forcing myself to follow some kind of routine because if I listened to my guilty thoughts, to my dried heart, to the slow rhythm of my blood, to the aching muscles of my body I would just stay in bed, make a comfortable nest with my sheets and never stand up again.
Open the coffee machine. Make a generous cup. Breathe in the roasted scent. Drink a glass of water. Drink a second glass. Pour milk foam in your coffee and a spoon of sugar. Drink the cappuccino. Get up. Take a shower. Get dressed. Slowly the shock of going from euphoria to depression fades away and life is neither bright and beautiful, nor dark and unbearable, just boring, normal, vaguely lonely.
Bubble, bubble, bubble dream. Here’s a bubble from your past.
For some years now, I regularly visit my parents’ house for my holidays. I have spent the first twenty years of my life there, but my visits are so rare and quick that I’m more of a seasonal tourist than anything else. All the beautiful views I never appreciated, now move me deeply. Black sea sloshing a few metres under me and a constellation of colourful lights tracing the curves of our coast. Pointed rough rocks where I can stand out of the reach of unpredictable waves, different shades of blue and turquoise painted until the eye can see, a few boats sailing lazily without a clear destination. A playful breeze I breathe in deep breaths, eyes closed, bliss. The cold sea water refreshing and revitalising, the salted crust that forms on your skin drying under the warm sun. Fields dried and cut, round straw bales and square hay bales as decorations. Villages so old and familiar where my eyes can’t help but test themselves looking for changes: new shops, missing trees… No pressure, no stress, the day goes by at the peaceful pace of the countryside.
If being away made me realise how beautiful this area is, how emotional these panoramas make me, everything also reminds me of my past. The rough sound of the regional accent and the badmouthed way people talk around here, bring amused tears to my eyes. A park, a bar or a street evoke habits I used to have with family and friends. Playing in our pond and running around our farm. Hanging out in the park discussing music and early crushes. Driving around on our run down scooters. Dramas, but most of all a surprising long list of people that crossed my path and I don’t know anymore. What became of them? Would I recognise them if I saw them again? I look around trying to recognise a smile, the shape of some eyes, a characteristic walk, almost desperate to bump into someone from a life that seems lost forever. I’m a nostalgic soul lost in my memories looking for a human contact to bridge my past to this present.
Bubble, bubble, bubble dream. Give me your hand, I’ll bring you home.
A hand outstretched: an offer to a lost kid. There’s nothing like the familiar feel of a natural interaction. No awkward misunderstandings. Perky affinity and simple conversation. The right attentions, playful and teasing. Admired and desired, no mere object of lust, but treated as a fascinating and exciting soul to love.
It doesn’t matter if it all was an act to score some teenage infatuation, it was a healing balm to my fragmented spirit. A long comforting hug for my shaking body. A soft hand cuddling my vulnerable heart. A contact that screamed home more than all the breathtaking landscapes, more than the refreshing breeze cutting through the heat, more than the view of my unchanged room.
A feeling that shook my soul so hard I was five years old again, feet planted and arms crossed refusing stubbornly to leave the playground. I don’t want to go! Because this home starts to feel like a drunken dream again, surrounded by the happiness of simple things in life. Who would want to go back to the chaos and uncertainty of real life?
Bubble, bubble, bubble dream. Burst the bubble, wake the kid.
He will go back to his routine, his curiosity satisfied now that he has had the woman draped in mystery he so idealised after years of fantasies, increased by the exotic charm of the unreachable.
I fight with the beginning of a depressive low. I so desperately want to protract this sweet dream that I’m tempted to throw my Belgian life out of the window to stay behind. Rationally I know it can’t last even if I could extend it. Dreams never do. I will cherish a warmer memory of this holiday if I left now. But the same instinct that makes me drink the extra beer that will make me sick, now pushes me to hang on to this feeling as hard and as long as I can, squeezing all the happiness out of it as if I could store it away for lonelier days.