Lately I feel like important things keep coming to me in bits and pieces. Small moments of intense writing, ideas for sketches that I finish on post-it notes, a single day of heavy rain (today) forecast in the middle of a dry stretch of weeks. I’ve been dreaming a lot: dreams where I’m a mouse in the walls, where I throw a cup through a mirror and find a better room on the other side. Apocalypse dreams and ghost dreams and dreams that wake me up with shoulders tensed, or else with tears streaming down my face in the middle of the night, cried for a cause that disappeared in waking.

Next week we’re going on vacation to Paris, which I’m looking forward to so much that it does not seem real, at all.

Dave sometimes laughs at me for always saying I’m in an in-between time, for always feeling at odds with the world in small ways, but I do feel like that, so why would I pretend? All these important bits and pieces arrive between swaths of frustrated territory. My eyes are strained from spending so much time looking at my computer, my phone. My niece has been in the hospital because she is so very small, but despite their concern, the doctors keep releasing her because she’s doing just fine, only tiny.

Paul’s eyes lately are open and round and bloodshot. I still can’t tell how well he’s seeing, though I feel like it’s a little better, a little more. I saved him from the rain by making him join me in my studio, and he was salty about it. He loves to sit under the eucalyptus tree and sniff the air, waiting for birds. He doesn’t believe I don’t have the power to change the weather. If he doesn’t get his sight back (all of it, that is) we’ll get by ok. There will still be things to smell and feel. He will still try to bite my fingers off, gently, when I give him a morning treat.

I read an article once that suggested the anticipation of a vacation is better, emotionally, than the vacation itself: all you know then are the things you hope for, perhaps overlaid atop the best moments of vacations past. This might be true. Right now our trip is a series of endless stories, unlimited possibilities. They will be circumscribed by truth, from the moment we step off the plane.

But that’s ok. The smaller pieces, better defined, have their own beauty, too. Uncanny reality. Canny factuality. Really good cheese, and chocolate, and wine. We’re going to walk through the south of France, and I hope to see horses, I hope to eat fruit. I hope to let my mind untether a little from the valleys where it lives, and float freely, in a direction I cannot predict.

One more comic, probably, before we go, and then a couple weeks off. You have been warned!