Sunday, August 10, 2008

the dream.

okay, so i have been doing really well with the whole dad thing lately. no nightmares, no anxiety, not too much anger, and really, not that much thought. then when i woke up today, i realized that i had the strangest dream about him. it was so odd. let me try to explain what i can, if i can make it make sense.

i was sitting at my paternal grandmother's kitchen table my aunt H. we were just sitting talking, nothing out of the ordinary. my grandmother walks up to the table, looking disheveled. she had this look about her that was...i just don't know. it looked like she was void. empty, as opposed to her usual wicked self. she had lost her damn mind. something inside me resigned to the fact that she went crazy because of dad dying. i just know that i didn't want to talk to her. the air around her was black and blue. too dreary for me. then, the next thing i know is that i have been transported back in time.

the scene changed to my being in my late teens, but i was still sitting at my grandmother's kitchen table. a bit disoriented, i looked around to gather my barings. it was soon obvious to me that i had gone back in time by about 7 or 8 years. my grandmother had (the majority of what she did have of it) her sanity, more hair, and a bit darker hair than she has now. plus, not as many wrinkles as she has now.

my aunt H walks into the kitchen, and joins us at the table. still, nothing out of the ordinary is happening. still a bit disoriented, i am trying to figure out what i am doing here, in this time period. nothing is making any sense.

then my dad, terry, and her daughter walk into my grandma's house. that is when the realization dawns upon me; dad and terry. they're alive. as they walk through the living room, and enter into the kitchen area, dad kisses me on top of my head and terry greets me with a smile and a warm hello. even though terry's daughter should be a preteen in this time period, she is the little girl i met when she was three years old. bouncy, happy go lucky, and full of life and happiness. she plops down in a chair sucking a lollipop, and her hair bounces with her; her ringlets are adorable. and best of all, she was happy to see me as well. i am painfully aware at what is in front of me. they are treating me as family,... as a member of a warm, loving, respectful family.

i am startled because even though i am there in that moment, in that time, i still have the memories of present day. the hurt, pain, and disapointment is still there inside of me. the memories are still fresh as they ever were.

"ricky," says aunt H getting dad's attention. "do you want me to make the russian salad for you this christmas?" he answers her, but the talk fades into nonsense, like charlie brown's teacher.

the damn russian salad, i realize. she made that for him for the first time in years the christmas they died. that's it. that's why i'm here.

i gasped when i came to the fork in this road. knowing what i knew about how they really treated me in present-day time, versus realizing a new path could be taken and everything could change. should i save him or not? a truly sickening burden has been forced upon me, for whatever reason i cannot fathom. hell, i don't even know how i wound up here. that theory alone was mind boggling enough, as it was. but this, this... this would seal the deal. this meant i had to look inside of my very soul to see if i was like the man that i came to know as a horrible father by denying them any chance at redeeming their fate of that cold and rainy December night,... or if i was made of all the love that my mom, my mom's mom, and my nana had instilled into me and give him the chance to be the dad i always yearned for and needed.

aunt H touched my arm and asked, "sarah, whats was wrong?"

"nothing," i say. "why?"

"you look sick," she replies.

indeed i feel sick to my stomach. gazing towards her, but not looking directly at her, i ask, "what do you do when you know something that you shouldn't?"

she stands up, grabs my arm, and leads me into the formal living room so we can talk in private. she sits me down on the sofa that smells of old people, stale cigarette smoke and a hint of mothballs. (even in my dream, i could smell it. how odd.) "what is going on with you, sarah?"

i then recall a memory of talking with her at the kitchen table we had just left. except this memory was of a conversation she and i had moments before i was brought to this time period. she told me that she believed in supernatural things. it was pretty random, but hey, this family has their oddities right?

as i am brought back to the moment where aunt H and i are sitting on the sofa, an idea dawns on me to tell her what i know. maybe she can help me. i look at her as she sits there lighting a cigarette, looking at me with worry across her face.

i lean in towards her thinking that i've got nothing to lose. "listen," i say. "i've got something to tell you. something that is going to sound absolutely crazy." i hesitate to look at her and gage what her facial expression tells me. her eyes are widened and she's leaning in towards me. good. that means she's listening. "i... i know that you believe in the supernatural, so i just need for you to believe me, believe what i say."

slightly alarmed and looking semi embarrassed, she says, "how.. do you know i believe in that?"

"it doesn't matter," i say. "i just do, ok?" she nods her head warily. i continue, "i am not from here. i am from another time period. i have been sent here from the future." i hesitate again, wincing at what i've just said, because as the words escape my mouth, i am acutely aware at the level of absurdness in what i've just spoken.

her cigarette ashes unknowingly fall to the floor as she sits there in a stunned state. between the stinging silence and her splitting stare, i cannot stand it any longer. she takes a drag and slowly releases the smoke from her lungs. she squints her eyes over her glasses because the smoke is burning them as it evaporates into thin air.

"i... i can prove it to you," i say with desperation. "i can tell you anything you want to know." i then realize the consequences of doing so, but toss the concerns aside quickly.

"okay," she says, never taking her eyes off of me. "i believe you."

a tidal wave of relief drowns me. "i couldn't figure out why i've been sent here. but i think i figured it all out. something really bad happens and i think i am supposed to stop it."

she smashes out her cigarette into the ashtray, but not before using the butt of it to light another one. i smile a little. how rednecky, i think. "well then," she says. "let's hear it."

"its dad and terry and his stupid greedy ass, arrogant ways. he got plastered at a christmas party.... Chuck's... and killed terry and himself by slamming the truck into a tree." the look on her face was nothing short of dismay and horror. i continue, against my better judgement. "and grandma... she loses her damn mind. seriously. well. she loses what mind she's got. i'll put it that way."

"are you sure," aunt H whimpers.

"i'm positive. i was at the damn funeral. i saw him... them, with my own two eyes. grandma was all f*cked up on zanax at the funeral, and then... afterwards she just lost it. she went psycho."

"you saw him? in the casket?"

"yes," i answer.

"it was one funeral?"

"yes. for the both of them, together."

she takes a deep breath and sighs. "we'll take care of this. just you see. everything will be alright."

and in the next moment, i am somehow brought back to the present day in an instant. i am again sitting at the table with aunt H and grandma. this time, though, grandma is back to her old self again. no dreary aura abound anywhere.

they are all smiles as they sit there smoking their cigarettes. then the phones rings and aunt H gets it.

"hello," she answers. "oh, hey. yea hold on," she says as she extends the phone out to grandma for her to pick up. "here mama, its ricky."

i then wake up from my dream into actual reality. i've been pondering on this ever since. its interesting that i evidently chose another path, that i chose to save him. i wonder what my subconscience is trying to tell me.