I dreamed a dream

I don’t often have vivid, memorable dreams… But this morning around 3 o’clock, I woke up from a dream in which I was crying, and found myself actually crying. And not softly or quietly, either.

My poor husband… He’s had to put up with so much from me these last few months.

It was like this… but no teddy bear.

I keep lamenting that I haven’t had a good cry about my dad’s death, and I suppose this arguably counts… But I suspect there’s a lot more in play here than just missing my dad.

First, it was set in the house I grew up in. Not as it is now — uninhabitable, every room filled wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with piles of junk, without even a clear walking path from one end of the house to the other — but as I remember it as a child. Empty floors, with big open spaces in every room. The furniture I remember from growing up. Hell, even my dad’s ashtray in the master bathroom. The house was as it was back then, but in my dream I knew the timeframe was now.

I remember that I had found a bunch of my dad’s old things, like scrapbooks and photos and magazines. (For the record, he was definitively not the “scrapbook” sort, so clearly my subconscious mind took some liberties.) I was going through some of his things, and even showed some of them happily to a friend who was present in the dream.

Then I had to leave the room for something, and when I was walking back, I looked out the front room’s window and noticed that my friend’s car was gone. And sure enough, he’d left unannounced, before I had finished showing him my discoveries.

There was a woman there, a young-ish (maybe 30s?) person who I can’t identify now, but at the time I knew that she was supposed to be there and I wasn’t concerned. She was sitting on the couch, idly flipping through a magazine while waiting, and sort of absentmindedly tearing out a page here and there.

I realized that it was one of my dad’s magazines, and I freaked the hell out.

I remember rushing over to grab the magazine out of her hands, shouting at her. She was, understandably, perplexed. But then, crying and shouting unintelligibly, I started open-hand slapping her across the face.

Now, I’m not a violent person. I distinctly remember feeling upset about the magazine — how dare she tear up one of the few keepsakes I have of my dead father?! — but then I was upset that I had slapped someone. And then I was upset that I couldn’t stop slapping her.

She ran out of the room, thankfully, and I sat on the floor crying. Someone else came in — I don’t remember who, but again, it felt normal that whoever it was in the dream was there in the house — and asked what had happened. Crying, I tried to explain that the other woman was destroying my father’s magazines.

And before I knew it, I was awake, and crying, and Sal was gently asking me if I was okay.

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