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.
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.