In the dream we always live together, every family member I’ve ever had, Becky and her friends and family. Tota is there, but she can hear, and she can still dance, drive, and throw a punch to anyone who disrespects the family. The uncle I lost at nine to alcoholism is there. I don’t remember him but there’s an uncle-shaped man of smiles and living room rug-wrestling who I call Fran. Friends live here too, friends who’ve wandered from me over the years, or who I’ve let slip away. There are endless rooms for all in this house, solitude when it’s needed, and adventure in undiscovered rooms. Everyone is happy.
I’ve yet to decide if this is my vision of heaven. If hell is other people it can’t be heaven, right? But that’s a question for another post.
In last night’s dream, Becky and I buy a home and everyone we’ve ever known moves in (I use “buy” loosely; these dream homes just kind of happen). Everyone loves it immediately. The vibe is perfect and the foundation is solid, even if there are spots which need work.
Everyone runs out front onto the rolling hills of lawn for a huge night barbecue lit by paper lawn lanterns (thanks, Blood, Bones, and Butter). I look back at the house, the windows blazing light, the balconies on each floor which run the entire length of the front of the house.
While I’m looking, feeling great because we’ve found such amazing accommodations, the front balcony falls off and lands on me. Laying there stunned, pinned beneath the rubble (thanks, re-watching the first season of Lost), I open my mouth to call out to the friends and family who are already down the hill at the feast. Losing the first balcony has caused others to loosen. I close my eyes as two more fall toward me, thinking, this is going to be bad.
When I wake up (I use “wake” loosely, since I’m still dreaming), we’re all inside the house again. The mood is subdued. My head is wrapped in so many bandages I can barely see. Becky is nowhere. My hand hurts. Lifting it from my lap, I see the fingers are splayed in all directions. The skin of my forearm is misshapen with broken bone trying to poke through. My biceps and triceps are severed slabs of meat, the gleaming white humerus the only thing keeping my arm from falling off. Didn’t anyone look past my head for injuries? What kind of hospital did they take me to?
Turns out no one wants to take me back. They’ve been through the interminable waiting room once for my head, they’re not going back for my arm. They’d rather busy themselves prepping food, or lay around playing video games, they’d rather not make eye contact so I won’t see their guilt.
Not much interpretation needed.
My first marriage crumbled and my friends and family put me back together again. Now that I’m starting a new family, part of me worries it won’t work out. If it doesn’t, another part of me worries no one will be interested in helping me back on my feet a second time.
Well, I’ve dreamed that house a dozen times and it always holds.
Also, it’s clear that I’ve not fully healed from the destruction of my marriage. The most obvious hurt is gone, but there are still glaring wounds when you know where to look.
Bones, poking at the skin.