Some Days I'm Bursting at the Seams With All My Half-Remembered Dreams*
I've been having the most vivid dreams lately.
I dream the ponds behind our house are flooding, flooding our pool and subsequently our home. Gigantic catfish, bigger than actual cats, float through my living room.
I dream that I am running, faster and faster. The ground beneath my feet is the softest grass, and I am barefoot and I feel exhilarated, like I could run forever, like I want to run forever, barefoot on this silky meadow.
I dream that J- walks into my office, wearing his burgundy sweater and khaki pants. "Hey," he says. "How ya' doin'?"
I spin in my chair, surprised to see him. I have one of those moments of spooky clarity, where I know I'm dreaming. I have not dreamed of J- since before his death.
"You died," I say. "And it SUCKED. Don't do that again."
"Yeah," he agrees. "That sucked."
The next night I dream of J- again. He is sitting in my living room, which, in reality, now holds J-s last beloved leather lazy boy, recently moved from my J- and my aunt's home**.
In my dream, the lazy boy is conspicuously absent, and he sits in the chair he always sat in, when he sat in my living room.
He is holding our ancient orange cat on his lap, stroking his back, scratching his ears.
Again, he is wearing his burgundy sweater. Again, with the spooky moment of clarity, the realization of a dream state.
I want to ask him why he keeps wearing this burgundy sweater. I want to ask him where he is now. I say nothing.
He keeps petting the cat. "I'm going to have to take him with me when I go," he says.
"I know," I say.
When I woke up that morning, I went searching for the cat. He was hard to find, and his breathing was shallow. He was curled beneath one of the couches in the living room.
That was four days ago. Every day since I have been shocked to find him still with us.
He is (probably) 18, perhaps 19. He's been with us since 1994. His days are dwindling down. I am comforted by the idea that J- will take him to the other side...which is probably where the dream came from. Probably.
*David Gray, Ain't No Love
** Having the chair in her living room was too painful for my aunt, and she asked us to take it.