I neglected to write about this one a while back:
I am at my aunt’s house for a big family dinner. I don’t know what the occasion is; there probably isn’t one. Car by car, family members show up and march into the house for the feast.
A dark red minivan, which I don’t recognize, pulls into the driveway. Dad gets out of the driver’s seat, goes around the side, and slides the door open. He pulls out a wheelchair, sets it up. He then opens the passenger door and lifts the passenger out, putting her in the wheelchair.
It’s my grandmother. She looks pretty much like the last time I saw her awake: thin and pale, white hair, broken nose. As Dad pushes her towards the house, she seems agitated and frustrated. She’s trying to look over her shoulder at Dad and speak to him, but she can only manage to move her head a little to the side, shift and hop in her seat, and moan and murmur gibberish instead of talk.
They get her inside the house. My aunt calms her down and brings Gram to the dinner table. As the family feasts as we usually do, sitting around two tables and at a bar, people take turns hand-feeding bits and pieces of food to Gram. She is quiet, but still clearly distraught. Her eyes mist, and she silently cries.
I go over to see her–I haven’t seen her in years–and try to figure out how much she can understand. As she stares straight ahead, I stand next to her, asking her how she’s been, telling her what I’ve been up to. None of this stops the tears.
Finally, in a very fluid, calm motion, she looks over her shoulder and up at me, with a very sad look in her eyes. I tell her I wish I knew what was wrong.
I am lifted to the ceiling by something invisible and I start spinning. I yell for help. My family keeps eating. Nobody notices the guy spinning violently on the ceiling; nobody except Gram, who watches the whole thing happen with great and haunting sadness in her eyes. She can’t help me, and everyone else eats lasagna rolls and sausage-rice casserole.
I wake up, heart pounding.
I’m in my twin bed in my old bedroom at Dad’s house. It’s dark. My little brother is still asleep in his bed. I shake him to wake him up because I’m on the verge of having a heart attack from the dream. He wakes up, but he’s clearly still sleepy. I tell him about my dream, but he keeps tilting over like he’s about to drift back to sleep.
I reach out to keep him from flopping over onto the floor. As I do, his eyes get real wide and he starts spinning uncontrollably and involuntarily in my arms. He screams.
I wake up, heart pounding.
I’m in my twin bed in my old bedroom at Dad’s house. It’s dark. My little brother is still asleep in his bed. I leave him alone this time. I get up, open the door, and cross the hallway. I knock on my big sister’s door. She lets me in her room and I tell her about my dreams.
I woke up, calm.
I was in my current bed, calm, in my own house. It was dark. My little brother was at his house in Pennsylvania. My big sister was in her apartment. We haven’t lived together in the same house since 1993. My grandmother died in 2005.
I had a sandwich and went back to sleep.
Now that I write this, it occurs to me that in the initial sequence of the dream, no one spoke to me or even acknowledged me except Gram. Maybe that was Gram if she had recovered (at least partly) from her stroke, and maybe I had died somehow and she was the only one who could see or hear me. Who knows.