Nightmares are not my thing. Honestly I am one of those people that just don’t remember my dreams. I sure am fortunate with this. When I go to sleep at night, the next thing I know is waking up in the morning.
Well, today I remembered my dream. Here is what I remember:
I do the same thing every day. I got up early, just like always. I make my coffee, just like always. I watch the news just like always. As I watch as if disembodied, something seems amiss. It seems different this time. I . . . He is just sitting there kind of disengaged with . . . well everything. He is watching the news but seems not to hear it. His eyes are not focused and his hand seems to just drift as it reaches for the coffee. He sips the coffee but not in a way that looks like it is enjoyable or that he really wants it at all. He looks like a zombie almost as I see my dream self just go through my habits like I always do. It is funny to be talking about myself as if I was some stranger but in a way this dream person is me and yet not me at the same time.
Then is it light out and I am wondering how much time has passed. I see my dream self come in the house from outside. I guess he had just been in the shed working or doing something outside. I have my junk clothes on. Those are the clothes I don’t care if they get ruined or not. He moves towards the bedroom and then I am suddenly in the bedroom able to see what he is doing.
The room seems odd to me. Everything seems to be there like it always is but then again different. It suddenly comes to me that there are no shoes on the shelves next to the door. My wife’s dresser is empty of almost everything but a few bottles of perfume. There are not books and binders lying on the floor. Actually, come to think of it, there is not one sign that my wife is there at all. I then notice there is nothing on the bathroom door that is hers. There is usually a night gown or a robe or something of hers hanging there.
I watch as my dream self moves to the dresser and picks up a perfume bottle. I recognize this one immediately as the White Musk my wife wears that I love. He takes the cap off and sprays the perfume in the air a little and then he gives the pillow on the bed a spray – my wife’s pillow. Then he walks out of the bedroom and gives a spray to the couch and the air once too. After this, he goes back into the bedroom and then comes back out to sit in the living room again. He turns on the T.V. and Star Trek the Next Generation is on. He just sits there and watches it.
The back door opens and my two boys explode into the room like a party popper going off. They are loud and rambunctious like always excitedly talking about a movie and acting out their favorite scenes. I see my mother and father-in-law come in after them and they move towards dream me on the couch and sit. He sits next to me and she sits in the recliner next to the couch. I notice a glance between them but my dream self didn’t catch it. The boys have his attention instead. He asks them how they liked the movie and they start in on all the parts they liked.
“You should have came with us daddy!” the youngest yells. He does not have a normal voice.
“You know I had work to do outside and it is hard to do when I am alone and you two boys are not supervised,” I said back.
“Maybe next time?”
“Maybe, boy.” He responds softly and his son moves off to play with his brother. “Were they good for you?”
“The same,” my father-in-law says.
“That bad huh?” He responds. My dream self just smiles a little. The boys are pretty had to handle even being normal. It seems a little fake to me for some reason, maybe a little disconnected.
“Did you have a girl over?” my mother-in-law asks.
Instantly I see the response of my dream self. He grimaces. It was only an instant before it was gone but I saw it clearly. The lines showed in the middle of his forehead and his mouth became tight. There was a squint of pain that creased his eyes and he almost made a sound as if he wanted to grunt in pain. I saw it as his stomach muscles flexed. And then it was gone in an instant. I am not sure if the In-laws saw the reaction or not but I could tell this was not the first time it had come up.
“No.” He said flatly. It was clear that he was not going to expound on this.
“I just thought that since I smelled perfume that you might have had someone over while we were gone,” She said.
“No. I was working outside. I had to get the trees trimmed before they budded.”
“Oh. Ok,” She said and made a glance at her husband who gave her a look back but that was all they said.
Then there was an uncomfortable silence, but it was not long for my mom and dad suddenly pulled into the drive. I could tell this was unexpected since the boys came running out of their rooms whooping and hollering making for the door. They ran up to the car as their grandparents pulled in and they gave them the usual barrage of questions and stories which is a cacophony only boys can make.
“What are you doing here?” My dream self said as he walked up to them.
“What? Can’t a boy’s parents visit him without making appointments?” Mom said to him with that fake look of incredulity she always wears when getting questions like this.
“I just haven’t had a chance to make sure I have enough food and the house is a mess. . .”
“We will get food and your house will be fine. We just wanted to come and see you,” Dad said. It never surprises me that he would just pick up and leave to come see one of his kids. He has done it several times in my life. It was his way.
I am not sure what happen next but the scene changed for me in my dream and it was later in the day maybe during night since it was dark outside. The in-laws must have left since they were nowhere to be seen. The boys couldn’t be heard either. Ma and Dad were sitting at the table with empty plates in front of them and my dream self had a piece of pie in front of him but he just played with it using his fork to move it all over the plate but not eating it. There was no talk for a moment and everyone seemed to be in their own reverie or just keeping their thoughts to themselves.
Ma then turns to my dream self and says, “When are you going to start seeing other women?”
“Jeanathon,” Dad says to her in exasperation.
“I told you, I am not,” my dream self said. I could hear the irritation in his voice.
“You have to move on, she is not coming back.”
“I know but I am not going to look for a replacement. I will not find one and I just don’t want to,” He said like he had said it a hundred times.
“Stop this. He has told us all this before and it is his choice,” Dad said.
“I know but he still sprays her perfume in the house and on his bed.”
“I am sitting right here you know. I understand what you are saying,” my dream self stated.
“Well, it is not right that you have not done something with all her stuff. Don’t you think it is unhealthy to spray her perfume all over? On the pillow next to yours? I bet it is the actual pillow she slept on isn’t it? You still have her stuff on the counter in the bathroom the way she had it. It is like a shrine. There is nothing right about that. What about the pictures?” She was talking fast now.
“That is enough!” he yelled and stood up to leave.
“What about your boys?” She asked. “What do they think about it? What do you say to them?”
“I don’t want to talk about it.” He said pausing by the door to the bedroom.
“She is not coming back,” She said. “It is time to move on.”
“No. No, it is not,” he said flatly. “Do you think I don’t know that she will not come back? I am not stupid, you know.”
“No one said . . .” she started but was interrupted.
“I know she is not coming back. I just need to remember her. I need to have something of her around to remind me so that I don’t lose what she looks like or feels like in my head. God knows I have gotten rid of a lot and that was hard enough. I know it has been years. Hell, if you really want to know, it has been 2 years , 150 days, 12hrs, (glancing at the clock) 16 mins, and 5 seconds. Call me crazy. Send me away. Get me therapy. I don’t care. I am lost and sad without her. I made a deal to be hers and only hers and I am not going against it. You want me to start seeing other women and start to get back to a ‘normal’ life? Well, the day I asked her to marry me, my life stopped being normal and started to be extraordinary. How could I go back to normal again? I can’t. So if you want me to start seeing others. . . .well, I’m not. And that is final.”
My dream self walked out of the room into the bedroom and my ma and dad just sat there.
And that is all I remember. I am not sure if the alarm went off or if I slept long but the images are so vivid this morning that I can’t get them out of my head. Hell, I don’t even know what happened to her. I guess I either forgot or it was just not in the dream.
Is it normal for a person to dream of the loss of their loved one like that? Tina has them all the time about me dying or that I will cheat or leave. I am not sure but this dream really hit a chord for me. If the horror of the loss of me would happen, I would not want my wife to deny herself a new loved one if the chance came along, but in truth, I would not do that. How could I tell her the same?
This is a hard topic and only in the deepest fear of the far corner of the recess of my mind will it be remotely touched. Did I say that I am fortunate that I don’t remember my dreams?