Sunday, May 27, 2007

Dream A Little Dream of Me

And it's fading now, fading away
It's only a dream;
Just a memory without anywhere to stay
- Neil Young

Have you any dreams you’d like to sell?
- Stevie Nicks

Dear Rachel,

Last night I had a dream about you. Oddly, that's a very rare occurrence—or perhaps it's really not; perhaps I simply forget the dreams as soon as I awake, as I forget most of my dreams. It may be that I recall this one so clearly because the anniversary of your death approaches.

In my dream, you and I were traveling cross-country. I don’t know where we were going or why we were headed there, but we were driving your car, I think, and taking our time; just a nice, pleasant, leisurely jaunt of the sort that we never actually got to take together. The majority of the dream—or at least, what I remember of it—took place in a restaurant at which we had apparently stopped for dinner. (You were much better behaved at this restaurant than when you were four years old and we stopped at a Coco’s in California. We happened to drop in right in the middle of a rush occasioned by that chain’s popular senior citizens’ discount. You sipped a hot chocolate and looked around at all the people eating their dinners, your big brown eyes peering over the mug. “Dad,” you said very loudly, “why are all of these people so old?!”)

In my dream, we didn’t know anyone in the restaurant (not a chain this time, but an old house converted into a sort of funky diner) when we first entered, but by the time we were having dessert (and when did either of us, left to our own devices, ever skip dessert?), you had made friends with everyone in the room. This was no surprise at all, of course; that’s just the way you were—outgoing, friendly, gregarious. You couldn’t possibly enter a room without making a new friend or running into an old one. You were simply a companionable person, and a joy to be around.

This was a lucid dream: That is, in my dream, I knew that I was dreaming. I remember thinking to myself, “This is only a dream, but isn’t it a beautiful one? I’m with Rachel again, even if only for a little while and even if only in a dream.” One takes what solace one can find.

I can’t have you back, not ever. But last night we were together again for a few bright, happy moments.