Worth Waiting For?
I am grown up, and me. I feel the presence of my husband, and my parents. I think to myself, "Hey Aunt V's dead..." but it feels like a big ol' summer vacation at my aunt's house and I'm not supposed to ruin that by asking.
The house is huge, but filled with clutter. Clutter and pets.
These are no normal pets. All of them had an affliction. I'm not talking invisible issues like diabetes or even blindness. Those are mild afflictions compared to giant brown shaggy dogs with half their faces missing (one looked like his skin had been peeled off like a biker with horrid road rash and the other was just white, as if surgery had been performed and it was scar tissue over half his head). Everywhere there were limping animals, animals dragging their twisted selves about and one sensed rather than heard suffering that they could not see. My aunt loved animals, so her turning her house into a rescue didn't seem odd.
But other things were.
There was one dog who kept trying to offer me his paw -- you know, like to shake. But the leg he offers was both shorter than the average leg and boneless. It hung there like a giant turkey waddle, yet he had enough control to proffer it to me. I, also an huge animal lover who once had 36 animals in a townhouse, couldn't bring myself to take the leg and shake. He implored with his near lifeless brown eyes, the stunted limp limb dangling there, but I just kept turning away. I didn't even pet him. That's not like me.
In fact I didn't seem to be my normal self with any of the critters there. Except for maybe the fish.
Lying on a table in the hallway, under a window full of bright sunlight I found a blue Wal-Mart bag full of saltwater fish. Puffers, blowfish, damsels and a few large goldfish. They were alive because the bag had some water in it, but unable to swim or move because there was such a little bit of water. I brought the bag to the dining room to get them out of the hot sunlight and went in search of a bowl and some fish food.
Suddenly it's later and I'm running around with my son outside. Stop. Flash to new scene. Next we are in my Uncle's car with him driving, me shotgun and my parents in the back seat; my son is on the sidewalk next to us (across the street though) riding his bike. He looks normal -- a little boy riding like the wind. I am calling to him fantically and trying to get my Uncle to pull into a parking lot so I can reach my son. But he doesn't. And my parents don't seem to care. My son stops riding and waves to me with a huge smile on his face. We drive on.
We are back at the house.
On the porch Merideth from Grey's Anatomy (I have to call her Merideth because she's wearing a scrub shirt with her jeans -- and her hair is amazingly shiny). She is playing guitar and singing. With her is my eldest daughter, A. A is autistic (low end of the spectrum) and A is singing. Not just singing, she's singing so beautifully it's heavenly. And to match the change of voice, the addition of infection and emotion in her singing this sweet song, A herself has transformed and looks like one of the beautiful people from Tv or film land. A struggles with the words here and there and Merideth just nods and helps. She is singing along teaching A the lyrics and keeping her singing. It's like this golden moment. Kindness & teaching, songs & love, beauty & peace. Now there's harmony.
My parents look at me like, "I told you so," but I don't care cuz it's beautiful.
Now I am back inside.
I find the Wal-Mart bag on the table. The fish are dead.
They have to be because the bag is so shrunken and still, like some sort of weird vacuuming process sucked the air out of the bag. I can see each still outlines body within. But like all dumb humans, I have to really look at it, so I open the bag, prying the plastic from itself, and as I do, the bag fills with air and in turn it sets off some sort of chain reaction -- stink everywhere.
Magically the fish begin to puff up -- not just the ones which would do that when alive, but all of them bloat & puff so much their mouths are pried open with the force of their stretching bodies. The stink grows as the fish swell.
I've had dreams of not being able to care for all the animals in my charge before. But normally it's just running around trying to coral rabbits, catch birds to put them back in their cages, and trying to find enough food for all their dishes. Over and over again I case, cage and feed. But none have ever died. Nor did anyone else exist (not to help, not to mock or accuse). I attribute these dreams to my feeling inadequate.
But in this dream my aunt rushes in to find me holding the bag of toxic fish. This is my first interaction with her in the whole dream. (Mostly I just saw her in the other room, with the scared dogs etc.) She's clearly upset about the fish and what I've done -- moving them from the sunny window and trying to feed them. As she holds the bag open she mumbles some words I cannot hear. Like an incantation. I get the impression my aunt has powers... that she'll bring them back to life... and this will involve the sunny window spot. Sunlight, a cup of water for say a dozen fish, and a Wal-mart bag. Even though I feel she'll fix it, I know she is not pleased with me.
I wake up.
I am not happy.
At first I was frightened. My aunt died of cervical cancer and I've not been able to afford my every six months pap for 4 years now. (Yeah, that's bad.) But there was so much else going on in this dream that I don't feel that's it. It could be a reminder tho.
I do spend a lot of time lately worried about my son.
And the pets thing is a strange thing. Was the house heaven? Or was it just a haven? ...Then again, those dead fish...
Oh, and I was naked the whole time.
Not comfortably so either. No one seemed to care that I cringed or covered myself with my hands etc. No one gave me clothes and I didn't ask because there was this implied sort of, "Well, there she is again, inappropriate and flawed. That's just her," accompanied by sighs.
Except for my uncle who looked at me like a letch. That was rather true in real life, so while it didn't thrill me it didn't creep me out either. (Well, not any more than in real life.)
And Merideth Grey didn't even seem to notice. Nor any of my kids. It was like they accepted me, my nudity, and my flaws.
I still have to think on this one.