It’s of absolutely no consequence to anyone who isn’t me or doesn’t have to deal with me in person on a regular basis, and might be of no consequence at all, but I had a remarkable dream last night. What might be a remarkable dream, anyway, if it’s got any meaning at all.
In my dream I was a teenager or a young person who’d attained the age of majority, a thing I won’t pretend is the same as “young adult”. It was in an institutional setting of some kind, perhaps a school, a place where among other things food-like substances are made available. There was some of the usual nonsensical stuff that often begins (my) dreams, then the meat of it: As I was creeping along crab-wise, sliding a plastic tray over a shelf constructed of stainless steel tubing and telling the friendly minimum wage earners in the clear plastic gloves which versions of slop I would risk consuming, I saw my parents and my sister standing well off to my left. There was some kind of physical and emotional separation there, as if I’d left “home” under less than amicable circumstances.
“Home”. Yeah, right. I think it telling and perfectly fitting that my father never said when we were elsewhere that we were going back home and instead always said, “back to the house”. A house it was, a home it was not. Back to the dream:
I turned back to the address the next gloved person on the other side of the sneeze guard and said that I’d like the pale mixed vegetables, and then felt a presence to my left. It was my sister, two years younger than me, who said something… what was it? I don’t recall. Something a Golden Child would say. In real life, she used to always counsel me that I should “find some way to get along” with the progenitors — as if I didn’t already spend every second in their presence attempting to do just that. Whatever it was she (the concept of her in the dream) said, my response was to forcefully but not loudly tell her, “You can just fuck off and stay fucked off. Get out of my life!”. She got that switched off/tuned out look that she always got when real life was not in strict accordance with her fantasy life, and walked away.
A moment later, my father appeared at my side. I didn’t even let him get a word out. I just turned to face him, took a step closer to invade his space, and repeated myself: “You, too, can just fuck off and stay fucked off. Get out of my life!”. He gave me the same hurt look in the dream that he gave me on the day when Amethyst and I escaped from the hell in which my parents live. On that day, feigning hurt, he said to me, “I don’t understand. What have we done to deserve this?”. I told him to just let it go, and didn’t bother explaining that I recognized that game because I’d spent a lifetime losing it. Whenever he intentionally wronged someone he’d feign ignorance of the cause of the other’s hurt, and then deny any wrongdoing or ill intent — and if the other dared to call bullshit, he’d launch a war of attrition until the other finally conceded on all points just to end the misery.
Back to the dream: My father returned to my mother and sister, and as I walked away from the dispensary of food-like substances expecting my mother to try her hand next I looked over at them. My sister turned her back to me (just as she’s done in real life), my father turned to the side to face my mother, and my mother watched me as a cat might watch a mouse who’d just gotten away after the fun has gone out of torturing it. Who’d only gotten away because the fun had gone out of it. The cat knows that it could have killed the mouse and is satisfied by that knowledge, as satisfied as any other capricious god who arbitrarily grants mercy.
Then, for whatever reason, I woke up.
I believe that dreams are often significant but that it’s close to impossible to accurately discern what their significance might be. Maybe my subconscious finally figured out how to file away some important bit as a matter resolved, or, cue the Twilight Zone theme, maybe one of the progenitors just croaked off. Maybe it’s not at all significant. Maybe time will tell, maybe it won’t.
I’m of two minds on the whole damned thing. One side is that I’m 52 years old and should by now be well past any psychological entanglements with that lot. In five weeks and a day it’ll be the fifth anniversary of the day Amethyst and I loaded up the big yellow Penske truck and put my parents behind us forever, and five years is plenty enough time to settle down and defuckerize one’s head. On the other side of it, though, is acceptance. I’m not and never will be what I’m supposed to be. I am and will always be just what I am, regardless of any judgment of value. And what I am is happy. Even if that happiness is pure delusion, it’s mine and I’m keeping it.
Besides: Have you seen this world we live in today? Someone has snuck Bat Shit Crazy Elixir into the drinking water supplies. Being happy in times like these is no small feat!