I just woke up from the most incredible dream.
In the dream, Irene was still alive, though ailing, so she had to be in a nursing home. For whatever reason, they moved her down here to St. Louis. I walked into the nursing home and it was filled with people. The staff seemed ambivalent about the old people walking around, zombie-like, though some talking.
The old people kept trying to get out the door, all with excuses or situations they tried to explain beyond their reality. One lady was forming a conspiracy theory about her fingers. My auntie, with half-painted nails, tried to get out the door, but someone, not us, took her back to her room.
Other people kept trying, but I had the notion in the dream that they were crazy. It seemed like it was half nursing home and half mental facility because people seemed physically able to get around, but they were completely handicapped by their minds.
In my mind, during the dream, I was horrified, and irate, but feeling powerless. This is where Irene was to spend her final days? How could we do this to her? As I was standing there processing this, a man from my past, by the name of Ryan, walked into the dream, but was unapproachable, being on his cell phone.
Backstory: In college, I was in a playwriting course, and I worked on a film script with Ryan. He had just switched to my school from California. He was very witty, and interesting, but not exactly my type. He and I got to know each other walking to and from class, and he came over to my apartment to work on the script a couple of times. He was casually seeing some people at the time, and I was entrenched in my high school-college relationship. Ryan was handsome, and though I can’t remember his last name for the life of me, I remember he loved hockey, Back to the Future, and that his email address started with “mcfly.” When I told old BF about working with him, he grew infinitely more jealous, and whatever conversation that we had (I guess I’ve sort of blocked it,) pushed me to call Ryan and make sure that he knew that we were just friends. I cannot remember how the conversation went, but he ended up treating me very distantly in the future and I felt completely foolish because nothing had happened at all between us – and it was a figment of a third-parties jealous imagination. My sense of reality was skewed by the boyfriend’s mind games (and, quite possibly, my own mind games, looking for a way out of a doomed situation).
So, there was Ryan in the dream, unavailable to me on a phone. He stooped down for some reason in front of me, still locked in his apparel choices of 2006, though he didn’t look at me, and then he walked off, in a hurry to do something at the home.
In my dream, my family and I walked out and down a big hill of a parking lot. The whole time I was walking down the steep slope, I was crying perhaps, emotional for sure, and I noticed across the street was a cemetery with the most beautiful autumn leaves.
I woke up.
As much as it’s easy to be horrified by what these elderly “zombie-like” figures were going through, the dream tapped me on the shoulder and said, hey, you too have skewed sense of realities all the time, like them.
Scary, but it tells me a few things. Don’t judge. Be thankful for what you have now. Don’t go chasing waterfalls (sweet, fast boys like Ryan). Life life now. Don’t spend one day unhappy. Life and death are right across the street from each other.