Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Dream That Is the Nightmare

For some reason, this time he looked younger.

He was a bit older than a toddler, but not at grade school age, and I think we were at at restaurant, or a movie theatre, or the foyer of some public place.

"Mommy, my tummy hurts," he said to me grasping his stomach.

"Your tummy hurts? Did you just say your tummy hurts," I say smiling.

"Yes, Mommy my tummy hurts."

"I'm so happy," I say to him, "not because your tummy hurts but because you are talking".

He looks at me, puzzled, just as he has in every other incarnation of The Dream that I have suffered through.

"Mommy, why do think I can't talk? Here we are talking right now. Why would you think that," he asks me, genuinely puzzled.

"I don't know," I tell him, "I have no idea why I thought you couldn't talk, because you're right, here we are having a conversation."

He looks at me and smiles and he jumps up on me, clinging to me with both hands around my neck, the purest hug. The love, it's physical. I am so happy, holding onto him and I spin him around, around, laughing. It's so real, I'm ecstatic.

"You're so silly, Mommy," he says. "I don't know why you thought I couldn't talk."

And then, as if a loud, unforgiving clap of lightening in a storm has cracked right above my head, I bolt out of my sleep, sit up straight and try to catch my breath.

There was no storm.

There was no conversation about the aching tummy. It was only my overactive subconscious and I cannot figure out whether it is engaged in tormenting me or in some merciful act of foretelling, and it's a devastating feeling.

As it's almost dawn.

A new day begins.

I tuck The Dream away again but The Dream has left its calling card and I know it shall return.