The Former Things Have Passed Away: The Dream

The Dream

The water is murky, brownish-red, thick, and I’m floating. Moving forward. Not swimming. No effort. They’re here too. I can feel them. She’s just a faceless head floating beside me – hair flowing. There and not there. He’s there too. Water ship on the surface, gray battleship life sized, one on each side. Now I’m above, maybe on the bow or floating above it, overlooking the water below. And he’s there. I shout, My mother, save her, she’s still in there! There are sharks, two or three surrounding her. Can’t see her. Get her Mandel, I scream. I push him in.

* * *

This un-laundered gym towel and this spring bouquet on special from Von’s for $8.99 ought to do. You always loved the bargains and the coupons. Besides, flowers are only a symbol. Those two or three pink roses they gave me from your bouquet that lay on the coffin. I hung them upside-down to dry, on a metal hanger held in place by a rubber band. Then I placed the hanger on the knob of your dresser in the bedroom, the one that sits next to your closet. I know I did for sure. But then they disappeared. That’s right, I checked a couple of days later, and they were gone. No one slept in there (Papa sleeps in his office), and I know Papa vacuumed when all our relatives were gone. So I asked him if he had seen them and he said no. At first I didn’t believe him. How could they just disappear? I looked behind the dresser, around the bed, underneath the bed, in the closet. No flowers. I asked Papa again, if he was sure he hadn’t seen them, that maybe he vacuumed them up by accident. But that can’t be – you can’t vacuum up something that big. I never even found the hanger. This all made me feel very strange. Papa implied that maybe you were sending us some kind of message. Yes, he believes in signs. In fact, months after you died, he spotted your wallet on the floor of his office, and couldn’t explain how it got there. He said right above it were the Charles Taze Russell writings, all those old Watchtower Society books you accumulated. He said the wallet was always kept inside the desk with all your credit cards and pictures. The desk that opens downward like a drawbridge and is tightly shut. He kept the wallet in there, secure. He thought your wallet on the floor was a sign for him to read those Russell books, so he could discover for himself, intimately, the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He used to hate the name, the Witnesses. And now he’s reading those books. Imagine, after all those brutal arguments, he’s beginning to build some respect for it. It’s almost as if we’ve switched places.

A special place to remember. I remember.

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