Last night I had a dream that can be best described as part memory, part wish-fulfillment fantasy. I was not only back in my old house in East Wind Lake Village, but I was in my early thirties, with no scraggly beard, just a few gray hairs at my temples, and with my Labrador retriever and mom both still alive and in good health.
I remembered specific details, such as my grandparents’ antique trunk sitting by the far wall of the living room and on top of the then-new beige carpet Mom had bought in the early 1990s. The Oriental-themed wooden trunk was topped with my grandmother’s old oil lamps and countless little knick-knacks placed there carefully over the decades that we lived at that townhouse. The couch, the two high backed chairs my half-sister Vicky gifted Mom with in 1997, and the couch Mom bought in 1986 to replace the 50-year-old one we had lugged to Bogota and back to Miami – that old sofa bore too many burns from people’s cigarettes on the cushions – and the small table that once stood between the chairs…all those things I remembered.
I can’t recall the entire dream, but I can say this much – it had an odd, surreal quality that hopscotched from memories of people I knew in my old Miami life to sheer fantasy. (As big a fan I am of Diane Lane, I am 100% sure she never visited my house.) Plus, Mary Joe Cacao, my Lab, was there…and she’s been dead, lo, for over 18 years.
Oh, and the sun was streaming in through the sliding glass doors that looked out on the enclosed patio. It bathed the living room, my dog, and me in a warm, buttery-gold glow of South Florida sunshine, dappled by the shadows of the many, green-leafed plants that Mom hung from the wooden trellis.
And, for the briefest of times, I was at peace, content with life, the world, and my place in it.
Then I woke up.