“People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” ― Neil Gaiman
Last night, or early this morning, I dreamed about my half-sister Vicky.
It wasn’t one of those rare dreams in which I relive certain events in my past that are based on actual memories. I – thankfully – don’t have those as often as I thought I might, although they do occur occasionally, usually close to our birthdays – mine on March 5, hers on March 10 – or the anniversary of our mother’s birthday. Sometimes those dreams are vague and hardly worth remembering, while at other times they’re so vivid that I wake up feeling overly anxious – even angry.
It also, not surprisingly, was not a pleasant dream, even if it was not a flashback to the turbulent period between April 1987 and July 2016.
In the weird proscenium of my subconscious, I encounter Vicky – a thin, sallow-skinned, bitter-looking woman hobbling across the living room of our house in Coral Estates Park, where she had lived with Mom and me from the summer of 1972 until Vicky was compelled to move out in the early summer of 1974.
Since this was a dream, I did not question why we were in 1001 SW 102nd Avenue rather than the condominium at East Wind Lake Village, my last address in South Florida. I have been writing frequently about the house on 102nd Avenue over the past few months, so it makes sense that it would show up in my dreams, especially since I would leave Lithia and move back there if I had an unexpected windfall – and if I could convince the current owners to sell the place.
“Some people are in such utter darkness that they will burn you just to see a light. Try not to take it personally.” ― Kamand Kojouri
I don’t remember if I exchanged words with this spectral version of my older half-sister. I don’t think I did. The last time I saw her in real life, I certainly did not; after an unexpectedly brief hearing before a probate division judge at the Miami-Dade County Court complex, Vicky, with a look of hate and fury twisting her face into an ugly rictus, strode up to me and – perhaps inspired by the theatrics of the Latin American telenovelas she is addicted to – and, after I refused to obey her “Come here” hand gesture, strode up to me and hissed, “Don’t you ever call or text me again.”
I still chuckle with wry amusement when I recall that after she delivered that line, which ironically she stole from my last text to her in October of 2015 after I discovered she had made off with our grandmother’s set of elegant porcelain dinnerware and told her she was no longer welcome in my house, she spun on her heel and turned her back contemptuously at me and my two companions (the Caregiver’s mother and first cousin, who were there to give me moral support).
Based on that bit of real-life melodrama, I do not believe that my “dream self” would even consider speaking to Vicky’s equally unreal apparition.
And knowing my half-sister as well as I do, I seriously doubt that she would have struck up a friendly conversation with me, even in a surreal dream setting where we met in the living room of a house I have not visited since 1978 and can now only glimpse from the Tampa Bay area using Google Maps.
“Feuds are weeds… Once it’s grown roots, it’s harder to dig up; and it’s far easier to spread.” ― Emory R. Frie, Giant Country