Last night, I dreamed that I was leaving.
In the dream, I was folding clothes in my room, the room that looked out on the grassy side-path to the backyard, and the street outside. It was sunny. (I remember once, in the waking world, hearing someone singing as she walked down that street past our house, something from "Cabaret." I clapped from the invisibility of my room and she said thank you, thank you.)
This was my room in UP Campus, where I lived for almost a decade, from 1987 to around 1995. I still dream about it often. I think that might be the place my brain considers home.
This has been a year for departures, mostly sad ones (I suppose unalloyed happy ones are rare). It's been a year of deaths, of friends and acquaintances and famous people. And, of course, my mother.
I often think this might be my year to go, as well. I've been having a number of health problems of late, problems that have slowly built up in the past four years or so (though they are no doubt the result of the past few decades of bad habits). These days, just getting through a day is difficult.
They say we know ahead of time when we're going to die. The week before my mother passed away, a dead friend visited me in a dream. I wrote about it, in a short short story I called "Astrid in the Afterlife." At the time, I secretly believed it was some sort of premonition. I thought I might go in my sleep at some point (I often have difficulty breathing while lying down). It turned out to be a premonition about my mom, I suppose.
I wonder about this new dream. Perhaps it means as little, or as much, as any dream. Perhaps I really am leaving. Packing my things. Saying goodbye to home. It won't be by my hand, as much as I've thought about that. If it happens in my sleep, I'd be very grateful. I'd hate for it to happen in a hospital, or, as Mick said, in an accident or a fire.
It was a good, if a little bittersweet, dream. It's been a good life, so far.
5 days ago