Last night I dreamed and dreamed and dreamed. I think it was because I finished Social Blunders, and then had a really good phone conversation directly before going to sleep.
There is so much information packed into the dream, I hardly remember it. I laid in bed this morning trying to remember as much as I could, because once you move, you lose 55%. It’s a fact.
In the big ending scene, my fourth sibling has died. Everyone, a personal cast of hundreds, show up for the funeral/party, held in a city park. Alena and I decided the way our brother would want to be buried was wrapped entirely in a giant flour tortilla. There was a picnic table with him resting on it, and a tray of garnishes and food balanced on his torso. The tortilla was wrapped tight enough that you could make out his head from the rest of his mummified self.
Next in the dream was a parade of friends. A lot of people came dressed festively, as Lena and I had put “party” as the main purpose of the funeral. Both she and I felt halfhearted about this, as we had a recently deceased loved one. More and more friends were drifting into the park, and the general crowd noise level increased.
Jen and Dan came directly from their wedding. She was weepy happy, he was grinning with his whole face (like Dan does), and they were wearing their wedding clothes. They waved, and I realized that they had done this to poignantly state that good things happen in life too.
Anton came, with a full beard, and locked eyes with me as he took one of four unwrapped slices of American cheese off the tray on our fourth sib. He very deliberately folded the cheese and chewed it like it was a communion wafer. I thought this was odd, but didn’t say anything, because Anton is known for his silent, purposeful actions that you either get, figure out later, or never get (and it bugs you because it must have been significant and you feel really obtuse).
I greet more guests, and make my way over to the table with the body. Lena is there, and we look at the tortilla covering the face of our other brother. The tortilla is opaque enough that we can’t see his face, but it’s softening in the sun, and we can make out a nose, where eyes would be, and a slightly opened mouth. I can tell we’re both having the same impulsive thought: maybe I should rip the tortilla open so he can breathe.
We both look up, and realize simultaneously that it would undoubtedly be unpleasant to do that. Alena’s eyes search for something else to look at, and she darts her hand out for a piece of American cheese. The cheese has warmed in the sun, and is floppy. She starts tearing strips and eating them. I start to feel like something significant was about to happen, but I didn’t quite have the foresight to realize what it was. I decided I wanted a piece of cheese too. I took it off the tray, and Lena and I both realized that there was once piece left.
“We have to feed it to him!” said Alena.
I thought she was going to rip the tortilla and stuff cheese down our poor dead brother’s gullet. I started to stop her, but what she did was rip up the cheese into several pieces, and layer them over where the mouth should be. Suddenly I felt the wave of rightness, that somehow the four pieces of American cheese, which the four of us ate, identified us as siblings, something you could never change or take back. Even though he was dead, he was still our brother.
And then, I woke up. I was happy.
(To those of you who don’t know me well, or maybe just don’t know my family, I have two other siblings. I have no idea who the dead guy is supposed to be.)