I’m in the dream again: not the one I had while awake in the catacombs of St. Callixtus in Rome. Where the darkness was so impenetrable that it began to echo. To look like the mixture of colors that burst when you rub your eyes too hard for too long. Like the neuron rupture before death. To shape and morph and become liquid. Where the darkness cobbled itself into a physical form.
Not the dream where I kept seeing flits of my mother out of the corner of my eye. Behind every street corner. Every turn. Every tunnel. Reflected in the casts of the bodies in Pompeii. Mirrored in the waves of the Trevi Fountain.
I’m in the dream where the soil churned from the bottom to the top. where the hand outstretched from the grave. where my grandfather clawed his way out and returned to my grandmother﹘sopping wet, covered in thick mud, socks torn, skin sallow and jaundiced, spitting out the wire the embalmers put in his mouth, melting makeup, and ravenously hungry. And it’s been so long since he was hungry.
“He came back to me, Taylor,” my grandmother tells me. “He came back to me.” I don’t have the heart to tell her that he’s undead. I’m physically unable to spit out those words. And it’s a dream and it’s a dream and it’s a dream, but it just fits so perfectly. That he would come back to her. That death would not be a barrier. I can’t explain it. It just is. My grandmother is a shell without him. The body that’s missing the limb. The body that keeps score.
So I guess this is it huh? After all the love bombing and fake feelings you’re finally ready to move on You’re ready to remember what it felt like when I didn’t exist. You’re excited to feel warmth in a new place. Because everything turned cold here. You made it this way though. You turned off your feelings. Maybe you didn’t even have any. Maybe I built a false persona of you in my head that was genuinely interested in me. I must be crazy to think all that time I spent investing in you, you were only pretending to like what I was saying. Like what I was giving to you. I didn’t ask you for anything. I barely reached for a hand. But yet again I’ll switch my feelings back to nothing and pretend like you never even stopped by. Cause it’s that easy right? I’m not that interesting to remember. I’m not that hard to forget. You must have found someone better. So I’ll pretend we ever met.
No no no no no no no This can’t be happening again It’s not allowed to happen I thought this path was closed, bolted up and had broken away so we couldn’t come back I don’t want this I don’t want to cry again I don’t want to see you in white one more time I don’t want any more wrinkles on our faces or blood-red, tear-stained eyes There are no more tears to make Please don’t let it happen please no No no no no I don’t want you sick I don’t want you to go I want you to watch me grow and maybe one day I’ll be a good mum But I can’t do any of it if you’re not here Don’t leave me please Don’t leave me