There was a lot of stuff going on in my dreams, but the last thing was me being swept up into the arms of this black man in a straw hat, one of those smallish straw hats with a red band around it. This man was my grandfather, and I didn't have a father. He was some important figure in the community, and everyone called him "Daddie". I was in some military unit (possibly the leader at some point in the dream, but maybe not at the end), and, let's see if I can tell this right.
A woman came into the place where my unit was staying. She was really, really attractive. I was up one level, but came down a ladder to talk to her. She was charmed by me for some reason, by something that she was looking at that was mine, or something like that. Otherwise I wouldn't normally be her type. So I was talking to her, and I must have propositioned her, since she said, "Dan would pound you," only she didn't use the word "pound", it was some other verb about hurting me. I told her that Dan wouldn't do that, that Dan put on a tough front but really wouldn't. So we went one level lower together, but then the rest of the group got mad that I had her, or didn't like her or something, so they came down, too, led by Dan. At this point, I was definitely the leader, and Dan was the 2nd in command. He was speaking out against her and, by implication, me for choosing her. The unit was starting to get menacing. Then the woman took a long metal bar and was going to show them a demonstration of its usefulness, to prove to them that she was worthwhile, and therefore save us both from them and become part of the unit herself. She was basically demonstrating how useful a lever was, and for some reason it was an unknown principle. she had them rip the hood off of her car, (it was heavy, because it was made from "xxx xxx", some words I can't remember, one of which was "plastic", I think, but the implication was that it was some high-tech material that was really heavy, certainly heavy than one person could lift by themselves. This whole part of the dream had a very science-fictiony feel to it.) Anyway, a crowd started gathering to watch this, important people from lots of places. There was a van there, Ig uess it was sort of our unit's van, so I went around back, since it was getting really crowded in front of it, where she was going to be doing this demonstration. The back of the van was overflowing with bags of money, and I knew that our unit would be extremely wealthy from now on, because there were important people watching the demonstration, and it was going to be something that was worth a lot of money, and we were the only ones that had it. There was a kid there, maybe in his teens, there to guard the money. He had on some sort of orange vest, which signified him as part of a civillian security group that provided security to all sorts of things. This particular boy I knew. He smiled at me, and I at him. The van was overflowing with money, and he was right at the back of the van, guarding it. Then he grabbed the as much money as he could hold in his hands, and left. It wasn't unexpected. I told him, "You know, you could join," meaning he could join our group. "I know," he said. I sort of nodded, and then he left. It felt like we both knew that he was welcome in the unit, that it had been offered before, and that, for some personal reason (something like it just wasn't part of his character to be able to join a group like ours), he could never join. He dropped a few packets of bills on his way through a fence, and then he was gone. Some older woman, a sort of matriarch of our unit, told me to gather up the dropped money and put it in the back of the van. She had seen it, and was quietly acknowledging that it was okay that he took the money, that he needed it. Then I saw Daddie. He had been away for a while, but he was there in the middle of all the excitement. He had come to give me something (money?), and he gave it to me and then turned to leave, but I approached him to hug him, and he swept me up into his arms, and we sort of did this big sweeping, camera-panning, moving-impossible-distances-across-the-d
And then I woke up. And then I really did cry. It was the saddest I've ever felt in a dream.
I really do miss my daddy, I think. My father was featured in another one of my dreams tonight, and I think I've been dreaming about him more lately, too. I think I'm more like my mother than my father, but there are certainly quite a few aspects of my personality that I get from him. Plus, he was my model of manhood growing up. I'm always subconsciously measuring myself up to him. And I feel so distant from him. He's not one to share feelings, and I really needed that after my brother died, and I haven't gotten that from him since.
I suppose this is an appropriate time to post a poem that actually means something to me. I wrote this a little over a year ago, I think. It's one of my typical poems, in that I had the first line in my head, played with it for a while, got a second line, and then had to sit down and write it. And I wrote straight through, all the way to the end. And was surprised by the last line. But I knew it was true as I wrote it. I let the poem sit for a month or so, then came back, and actually revised it, which is pretty much unprecedented for my writing. I showed it to hrafn, and she cried when she read it. Probably not because it's all that powerful, but I'm assuming mostly because she knows me and knows what I've gone through with my brother's death. On the anniversary of his death last year (April 16th, the 7th anniversary . . . 8 this year), my sister and I got together for dinner, and I gave her a copy of the poem. She cried, of course. And we talked about it. She has spent some time living with him after I went away to college and before he married his current wife, so it was just the two of them. She said she had seen him start to tear up once, but nothing other than that. Anyway, here's the poem. (I realize it might be important to the poem to know that my brother had cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease which kills people fairly young. I lived my whole life knowing he was going to die young. He died at the age of 19, I was 17, almost 18, finishing up my first year of college.)
Seldom talked about, never made real,
The death of my brother was not unexpected,
But it was still a surprise to me.
The night of the phone call was worse
Than the actual death.
My father on the other end of the phone,
Calm and collected as always.
"Your brother isn't doing very well;
The doctors say he doesn't have long to live."
Seventeen years of fear, pain, loss -- released.
Drop the phone, stumble out
Into the hallway, screaming, crying.
My sleepy roommate gently but firmly
Brings me back into the room.
My father, calm as always,
Makes arrangements to bring me home.
To see my brother one last time.
I can't remember ever seeing my father cry.