Friday, February 08, 2008


Mom came to see me again last night.

She doesn’t come around all that much these days. Not surprising, since she’s been dead almost twenty years. But once in a blue moon, she’ll come back, a silent presence in my dreams.

Silent, yes. She never talks. None of the revenants who come to visit me at night ever do. They may smile bittersweet smiles, or they may go about their business wearing blank expressions, but never do they speak.

Sometimes it’s not my mother who appears. Most times, in fact, it’s not. Grandparents, mostly. And suddenly they’re back, going through the motions of life as though they were never gone.

Where have you been? I try to ask them. How can you be here now, unchanged? Why did you go away?

They never answer.

My mind invents scenarios, attempting to explain. They disappeared to live another life with another family. They were really here all along, and I simply forgot. They’ve never been away, except in a dream I had…

I’m happy and upset all at once. Happy to see them. Upset at the time we’ve missed together…and at the fact that they never, ever speak. Except with their eyes.

And it’s their eyes that tell me that their absence is not a dream, that they are really, truly gone, except as ghostly revenants that come in the night.

Still dreaming. My life feels empty, like the socket left by a pulled tooth. Something is missing, and it won’t ever - can’t ever - come back. Then I wake up, and as the cobwebs clear from my mind, the sense of loss fades.

But it never goes away completely.

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