It wasn’t just the lightning and thunder. Nor the frenzied running around only to discover that the Butcher had already smartly shut the windows, It was mostly the panicked dog who both wanted to be exactly where I was in the bed, shivvering and panting, and then drooling, and who wanted to be pacing around the house. It’s very, very hard to sleep when a dog who can’t get in your bed of her own volition needs desperately to get into your bed or she cries and pants and shakes so loud you can’t ignore her, but then thinks that, since you’re up, maybe we’re all going to go hide in the bathroom and, displaying what must be an instinct that only kicks in during thunderstorms, attempts, in some crude pit bull way, to herd you into the bathroom, where, you must know, we’d all be happier.
But it was also that I kept having this dream, that I was standing on a street at the bottom of a slight hill, and I was in the street but there was a sidewalk. And coming down the sidewalk was a man in a black hoodie, bent way over, holding the hand of a child. I couldn’t look square at the child in the dream. It wouldn’t come into focus. And I couldn’t see the man in the black hoodie’s face, because of how he was bent over, but he was sinister, the way he was walking, and how he kept his other hand hidden, but elbow jutted out, and sometimes it seemed like I should be able to see his face, but there was only more shadow.
And I knew it was my cousin Greg and I was terrified. I didn’t want to talk to him, to hear what he had to say. To let him too close to me.
So, I would wake up and lay there and try to wait for the dream to pass, but when I shut my eyes again, there he was.
And finally, I had to say, “No.” Out loud (in my dream, I think) to make the dream stop.
I don’t trust ghosts who come at the end of the season. Trying to squeek in a visit just before the door closes.
Come in October, if you mean well. Or come in December, if you can’t rest.
But last night?
Not cutting it.
On the other hand, it seems so sneaky and a tad con-artisty that it makes me pretty certain that it wasn’t a dream. How else would the dead men in my family act? All creepy, but with that expectation you’d be glad to see them?