the dream of going home and visiting my mother’s shade

So there I was riding on top of a car, on my way back to the house I grew up in. I'd lost my socks on the way and my feet were chafing inside my shoes.

It was a bit of a post-apocalyptic hellscape but there were still a lot of cars on the road. Nobody was turning down onto Press, though. Everyone was staying on Chef Menteur. I hopped off the car and stood on the neutral ground, looking about. Even the fast food chains were abandoned on boarded up. Nobody wanted to live in this area any more.

But I went in. Passed a couple people walking. Got hassled by a dude on a bicycle with a lot of attitude. Who clearly was looking for someone to kill but I managed to get him to give up with the force of charisma. Hey, it was my dream, I can be incredibly charismatic if I like.

I made it to the house I grew up in. It was a giant mess. But my mom was there. Well, mostly. Her bedroom was dark and there was a vague shape on the bed, and a couple of things I was pretty sure were store-bought Get Well Soon balloons attached to various weights. But I couldn't see a damn thing in there. She was also puttering about the house, pointedly ignoring the fact that we both suspected that was her corpse in there.

Between intermittent attempts by that guy to kill me (and rollbacks when he succeeded, sometimes by really over the top methods like four airplanes firing grapples into the house and dragging it up off into the sky to uncertain doom), my mother took me up to a second floor that didn't exist in reality and showed me an old Bible. It was my grandfather's, and she wanted me to have it. I wouldn't read it, you know, I told her. And that was okay with her. She didn't care. But it meant something to her that I should take it. I dithered a bit, and accepted it.

Briefly it looked like things were getting better for the neighborhood – we thought we saw a taxi, there was a big crowd of policemen on bicycles passing through – but then it was just us and the guy who wanted to kill me, and the IR-sensing killer robot in the guise of a 3' tall grey-fur-covered rabbit, and his missile launcher. Cue a bunch of rapid rollbacks where I managed to evade this combo for about ten seconds longer each time, while trying to explain what was going on to my mother and pull her to safety too.

I woke up in the middle of that.

I'm going back to sleep. I don't feel ready to deal with the world after a dream like that.


Dear Marie-Jeanne:

Thank you for raising me to be the kind of person who can see a trailer for a video game about bird attorneys, constructed from collages engravings, and casually think “Oh wow, it's Une Semaine de Bonté, the video game.

love, Peggy.

another year gone by

The first thing through my head in the morning is “I should deal with those life insurance policies on Mom except wait I still haven’t gotten the death certificates what’s up with that”. This is going to be a long forty-fourth birthday.

Then I check my email. Every computer wishing me a happy birthday via email is like a little knife in the gut because it reminds me there won’t be a phone call from her.

Yeah. This is crap. I’m going back to sleep. Maybe I’ll feel better when I wake up again.


Later. I looked at those life insurance policies. Another year or two of runway for getting this whole ‘comics’ thing off the ground as a viable career. Maybe more, I didn’t try to untangle their descriptions too deeply. I’d rather have another decade of her around to see it.

the dream of my mother’s brain failing her

Well that was an unpleasant dream. Maybe even a nightmare. I dreamed I was on a trip with my mother and her memory just… stopped working. She knew who she was but had no way to keep a train of thought going for more than a few seconds. Dealing with it was scary, stressful, and hard. It was like herding a small child.

She's getting older. And as far as I can tell her mind is still fine. It's actually her body that's starting to fail; when she had heart surgery the enforced bed rest took a lot of muscle tone away, to the point where she has to use a walker just to get around her home, and getting out of the house is increasingly difficult. And her arthritis means trying to exercise and regain that muscle tone is really difficult; she has an exercise bike but can't use it for more than a few minutes, she says. There's going to be a time when she needs to go into a home or something soon, I'm afraid. And she's going to hate that.

Oh, wow, I sure do have a complicated jumble of emotions about this. I think I'm just going to put off digging into them at least until daylight, if not longer.