Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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While I Was Sleeping

It seems that about once a year, I experience a dream so noteworthy that I feel I must document it in this journal. It will be a simple matter to verify that frequency in 2009, as I have begun the year with a dream in the wee hours of New Year’s Day that I must relate. It involved a strange visitation by a departed friend. As with most dreams, there are many details that I cannot now recall, but I will recount what I can and if any of you feel up to the task of interpreting it, you are invited to do so.

The bulk of the dream took place in front of the house in which I grew up, i.e., the house on Camden Street, from which I derived the name I use in this journal. That is probably not significant, as many of my dreams are set there. Moreover, in talking with friends of mine about their own dreams, it appears to be a common quirk that dreams are often set in the place in which one spent one’s childhood.

In the dream, as I stood in front of the house near a small tree, I was suddenly face to face with my friend Kathy P. As you may be aware, either from knowing me or from reading accounts in this journal, Kathy was a very special friend who died five years ago. Even in the context of this dream, I was aware that she had passed away.

Her face and hair looked much as I remember her, as did her arms and legs. It was the rest of her body that was strange. The effect was as if she were dressed in a baked potato costume. I couldn’t tell whether this was her current body or whether it was in fact a costume of some sort. As I stood with my hands resting on her shoulders, the sensation was like touching a coarse fabric stretched over sculpted Styrofoam.

I felt no fear in standing there speaking with her. In the dream, I wondered briefly whether I should be afraid of such a bizarre specter, but quickly dismissed the thought, since I could not conceive of Kathy’s presence portending anything of an evil nature. And besides that, I was burning with curiosity to investigate this startling situation.

I remember saying softly, “Kathy, you know you’re dead,” to which she nodded and smiled slightly and almost shrugged apologetically. I then asked the question that was uppermost in my mind: “Then why are you here?” She smiled again and seemed about to reply.

— at which point, my cat jumped on me. Not in the dream; I mean in real life. Cy was on my chest as I lay in the bed. He was purring and wanted attention. This is Just Like A Cat. No matter how many cats you know, no matter how long you may know them, they will always find new ways to insinuate themselves upon you. They will always find novel ways to create memorable moments.

So what began as a curious dream ends up being all about the cat. I suppose it’s possible that we may pick that dream up again, but I doubt it.

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