Surfacing through Dreams

Dreams about my father and brother last night. I don’t really want to write about them. There was too much anger involved. In my dreams, my father and brother always seem to team up on me. The original issue, I think, was mowing the lawn—something I didn’t do when I was supposed to. Also about putting things in the right place, hanging them on the right nail—I can’t remember what I was trying to put in the right place so that Dad would know where it was. 

These events led to a moment in a crowd when Al was teasing me about something. Instead of hitting him, I hit another friend of his or ours who joined in the teasing, not knowing the moment was turning serious. I punched him rather than Al in the face. 

Our friend was a tough guy—maybe a combination of my cousin Cliff and Carl Truesdale—or someone else I can’t remember, maybe Lonnie’s cousin, who as always able to pin me: his face went red and tight. He was about to nail me, but I got him outside where I apologized and tried to explain. I woke up before he nailed me anyway.

Dad and Al historically teamed up on me. Maybe Dad starting and Al kind of joining in, sensing his advantage. I think they were both probably jealous because I may well have been Mom’s favorite, creating that subsurface tension, leading to Dad’s anger and Al’s teasing. I can remember Dad hitting me only once—it was in public, when I think I was talking too much or smarting off at the dinner table. I was about ten. He slapped me in front of our guests. I was furious. He may have belted me in my earlier years, but I can’t remember anything specific. 

Al used to wrestle me and pin me to the ground until I would say “Uncle”—that is, until I became a wrestler and could easily pin him. We were in high school then. He was two years older than me, and we generally lived in different social worlds. Dad and Al are usually like that in my dreams. I am 75. Dad has been dead for over 20 years; Al for about two. It’s amazing how deep the past can go and how long it stays with you. 

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