I was in San Diego for the past three days. My visit marked the first time I had gone back to San Diego since I moved back to Orange County three weeks earlier. And, overall, it was the most fun I’ve had in …the last three weeks (yeah I know…I’m really boring when I’m in OC).
I had a dream last night—but it wasn’t one of those really pleasant dreams where you wake up and you’re trying really hard to memorize it before it fades away in your mind and it’s not one of those dreams where later in the day you reminisce about it to yourself and you’re trying really hard to hold back the faintest shadow of a smile…No, I dreamt that while I was visiting and staying in San Diego, my mom had passed away. Even though I woke up at around 12:30pm—so I’m really only writing about this some 8 hours later—I still can’t recall some of the finer details of the dream…which is really disappointing because I really wanted so badly to remember this dream so I could explore it and understand it a bit more. I know people say that dream interpretation has no real scientific basis, and that you shouldn’t read into your dreams…but I think it’s interesting, and, if anything, can help give me perspective on certain things I don’t think about when I’m awake (or that I don’t notice when I’m awake).
You know that moment when you wake up from sleep and you’re kinda in that in-between sleeping and being fully awake state? Like you’re only semi-conscious and you’re not exactly fully aware of everything that’s going on around you? And it goes away after a few seconds if you continue to try to wake up? For me, at least, when I’m in that state, it’s a bit hard to tell what’s real and what’s not—in short I can’t tell if my dream has already ended and if I really am awake. My sense of reality is a bit warped. And in that moment, I couldn’t tell if what I dreamt was real or not.
So I rubbed my eyes, but my mind is still playing over scenes from my dream—in the dream I am sleeping in the same exact position, in the same exact room (on a futon on the floor in Richard’s room, next to the door) as I am in real life…and I stir to the sound of someone opening the door to Richard’s room. The door brushes against the futon I was sleeping on so it wakes me up (in the dream)—and that person goes in to tell me that my mom has passed away. I think that that particular moment from the dream felt so real because in real life, I heard Richard wake up to go to the bathroom and when he opened the door it brushed up against me. I guess my mind kinda just internalized that feeling and incorporated it into my dream.
(In real life) But after I opened my eyes and I become aware of the sunlight shining through the very thin curtains—it was in that moment of semi-consciousness that my confusion as to what’s real and what’s not began to clear and gave way another feeling: a kind of panic. Panic slowly started to set in. If I had to describe the feeling again, I’d had to say it was a…very still and silent—a very absolute kind of panic; a panic that kinda starts in your somewhere else, but eventually ends up in your chest…a panic stemming from the possibility that what transpired in my dream could have been real. At the time, I wasn’t aware that Richard was laying in his bed wide awake and using his phone, but I scrambled to grab my own phone (which was on my left, plugged into the outlet and recharging).
I had to call my mom. I needed to find out if she was safe. If she was still alive.
So I quickly found her in contacts and called her cell number. It rings, but goes straight to voicemail. My breathing really starts to quicken a little at this point.
I decide I’ll call my little brother’s cell phone.
No answer. I think my lips or mouth became dry at this point. I was just so fixated on contacting someone—and I was hoping with every fiber in my body that it is just a coincidence that I can’t reach anyone right now. I mean it happens all the time right? People don’t pick up their phones all the time right?
I call my mom again.
I call my little brother again.
Nothing. While part of me was telling myself that this is just a series of coincidences and that a couple of missed phone calls aren’t really a basis to extrapolate any sort of conclusion from…I was still waking up, so I don’t think that my ability to maybe rationalize and think through the situation was kicking yet…and, even more importantly, this was concerning my mom. I didn’t care—nor should I have—if I looked or seemed foolish while I was fervently trying to get a hold of someone.
I call my aunt at my grandma’s house.
My aunt picks up. I immediately ask her if my mom is there. She tells me that my mom is still at home and that she’s gonna come over later.
I breathe a small sigh of relief…but I wasn’t really satisfied.
I decide to call our home phone number (which I usually avoid calling because my dad pays for my cell phone and so he’s able see what numbers I call on his bill and my mom doesn’t want him to know our home phone number—a fact which I remembered only the moment I started calling—but I didn’t stop).
My mom picks up after a few rings.
She asks me why I’m calling our home phone.
All the panic is washed away when I hear her talk.
I told her that she didn’t pick up when I called her cell and that Kenny didn’t pick up his cell either. Then (and I made this up on the spot) I told her that I just wanted to call her to tell her that I was going to be coming home later tonight, probably around 5-7pm. She then asks me if I want her to prepare anything for me for dinner. I said no, that I’d have probably have already eaten with friends. We then say goodbye to each other and, as always, I tell her I love her.
I (really do) breathe a large sigh of relief and fall back into the futon that I was sleeping on. Has it always been this comfortable? I lay there for awhile…before I decide to sit up again to see if Richard’s awake. I see that he’s wide awake and on his phone.
Oh, and I also cried in my sleep that night apparently.