Just a Dream

I had a dream about New Zealand. A dream so realistic I didn’t realize it was a dream; I thought it was a memory, and stored it as such. The beginning of childhood proper in America, the end of toddlerhood in New Zealand; I’d checked lots of memories with my older brother by this stage. And he always, without ever stopping to think, would say he didn’t remember, whatever it was. These conversations began to take the tone of a police interrogation. Me, good cop: “Hey, do you remember that time in New Zealand, when we–” Him, closed body language, flicker of discomfort: “No. I don’t remember anything.” Smirking across the dining room table, making a game of synchronized tea drinking: take a sip, swallow, let out a satisfied “Ahhhh”. No, he didn’t remember that. Our father seething, waiting for us to finish too-big meals; lowering our forks and staring at each other in stubborn solidarity, while our mother left to do the dishes, being ripped from our seats, thrown over his knee: one sharp, stinging spanking, and then wait for the next one, the next one…No, he didn’t remember. And then the dream: that time we were driving the family Volvo through the streets of our old neighborhood, just us: him at the wheel, me in the backseat. I climbed up front, and helped with the pedals on the floor. And we were doing just fine. Even though I was probably four, and he was five. No, he definitely didn’t remember that. A few years later, after several more lifelike dreams and the evolution of critical thinking skills, I realized that was no memory. And, despite being a pretty sophisticated metaphor to spring from the brain of a tot, it was the nail in the coffin of my credibility.

Published by msdeer

I am an interdisciplinary artist, slightly incognito here.

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