Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dreams...on the court and in the kitchen


I dream I am inside, playing a doubles match. I am at the net. A long point is playing out cross-court, out of my reach. I get almost hypnotized watching the ball go back and forth. Suddenly the ball comes to me! I am not prepared. But I recover. Whack! I hit a sharply angled volley, unreachable. Whew. Wow. My partner and I win the point, and the game.

At the changeover, I look around and realize there are lots of people watching and, for some reason, others just milling around. It’s crowded in there. I remember that I am not supposed to be there. I have to get out of there. I panic. I find a woman who looks official and I stammer out an explanation. Not feeling well. Not supposed to be here. Bone marrow transplant. Germs.

A substitute materializes. The match will go on, without me. I feel guilty about interrupting the match and scared that I will get sicker. But I'm still happy about that volley.

***************************************
I dream that we are emptying out the apartment in New York. My father is there; my mother has just died. (In reality he died first, and both parents were gone when Diane and I cleaned the apartment out more than two years ago). I look through a dining room cabinet. Crystal punch glasses. Miniature tea sets. Delicate napkin holders. Beautiful china. Cocktail napkins with pretty designs.

My father and I go into the tiny galley kitchen (so small that four of us could never fit there, although three could squeeze in like sardines.) I look in the kitchen cabinet, full of the things I remember, right where they belonged. Calcium pills, vitamins and prescriptions on the bottom shelf. Above, Saltines, LeSeur peas, tuna, tea biscuits, dark-chocolate-covered "Little Schoolboy" cookies.

I start crying. “I wish I could be 13, no maybe 14, and go to school and come home and all of us have dinner together,” I say to my father.

He smiles, warmly, sadly, lovingly. “Don’t we all,” he says. “Don’t we all.”

When I wake up, I lie under my quilt, thinking about this second dream for a long time.
In reality, of course, 13 is not exactly always a picnic. But who doesn’t wish to go back to a time before anything really bad happened, a time when someone else took care of us?

If I went back, none of the bad things would have happened.
But none of the good things, most notably my children, would have happened either.

18 comments:

PJ said...

This brought tears to my eyes. It's so true.

Mikha'el said...

I think you dream what many others dream as well. Thanks for the updates, wonderful words and keep strong with hope

Baby Bird said...

I have also been writing down my dreams lately, or else they slip away. They bare so much testament to our lives. But more than anything.... anything.... cherish those moments under the quilt when you awake and ponder.

Howard said...

This was a good post to read just before sleep on a Sunday night. Thanks...

Deborah said...

Very poignant, so well written. (I just got on to vote in the right blog category this time.)

My friend Freddi is always wistfully recalling "our" happy childhood. It was happy—when I was at HER house, which I was every spare moment possible, instead of with the crazy loons chez moi. But I do know what you're talking about... when all was right in the world. I sometimes wish I could step back in time to my grandparents home. Wheeling, West Virginia, as Shangri-La, that's an interesting thought.

Hey, who's blog, is it anyway—yours or mine? What can I say, you sparked my memories and imagination. You inspired me!

Love,

Deborah

Susan C said...

I had the most vivid dreams right after a small dose of morphine. Most of them involved activities that were dangerous to someone with low counts, such as wading through dirty water. I can still recall every last detail of those dreams. It was always a relief to wake up.

Deborah, I'm from Clarksburg, WV, not far from Wheeling.

Looking forward to your hitting that volley, worry free.

Jay Goldman said...

A great put-away shot to remember, especially when that inner cross-court dialogue takes hold and it's time to PUT those worrisome thoughts AWAY. I am so inspired by your perseverance. I wish there was more I could do for you,Ronni. xo

Paul Levy said...

Congrats on winning best literary blog! http://medgadget.com/2008bestliterary.html

Margaret said...

Ronni, This column demonstrates why you deserved to win Best Literary Blog. It is haunting and beautiful. Congratulations, my beloved friend.

donna said...

Ditto PJ with the tears. Your writing is so on the mark! I just viewed the line-up for our next match. I dream of the day when the line-up says "1D: Ronni and Donna". The score becomes something like 6-2, 4-2 them, and then we come back and win it all, riding on the back of your fabulous angles at net. This dream will become a reality this summer. I just know it! Stay strong!!!

Anonymous said...

Amazing you are so clear in your dreams- thanks for sharing. What great perspective of what was an dwhat has transpired since then too and all of your great achievements.

Thinking of you!!!
xo-L

Mieke said...

Those dreams are beautiful. I love being able to "visit" with loved ones. I like that Van Gogh picture along with the dream images...

rc said...

your dream father was right that we all wish to be 13, but you were right that if we throw out the bad times, the good times have to go too...that's the grown up part talking..even in dreamland...rc

Tami said...

...but 16 was really great - how 'bout there?

Thanks for writing.

T.

Nelle said...

I recently have been having dreams where I am reunited with my sister-in-law who passed away a year and a half ago. We are laughing and having so much fun in those dreams. I remember the dreams I had on morphine where I was receiving religious revelations and when I awoke I was ao disappointed not to remember them. There are few things as comforting as a quilt. Take care.

Korby said...

and Ronni you do have that good angle shot at the net that wins! keep dreaming it so you can make it happen again!
That was a nice visit with your dad!
Love, Korby

Diane said...

Well stated and so accurate. I can see the cabinet in the same detail, and our kind and loving father comforting you. But the best part is the image of you wacking the ball - which is what you are doing to your illness. Hitting it hard - out of reach. that's the spirit!

Patty said...

Ronni - Thank you for be willing to share. I am thinking of you.