Wednesday, October 10, 2007


"A bit beyone perception's reach
I sometimes believe I see
that life is two locked boxes,
each containing the other's key.

Piet Hein, as quoted in PopCo by Scarlett Thomas

"Mommy!" Lucy yelled, "Watch me pee!"

"OK," I said. It really is exciting, after three plus years of diapers. She plops herself on the seat and I gasp to myself, remembering the time I fell in the toilet when I was a little bit older than her, but whenever I threw myself on the seat with anything resembling gusto. This happens to me everytime I am called to bear witness to my youngest daughter's WC adventures.

Lucy finishes up and I help her sort out her clothes. I make my way out of my parent's master bathroom and into their wonderful sitting room with Lucy in tow. I wander into their bedroom where my Dad is loading up the last quarter of his music collection. He's only up to hundreds of gigs so far.

We both turned around to watch Lucy come into the room and proceed to be sweet. She went over to the bed and gave Riley a kiss. My Dad and I both melted.

"She's so sweet," I said.

"Yeah, she wears her heart on her sleeve."

"And she's such a snuggler." I remarked.

"Hey," he said turning toward me, "I had the strangest dream this morning."

"Oh?" I said. I was standing in the doorway by this point and I could see my Grandma sitting in a wooden chair against the far wall, reading.

"Yeah, it was early in the morning and I had woken up briefly, but I fell back asleep and had this dream that was more like a movie. Like, I wasn't in it but I was watching it."

"Ok" I said.

"It was in color, too, which is unusual."

I never understood my Dad's claim that most people dreamed in color. It seems impossible to me. How can we, i.e. human beings, dream in black and white if we've been seeing everything in color up until the early 20th century when silent pictures were first seen. I mean, how would you even know black and white without knowing Buster Keaton? I never questioned him about this. I just took it as his rule and made my mind up later on. It doesn't seem worth arguing over anyway; it's not easy to really know what's going on in someone else's head, even if you know them well.

"There was a crane that was outside our house and it burst into flames. I remember picking up Lucy and holding her."

"Oh, weird," I said. "Shall I interpret it for you?"

"Huh?" he looked at me, "Oh, I read your dream on your blog on Friday. I just couldn't work anymore."

Just so you know: Yes, my parents read my blog...and I've apologized for every F-bomb I've dropped over here.

Anyway, he said, "Ah, no...I just remembered holding Lucy and how sweet it was."

"That's nice," I said.

"How did you interpret that dream?" my Grandma asks from the living room, "Did you have a book from the library? Can I borrow it?"

"Well, I use an online Dream Dictionary at" I explain.

"Oh," she said.

I walked over and plopped into the love seat next to her.

"What do you want to know?" I asked.

"What does it mean when you dream about dead people all the time?"

"What?" I'm surprised, but recover after a few beats, "Who are you dreaming about, Grandma?"

"Oh, your Grandpa," she said. She rested her elbows on her knees and her head in her hands.

"Oh?" I prodded.

"Yes, he's always fighting with me."

"Fighting? Why?"

"He's made at me for moving his stuff."

I paused and looked away. I remembered my feelings of forboding about touching his stuf a few months ago.

"Grandma, do you remember when I volunteered to clean out his workroom?"


"Well, let's just say I could feel his anger when I went down there. I didn't want to touch anything and make him mad at me. I mean his coffee mug is still there like he just went upstairs!"

"Oh, I know!" my Grandma laughs, "He's mad about that!"

"I dream about him sometimes," I offer.

"Oh?" she asked.

"Yeah, but he doesn't say anything. He just gives me a hug and a kiss."

"That's nice," she said.

I felt a bit guilty. Granpa should be hugging and kissing her. Maybe I'll tell him to lighten up the next time I see him.

I was telling this story to Doc the other night after we were chatting about the recent heaviness of the stubble left behind since the moustache growing contest ended.

"I was standing in the bathroom at work when I noticed that I had a 5 o'clock shadow. Of course it was 7:30. But I was thinking about growing it back into a pencil-thin moustache like Granpa C.I. I was looking in the mirror considering this when his image floated up in front of mine on the mirror. I could see my face through his."

"Weird," I said.

"Yeah," he said.

"So, is the moustache coming back?"

"No," he said. "I'm going to wait until I'm 60. Then I'm growing a moustache again."

"Oh, good," I said, "Then we'll both have one."


  1. You always know how to end a story with a good zinger!

  2. Wow Flannery, this is a bit creepy. Like an episode of Night Gallery!

  3. That is the sweetest thing I've read in months. And not at all puke-inducing. I don't know how you do that.

  4. I always dream in color. I figured everyone did, even though "common knowledge" says otherwise.

  5. Elizabeth: It's not done if it doesn't zing!

    SD: Happy Halloween!

    Chris: Thank you.

    Vikki: Thank you, too. And my secret: I sprinkle each post with alka seltzer to prevent nausea.

    BWUWG: I don't think I've ever dreamt in black and white. We must be anomonies.

  6. I always dream in color, too, and so does everyone else I've ever asked. Maybe this little factoid is as old as B&W television & movies.

    Ooh, does this mean we'll all soon be dreaming in hi-def?

  7. I dream in color, but it is often also letterboxed.