Wednesday night, for the first time since his death, I had a dream about my father.
I walked through the kitchen door to my family home, took off my jacket and hung it on my coat-hook, next to the phone. My father was sitting on the couch, smoking a joint, playing the guitar that now waits to be repaired under my roommate's bed. When I hung up my jacket, he put his guitar aside, meeting my at the level split of our house. He stood on the livingroom floor, while I stood on the kitchen floor, six inches above. We hugged, our chins fitting neatly over each other's left shoulder, our chests pressed tight to one another. A deep breath, in unison, and we both started humming, two pitches creating harmony. It is something that my father and I have done more times than I can count.
We broke apart, and went back to the couch. He was healthy, and hale, and happy, as he was in the summer. His skin was tan, and his eyes were bright, and he was smiling. He had taken a hot bath that morning, and had left the towel draped over the couch where he had sat to let himself dry in the open air. He rolled another joint, and we smoked together, and talked. He told me that his teeth finally fit, and that he wasn't in pain anymore, anywhere. He got out my guitar, and showed me three chords, and we sang "The City of New Orleans" together. We talked about me, and I showed him pictures from my graduation. He said that he was there, standing on the edge of the crowd with my mom and his sister, and I knew he was telling the truth. He told me that he liked what I had done with my hair. I told him that I liked that he hadn't changed his.
We went outside, and walked around the property. It was cleaned up, and his garden was full of ripe veggies. His old bicycle, the one he used to ride when I was little, was fixed up and waiting in the front yard. As we walked the property, he showed me all the out-buildings, and the fence, and all his little paths and patches of garden. He told me that his head was clear, and that he could finish things now, and get things done. As he spoke, I realized that all of the things he was showing me were finished, and beautiful. The outbuildings and the fence were finished, sided and shingled, with a long dragon along the outside and the inside of the fence, made of tin-can bottoms and bottle caps, pull-tabs from soda cans, the things that people throw away without thinking. He showed me a new, fresh concrete slab out back, where he had nearly finished rebuilding my mother's kiln, with a covered concrete walkway from a brand-new building, which he was fitting out to be a new workshop for her. We walked around to the very back of the property, to the Thistle Patch, which was now devoid of thistles, but filled with a lush jungle of pot. He turned to me, and told me that I should go for the Folklore degree, and that I probably should have bought the Professor Suit at Value Village, even though it was $20 and too small for me right now, because I am going to need it in a few years.
Then he told me I was going to miss my flight, and we got into my truck, which he had repaired and restored, and he had me drive him to the airport. At the security checkpoint, he hugged me again, humming, and told me that he was proud of me, and to send his love and a humming hug to my mother when I see her next. He told me that he was healthy now, and that I was going to be alright. He told me to get my driver's license and get my prescription for my headaches worked out, and to practice the guitar more often. He gave me a kiss, and another hug, and waited for me to get through the checkpoint, waving. As I put my boots back on, he put his hands in his pockets, and walked away, with a light step, humming the theme to Gilligan's Island, loudly.
The next thing I knew, I was waking up, and it was Thursday morning. Over the course of the day, I felt better than I have in months. I felt ready and able to get doing and at the very least get the kitchen back into a livable state.
I think I'm going to be okay.