In my dream we’re sitting in the belly of a plane, 6 or 8 random folk, seated, playing games, reading, sleeping, doing what passengers are willing themselves to occupy their time with. I look around, clouded, stunned really. The plane is moving-the slow languid roll of a waiting aircraft.
I know none of these people, but suddenly, they’ve stood up to speak with one another, an excited murmur smothers the windows and I stand myself, lowering my book to the seat as I crane my neck, out of place, concerned.
“Are you ready to DIE!” a woman standing on a small carry on screeches, her lovely navy suit aflutter as her excitement builds. “We are all about to die!”
The group surges to her, ecstatic, their eyes on heaven, or their pain, somewhere else entirely. I swallow panic and run to the nearest door, clawing at the handle, muttering through tears “I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die!” as hands begin to wrap around my wrists.
I wake up as the plane is smashing into a wall of old trees, about to erupt in dark flame. The ache of loss takes all morning to dissipate.
As I grow older, more at ease with living, with life, with the idea of having dreams and plans and wants, I realize there is one constant thing I want and will likely never have.
I want home.
My own home was stolen, ripped away by cancer, and neighbours and a grief so unspoken it seeped into the old wooden beams that held the house up. I left, I fled it seems somedays, the pain no match for the familiar quality, the sponge like safety of the place you grew up. Some growing is too fast and painful, shin splints of the soul.
I have a home, a solid, red brick built in 1957 which feels older and is subject to the many fond remembrances of some cabbies in the area. Inside it, my family lives, breaths, dirties the floor yet again, laughs. They fill the rooms with their being, their growth, their voices and sweat. But it’s not that I crave.
I crave the idea of home-the place you can return to. The small town which holds half your family, the aunts and uncles and cousins who know you, who just get you in that uncomplicated family way which frustrates for it’s stagnant nature. I want to confused family Christmas, swings in the yard, beers around the BBQ.
It’s fictive, I know. I spend my time wishing for the impossible, the improbable. It’s like a craving I’ll never satisfy, this want for people who know me, people I don’t have to explain to, who just know that I like no tomatoes on my chicken burger or hate people who use the phrase “those people”.
I want people, I want to have my people, but I never will. There just isn’t enough of them, and they aren’t here and most are unseen going on 20 years. I stare into my future with dreams and hopes and I wonder just how empty it’s going to be, my people estranged, distant or dead.
Is there a point to any of it, without tribe to follow you?
I walk around all day, trying to shake from my head the terror of knowing you’re going to die when it’s absolutely unavoidable and unwanted. The novelty of the sensation, not a fear of death, but one more of waiting, of unreadiness, or needing to find my place and home here-it was new.
I don’t want to die, and want what so many have-a family, a people to surround me and know me.
Such melancholy thoughts, these which tell me I get better still.