She hunches over the railing of the front porch, flicking the butt of a cigarette into a ceramic ash tray. “Em, do me a favor and get me my wine so I can swallow it. I forgot where I put it.” I do as I’m told–Grandma barely asks a favor in a day, and I’m happy to fetch her request. Handing it to her, I reply wryly: “You said swallow it, like it’s a pill.” Grandma laughs. I laugh. Truth is funny even when painful in the bright light of a dark night.
Last night, I had a dream featuring thematic and archetypal symbols that have entered my unconscious mind a few times a week for the duration of about three months.The bird. Flying like the line that draws the third dimension: neither delineating latitude nor longitude, but drawing a diagonal trail like the axis of the earth.
Attached to the birds’ wings are two water baskets shaped like cauldrons, filled to the brim with water that spills of the sides. The bird would not be weighted. The birds’ intent and determination manifest in the miracle of lifting itself through the air, as if the anchors attached to its wings were boeuys, not baskets.
I was the bird. I have become the bird in dreams before, where its death transitioned into my life. My grandma’s name is Bertie.
We are facing different directions. I ask my grandma on the other side of the stoop why I am different from my Mom, Dad and Brother, and always have been. A pause precedes her response: “Maybe God put you here to do something that they weren’t put here to do.”