It wasn’t reality. It was just a dream.
But I found myself lying awake in the darkest part of the night, my throat aching with sadness. My neck lay rigid on my pillow, the anger of the dream coursing through it and making it clench.
It was a strange dream, one that seemed to have been conjured from a combination of memory and daily pressures. At first it made no sense. My dreams are often senseless and strange; sometimes I never find the meaning behind the gauzy muffled images.
My dream began in an old stone house; in the light of day, it was nowhere known to me. But in the darkness of my dream, the house was a familiar, beloved place. The floors and walls were made of whitewashed stone, and it held deepset windows on two sides. I stood just inside the door, looking into the main room of the house, and I was swept up by a sense of memory and of longing.
This was a place that I had loved. It was a place of safety, and familiarity and pride. It felt like home. My heart was full of longing as I looked into the sunny room.
Suddenly, though, I saw that there was a faucet on one wall, and it was leaking. I noticed that there was a stream of water flowing out of the faucet, onto the smooth stone floor. Somehow, the image of the water on the floor made me immensely sad. I knew, right away, that the flowing water would erode the stone foundation, and wash away the memory of my beautiful house.
I stood in the room, surrounded by familiar, cherished memories, and I watched the water pooling on the old stone floor. I turned to my right, and I saw a man standing there, watching the flood with a satisfied smile.
In my dream, I was so angry that I started to cry. I screamed and I yelled, in that voiceless, powerless way that is the special province of dreams. I told that man that he was destroying the very foundation of my house; he was eroding away the strong floor that had held all of us up for all of these many years.
In my dream, I screamed and I raged and I sobbed. But my voice had no power; the man who stood watching the flood never raised his eyes to mine. He never acknowledged my pain or my loss or my fear.
For him, I wasn’t really there.
In my sad and painful dream, the floor of that old stone house washed away like sand before the tide. The old house leaned, and it crumpled and it melted away, so all that was left was a faded, leaning wall, supporting nothing.
In my sad dream, I stood all alone, grieving for the beautiful stone house that once stood and held all of us up with its firm foundation.