“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl. And her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”
I fell to these words when finding the correct way to describe my connection when writing the eulogy. Except it was me wanting to answer his laughter.
I woke up this morning after having a dream where my dad had made a cameo – but being a dream it wasn’t actually my dad, it had to be a lot more intricate and contorted then that. Someone had entered the house, someone strangely familiar but estranged nonetheless. He played a game of impersonation,
“Who do you want to see me play next?”
I remember he started to fade into his looks, his hair grew sparse like my dads. His face became more round, the words that came from his mouth were his. His voice belonged to my dad. His eyes, were blank.
“Your eyes need to change. You’re not him. Your eyes are black.”
I grabbed the sides of his face staring, hoping the harder I look, that maybe I would see the blue grey come out. The same blue grey of my own. The same blue grey he gave to me.
I saw them flicker and slowly haze into the colour. I grew excited, but it never quite got to the point were I saw him. He sat down and started saying things my dad must’ve once said and my subconscious clung on to.
I felt soothed, I felt relieved, I felt anxious.
Sometimes you see things in a dream and at the time feel lucky that you get a chance to see someone again, and there are times in which you know it’s a dream, and the time you have is scarce. So scarce you try not to get any happiness from the moment to avoid the impending disappointment. I think that’s how I live my life now.
My alarm went off.
I opened my eyes and stared at the ceiling… stretched out my arm to stop the noise. Closed my eyes in the naïve hope he might come back… which I knew wasn’t going to happen. Once I’m awake, I’m awake. Falling back only greets me with sleep paralysis.
I stretched out my arm again to get my phone, the motion reminding me I had to get up to go to the airport. I did my usual routine of scanning the notifications, this time slightly more sceptical than usual.
One read, “Why aren’t you at LTZ tonight?”, the bar I frequent so often half the population believes I’m on their pay roll.
The next couple in green that historically gave me excitement, this time led to a feeling of suspicion and tiredness.
I went on to check my blue notifications, which led to confusion and guilt.
I had 40 minutes to get ready to leave to catch my flight, oh how I miss those butterflies.
I wish I knew what happened to them. Did I kill the butterflies? Did I send them away? …did he poison them? Did I give them to someone else?
A million crazy and abstract thoughts can travel through ones’ mind when they’re on a plane. 40,000 ft above the world, among the clouds and the sky which I spent my child hood staring at thinking of amazing possibilities.
I either looked at the sky looking out for planes, imagining it was carrying my dad and he was going to come home to surprise us all. Or I would imagine others things, usually involving something happy and exciting… like my toy pink bunny coming to life and being my partner in crime, or imagining if Pokémon were real.
Now I don’t look at the sky as much, I look at the ground, or the drink in front of me. I don’t think of happy things; I imagine the worst possible scenarios for everything. I have this compulsive idea that if I play out the scenarios in my head they won’t happen in real life. Or at least if they do, I’ve come prepared.
I think it’s this new way of thinking that’s made the butterflies disappear. I think I’ve poisoned them all. I think this is why I can’t ever feel happy with something, because I can’t be content with happiness. I didn’t prepare for happiness, I prepared for the worst.
I used to think the only person I wanted to impress was my dad.
Thank you x