I don’t remember how it started. I’m not even sure who told me, but it was one of those dreams where it’s just real enough that you keep wondering during it if it’s a dream or if it’s real, and you wonder again when you become semi-awake before falling back into unconsciousness.

There wasn’t a whole lot to the dream, but it seemed to take up a lot of time. I went through anger and sadness- sometimes I would hit things and sometimes I’d just bawl. I think I got the news from whoever told me while I was watching a basketball game at a bar or restaurant. I just remember the place was dark and had a lot of wood.

On a side note, in the dream, Duke had a good lead in the first half when I left, but they ended up having to pull out the win in the last possession. This obviously came from the game against Clemson the other night. In the dream, I caught the end of the game after leaving- possibly to go to Rougemont where my parents live. It provided a temporary distraction that I ended up feeling guilty about.

I never saw my mom during the dream. I know she was off grieving somewhere. In fact, I don’t remember seeing anybody but my sister Erin. I was angry at her because she didn’t seem to upset. She seemed chipper even. I do remember at one point we were driving past Northern High School heading towards town and she told me that Doug Watson had died the week before. Doug is the husband of my mom’s good friend TJ Watson. Erin mentioned she thought it had something to do with his heart, and that it was odd that two people we know should die in such a similar manner just a week apart. That was the only hint of the cause of death. There was also a mention of a car wreck where someone lost a finger, but when I did see my dad, his body looked fine.

There was a point when I was in a room about to go see my dad’s body during the wake. I was really upset, but Erin made some joke to calm me down. It had something to do with the size of my dad’s nose. During this I kept thinking back to when he was in a bad car wreck back in 1985 I think it was. I remembered my mom on the phone in the kitchen and thinking about how this was particularly bad for me because my dad and I have a really special thing in that we share the same birthday. I was only seven or eight at the time and I in my dream I kind of smiled at what a silly thought that was, that my dad’s life-threatening accident was worse for me than anybody else because of that. I then went to see my dad’s body laid out. They’d done a good job.

At one point, and I think this was sort of a side-dream that got mixed in, I had decided to just leave. Leave everything behind and go. There was something in there about Mum Mum, my maternal grandmother, giving a note to someone who was accompanying me a short way. They were to deliver me some place then have me killed. Instead though, the person felt sorry for me that my dad had died and gave me the note instead so I could see it and avoid my fate. But like I said, I think that was another dream trying to interlope with this one.

I did have thoughts of leaving though- of just saying nothing to anybody and going. That was during one of my anger stages. But then I thought of all the responsibilities I had (mainly I thought of Amanda) and decided not to.

I don’t remember what the end of the dream was, but one of the times I woke up I cleared my head enough to tell myself I was dreaming and decided not to go back to sleep if that was what I was heading into. I don’t like dreams like that.

Zach Dotsey