Last night, I dreamt about Dad. It’s certainly not the first dream about him; for about two months after he died, he made appearances in my dreams almost nightly. For a week leading up to his birthday, I had a lot of anxiety and a lot of dreams.
I think this is the first one I’ve had since I’ve been in Nicaragua. In the dream, I was sitting in a big backyard watching a home video with a bunch of people, and suddenly, unexpectedly, I saw Dad projected onto the wall, and I heard his laugh. I ran back to Jasmine, who was sitting a few rows behind me, and I smacked her, yelling, “Did you hear Dad’s laugh? Dad just laughed!”
In my dreams, he is always sick, dying, or dead. Never, even in my subconscious mind, do I get a moment of feeling like everything is okay.
I miss the sound of trains. When I was younger and Dad worked for the railroad, I used to see a train and imagine that it was his train, that he’d see me and smile and wave as he passed.
When I got older and understood where his route was (nowhere near me) I still felt that connection. Every train had the potential to be Dad’s train.
I’d hear them as I fell asleep, and I’d feel like he was nearby. Even when he retired, I’d wake up in the middle of the night and hear a train over a mile away, and I’d feel like he was thinking of me.
It’s been seven months since he died, and I still feel that way. His presence feels strongest when trains pass, and especially at night, they comfort me.
There are no trains here.
When I hiked to the laguna, someone told me that there used to be trains—passenger trains—but one derailed and fell into the laguna, killing hundreds (or thousands) of people.
Anyway, I miss the trains, and I miss his laugh. I don’t remember the last time I heard him laugh. I catalogued lots of “lasts” but somehow I lost that one.
La memoria ha huido.