The Invisible Underpinnings

Over at laughingsky, this tale about a story involving premonition and perceptions outside of our everyday ken, causes me to recall:

I rolled over as quietly as a Brunswick pin machine. There had to be an--as yet unfound--perfect position where my body would fit between the metal bar severing the nerves at the base of my spine and the one causing my scapula to chafe. Then I might feel like I was undergoing ordinary knife-torture-bliss and not at all like being impaled on a pike. This was our, well my, third night on the torture-rack that was my grandmother's foldout couch.

My wife didn't find sleeping here any problem, but Koreans sleep their whole lives on floors with pillows made from wood-shavings. This must be better. Maybe I should get down on the living room floor. My mind began to wander toward sleep.

Catching-up with relatives can be a whole different type of torture. And last night's dinner at Great-Aunt Myra and Great-Uncle Gerry's was proof that I can bite my own tongue for over four hours.

From the opening salvo:

"You sure gotcha one cute little china doll, there Veach. Only Korean. A Korean china Doll. Hah, that's a good one. Here, want a beer?"

"Hush up, you! And don't mind Gerry, honey. I'd say drinking brings out the asshole in him, but he acts the same way sober."

To the closing bell:

"I didn't make any rice. Is that OK?"

"Sure, I don't eat rice with every meal."

"Oh reeeaaly?" Aunt Myra's eybrows rose with her inflection in a that's-a-fucking-lie tone.

My back was no longer complaining when my wife shot up off the fold-a-bed with a gasp and flail. The sun was up. I must have slept. "What? What's wrong?" I said.

She relaxed and lay facing me. "I just had a terrible dream. We were in one of those large skyscraper buildings like we saw? But we were sitting in the center area where there was a kind of atrium with trees and plants and flowers and a large pond with a waterfall. We were kissing. Your sister, Nancy, came up to us and you turned towards her and she stuck a spear into your chest. There was so much blood and you died." Tears were in her eyes and her breathing was becoming shorter.

"It was a nightmare. I'm fine." I smiled. But I needed to get her mind off the memory, so I asked, "You've never met Nancy. Why do you think it was her?"

"Nana showed me pictures of her a couple nights ago. It was her." So we talked for a while longer about my sister and the dream and after a long few minutes we both went back to sleep.

The phone woke us. It was now mid-morning. Nana answered and after a hurried exchange came into the living room where I was returning the bed to it's less-painful form. Nana said, "Gerry's dead. It must have been a heart attack in his sleep. That was Myra, she found him on the floor about seven this morning after she heard a falling noise from his bedroom."

I recalled the dream. The spear through my chest. I commented on the coincidence that Uncle Gerry would have a massive coronary and my wife--who only met him for a few hours the night before--would have a nightmare involving a spear through my chest at about the same moment. We discussed it with Nana and then decided to notify relatives of the pending funeral.

"Hey, Nance. Haven't talked to you in a while."

"What's up bro? Are you visiting Nana still?"

"Yea. Hey, I can't talk too long, it's her bill and all, you know. But I was just..."

"It's weird that you would call today. I just had a dream about you this morning that woke me up. It was fucking strange."

"What?" I looked over at my wife sitting in the dining room talking with Nana.

"It was soo real. You know how those are? You and I were sitting on the grass in the park next to the duck pond. And--this is the strange shit--we were, like, kissing. I mean we were really going at it. Then your wife came up to us and you and her got in an argument about us makin out and she stuck a knife in your chest. It was fuckin waaay freaky. And I woke up all jumping out of my skin and shit."

"Nancy. You are...I need to tell you..." Again, I looked over at my wife. I was certain if this was a 'game on Veach' she would give it away with a look or a smile. No look. No smirk. "Nance. First off, the reason I called is Uncle Gerry died this morning. Of a heart attack."

"No fuckin way. Wow. Now you're gonna tell me it was around 5 a.m. and that my dream was connected to his death, right?"

"Why...was that when you had the dream?"

"Round then. This is a joke right?"

"You don't know the half of it yet."

Nancy lives two time zones West of Nana. You do the math. It gives me brain-hair-chills just to recount it. I certainly don't understand the invisible underpinnings. I do know they're there and that some people see a shadow of the edge in their dreams.

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