The malaria medicine that I didn’t choose is supposed to give you odd dreams and hallucinations. Instead I opted for Malarone, which merely upsets your stomach. Hey I’m in India; I will have an upset stomach eventually during the trip. I wasn’t disappointed, but I was ready and immediately reached for the Cipro, which calmed it all down and killed the bacteria responsible.
Then the dream. I had been waking up between 2 and 4 every night and again at 6ish. But tonight when I woke up I still had the memory of an odd dream
In this dream, I was in America. A dream America to be sure, but America nonetheless. I was with my parents. Not with my small family. I was the age I am now and they the age they are now but living on their own in a dream house. By dream house I mean that it did not remind me of any place we ever lived together. It did not even resemble the same house from minute to minute but changed as I moved through it even nearby parts seemed vague then suddenly detailed. That however was not the mystery of the dream.
The mystery of the dream was that I had no memory of how I had gotten back to America. In the dream, I began in McLeod Ganj in the Pema Thang Guest House just as in reality. But at dream-waking, I was in America. How did I get there? I had lost about two days of time. Others commented on that as well. How did I get there? My parents were the only identifiable people. I kept looking for Sally and Tucker and couldn’t find them. I wasn’t in Chapel Hill, but in some American limbo, some bardo. How did I get there? Finally it dawned on me as I sat there surrounded by people at once familiar but startlingly unfamiliar and I would even say ghostly and ethereal; I needed to check my passport. That would have stamps that would say the dates and perhaps times of my travels.
I found my passport with no difficulty. I opened it while the ghosts and my parents looked on. Sure enough I had left India on schedule. Midnight on August 31. Then instead of going to Chicago as I had planned, my next stop was Tokyo. I must have stopped there for about two days according to the stamps. I had no memory of that. After Tokyo, I had gone to San Francisco and changed planes for a cross-country to Raleigh. The dream Raleigh I guess. Again I had details but no memory of any of the travel.
I stared at the ghosts and even at the walls of the rooms hoping that something else would become clear to me. Even my parents were beginning to fade, to become obscure. There was no more sound. That was that. The end of the dream.
Resolution but no resolution. An answer, but no explanation. A reunion with my parents and the unknowns, but not with my wife and my son. A group that seemed concerned about me, but who could not be defined, named or sensed enough to attribute any characteristics to other than concern