Dream: Dad and Sisters at the Beach

(I’ve had numerous dreams about my dad that I haven’t written down, but I dreamed this one right before waking up this morning and decided to type it up while it was still in my consciousness.)

My sisters and I are sunning ourselves at Dad’s condo by the ocean, on a sort of inside-outside terrace. The condo is on the 2nd floor or a bit above, not the ground level and not very high up. Dad is sunning with us, too. I think: I can sun like this at home; I want to go down to the beach and lay out there since we’re at the ocean. I say this aloud to everyone, go into the bathroom to pee and get my clothes (which I put in a tote bag, though then that seems odd – why don’t I just leave them there?, I wonder), and come back out to head down to the beach.

Dad and my sisters have decided to come, too, and M2 and Dad are already on their way, so M3 and I walk along together. She is wearing white cotton capris with drawstrings at the knees and the bottoms (not something I would characteristically associate with her). Along the way I’m thinking about where we are going to have dinner on this last night at the beach together … some place really fun, I hope, and wonder when we will talk about that, because I want to spend the afternoon anticipating the good meal we’ll have. Then I realise I can anticipate it anyway, without knowing exactly where we’re going, because any place we choose will have good food and be fun.

M3 and I arrive, but we’re not at the beach; instead we’re in a big sort of open-air auditorium. We pause, looking around the rows and aisles for Dad and M2, and I soon see them, sitting in seats in the left front area. When I get to them, both of my sisters and my dad are sitting in the seats, with Dad on the aisle, but he is getting up because he is about to leave anyway. He gets up to give me his seat, but I don’t want to sit in the auditorium, so I follow him, though he doesn’t seem to notice because he takes off so quickly.

We walk through the building. In the middle of an atrium area, a man is lying on his back in a hospital bed, raised up a bit to talk, but it’s obvious to me that he is dying. He has a full head of dark hair and is wearing a dark bluish suit jacket that’s wrinkled and slouched around him, over a similarly wrinkled white dress shirt. For some reason, I think of Charlton Heston.

We continue outside to a white concrete walkway that is winding around the periphery of the auditorium. I hadn’t tried to get Dad’s attention when we were inside, to let him know I was with him, but once we are outside and it is just the two of us, it feels weird to be following a few steps behind him without his knowing. He’s dressed in khaki shorts and a short-sleeved top and is barefoot (typical of Dad), and he is whistling as he walks his usual rapid pace along the pathway. I call out to him: “Dad! Dad! Hey, Dad! Dad!” But he doesn’t appear to hear me. I think about calling out his actual name, but I don’t want to have to do that; I want him to respond to “Dad.” We step off the pathway into some straw-like grass that I think may hurt my (also) bare feet but it’s OK. This is the way to the sandy beach.

****

When I woke up, I thought that maybe he hadn’t responded because he didn’t recognise my voice and didn’t realise he was the “dad” being called, but then I remembered that I hadn’t seen anyone else outside with us. I felt sad.

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