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April 11, 2005

Then, Drenched in Sweat, Awake - My Grandfather the Dead Pope

I just woke up abruptly, drenched in sweat. I had been dreaming that I had had a dream in which my grandfather was the pope. I had always had a kind of ambivalent relationship with my grandfather, I never really had the time of day to be honest. And this time it seemed that he wanted me to be happy and do the things I want and was bringing me and that other one around to eat and shop and buy things, I think now I knew or felt that I knew he knew he was dying, and yet I was ornery. The restaurant I can only remember now as an urge to leave, but later we were at the CD store, and he kept foisting things on me, like Black Sabbath's new album, which I demurred. I chose bunch, which I was going to wean further, when I was whisked to the cashier, where even as things were being rung up with a fearsome queue, I was saying I wanted to wean some more. At the end the wordless male cashier was just hovering and the female one said very loudly that "all items would have to be paid for eventually" in the most toity bitch voice possible. She would also proceed to mouth off about how my grandfather should be aware that his using his normally disused credit card would incur him Norwegian charges, like he was in nappies suckling. I sort of shouted at her about how she seems intent on getting her rocks off by being mean to grandfathers trying to buy a gift for their grandsons, and that shut her up. At which point it seemed to most coherent and asleep portion of the dream was over. I went back to the car and was saying rather boisterously that he should have a sign round his neck saying POPE. This followed by me inching the car down the winding staircase tunnel spiral, staring at how close the wall was on my right. Which segued into me being Lauren Graham/Lorelei, walking round round that spiral down, following the person or apparition of Susanna Hoffs, who told her to be normal and go back to her room. Then, drenched in sweat, awake. I've never really quite realised till now that my grandfather is dead, and that I saw his corpse, the skin loose and cold and mottled and grey and sagging back. He had been planning his birthday party so there were gifts, and old aunties considerate enough and versed enough to bring bundles of white tee shirts of huge sizes for the absent minded to wear. Very much a family gathering like that wedding. They angled the coffin a bit towards my grandmother, who had clung on till I was born, and smiled when she heard. They had sued for the plot they could get, diagonal to hers, for him, and the tilt was his yearning for her, which I never got to see. My mother says she was always made to feel welcome. I suppose he was a catholic, as my family was always meant to be, except for a newspaper article, and the rational proof of the lack of god to a young boy. And the shrugging acceptance of his parents, perhaps.

Posted by subtitles at April 11, 2005 10:37 PM | Personal

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