I dreamed I talked to God in a parking lot. I approached him as he walked to his car: “Excuse me, sir? I was wondering if I could ask you a question.”
“Certainly,” he said. He looked tweedy, like Sean Connery playing a professor. He opened the hatch of his station wagon.
“My little boy was three-and-a-half when he died last fall.”
“Yes, I know,” he said softly.
“Will I see him again?” A lump rose in my throat.
“Oh, yes,” he said, a little brusque. He loaded the station wagon, not looking at me.
“Um – well, and who’s taking care of him?”
“It’s the Petersons now, I believe,” he said, and then God began discussing new treatment protocols while I wondered who the Petersons were, now, and who it had been before. Then God had to leave and I woke up.
My husband thinks I actually talked to God in this dream. But I don’t have his kind of faith – the dependable kind, the kind that’s always with him, like a smooth stone in his pocket. No, I have the kind of faith that sometimes gushes but most often dries up or trickles down the crevices.
I believe I scripted this dream in order to show myself what I believe, as if taking my own fingerprints. In the early months after Gabriel’s death, he was so very gone. The gone-ness of him implied the gone-ness of a lot of other things: hope, kindness, humor, logic. This should have been frightening, but it wasn’t. I simply didn’t think I could face those shadows every day of my life. So my dreaming mind constructed a bottom for the bottomless pit. It decided that I was going to proceed from the premise that God was a given. I don’t know why this dream should be so convincing for me; I don’t know why the false bottom is so persuasive, knowing as I do that it’s false. But it works, for now.
In the same way, using the same kind of conscious avoidance, I believe that Gabriel still exists somewhere. I believe it is a simple thing that now divides me from him, like looking through a different lens on a camera. I feel silly and stumped that I can’t figure out how to change that lens so that I can see him clearly, the way I’m sure he can see me.