Monday, May 31, 2010

An old dream about something much older

When we learned about Lincoln's assassination in elementary school we were given few details. He was a good man. Everyone loved him. Well, a few people didn't love him. He did very good things and then a bad man shot and killed him. I don't remember much of the lesson but I do remember the dream I had the night they taught us about what happened to the tall president with the big hat, big beard, big voice.

I am there but not there. I am in a room, just waiting in the corner. I wasn't me but I was me at once. I was male,  and had itchy pants and heavy, highly polished black shoes on. The chair I sat in was hard, straight-backed, wooden, not upholstered at all. I was waiting. I was sad about something. 

Soon they brought him in. I wasn't waiting long. I sat and watched and no one knew who I was. They didn't see or feel my presence at all. They brought him in and had to lie him across the bed instead of the regular longways position. Everyone moved around him and worked in silence, murmuring. He didn't murmur. He breathed and then he didn't. They put coins in his eyes. 

Then I stood on cobblestone and they moved him past me on a moving bed (I didn't know the word for gurney). I cried and was in my own body again and everyone milled around me in the dark cobblestone alley, lit only by oily streetlights. They put pennies in his eyes but his face wasn't on the penny yet. 

*I had this dream after learning that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. I must have been in the fourth or fifth grade. I can still feel this dream in my bones, over twenty years after having it.*

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