Two nights ago, I dreamed my husband died.
Only, it wasn’t Husband, whom I’m currently married to – it was my cousin’s husband, John. Only he didn’t look like John, he looked like someone else. Someone I’ve never met or recognized.
At the funeral, I ran into someone from high school. Back in July, I had my 20th high school reunion. I ran into friends I hadn’t seen in 20 years, and one of these friends was Marcy. Marcy was at my dream funeral-for-my-husband-who-was-not-my-husband-and-who-was-John-only-he-wasn’t-John. At the dream funeral, Marcy was looking through the prayer cards that had pictures of the deceased. Only these prayer cards were like wallet-sized professional pictures of John-who-wasn’t-John, and John’s family-who-wasn’t-my family. Several different versions of prayer cards, in full color and a glossy finish. I sat next to Marcy with a box of these prayer cards (apparently, I had the task to refill the prayer cards in these little business card holder things). I told her that the dead man was my husband; she was concerned. I knew her concern was because the real-life Marcy knows my husband is Husband, not John and she was worried Husband was dead, even though she was looking at the glossy family pictures of John at his funeral. I told her, don’t worry, Husband wasn’t dead and then I went about refilling the prayer cards in the business card holders.
I remember having the feelings that I was so happy it wasn’t Husband in the casket and now that John was dead, Husband and I could be together. In this dream, the last 20 years of my life didn’t happen. The feelings I had were unusual – I was not sad to be a widow, or to say goodbye to the man I called my husband. I was only sad that John was dead because his children would miss him – and the children were his current, real-life children, and not Daughter.
When I woke up and remembered this dream, all I could think was: What the hell was I doing being married to him? (And let the record reflect that I am in no way attracted to John, nor am I envious of my cousin’s life with John.) I certainly can’t figure this one out on my own.