The Mind’s Eye

Daily Prompt: Whoa! What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?

I have a fantastic dream life. I’ve experienced things in deep sleep that are supposedly uncommon, or so I’ve been told. I have traveled to alternate universes, I have flown above town several times, and on one occasion, I actually experienced death (words cannot describe). But the most impressive dream I’ve had involved no sci-fi/fantasy themes. In fact, the dream itself was unmemorable. What stood out was that my cousin Xavier, who I  hadn’t seen in several years, appeared in it.

Xavier was actually my mother’s first cousin. When I was a kid, I thought of him as a cool young uncle. Having grown up in New York City, he knew all the fun places to take my siblings and me, whether it was ice cream at the Haagen Daz in Brooklyn Heights, or catching a movie in the East Village. I wanted to be just like him when I got older: smart, independent, and just plain cool.

I use the past tense when I speak of Xavier because he and his wife disappeared one day, seemingly out of nowhere. Not even his own mother knew what had happened. Years went by, and there was no trace of either of them. He was slowly becoming a distant memory to me, until that night when he appeared in my dream. The next morning, I found myself thinking a lot about him–about the adventures we had, the songs we would sing together, his signature knock on the door. Later that day, I casually mentioned my dream to my mother, and much to my surprise, she divulged that she had dreamed of him as well. But what still blows my mind until this day is the fact that my great aunt had called her that morning to let her know that Xavier had contacted her the previous day, while I was asleep. He told her that he was okay, and that she shouldn’t worry or try to search for him. It seems that somehow, on a level I cannot comprehend, I felt his presence, even if it was just over the phone.

I never saw Xavier again. By now, a good 25 years have passed since I last saw him. I wonder if he is alive, and if so, where he is and what he is doing. I wish he’d been around to see me grow up, and to offer me the guidance that my parents could not. I wish I’d had him around to talk to when I was going through difficult times in my life. He would have given me one of his awesome hugs that I remember so well. I wish I could tell him how important he was to me, and what a lasting impression he’d made. Most of all, I hope that I’ve become someone he would be proud of today.

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About Paola Maldonado

Mobile Developer @BuzzFeed. Co-founder of NYC Tech Latinas. Follow me: @PaolaNotPaolo

Posted on February 12, 2013, in Daily Prompt, Life, Love and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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