Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Urban Legend

The urban legend was this:
If you die in your dream, then you will most certainly die for real the very next day.
I heard this rumor kicking about the soccer ball one afternoon at recess. I was nine, and my childish ears curiously listened to my "wisened" friend as she explained to me what her older sister had told her:
"She knows someone who knows someone who died after they had a dream where they drowned. For real." My friend said this in a knowing whisper, and it raised goosebumps on my arms.
But the moment passed, and I gratefully pushed it from my mind.
And then one night I had a dream.
And in the dream I died.
And I went up to Heaven.
And Jesus was there, and really, I had a lovely time, and I wasn't scared at all.
But then I woke up, and I was my nine-year-old self again, very alive.
And I was scared.
And right then, I just knew. I knew that I was going to die.
All day I waited for it to happen. Would it happen at school? On the bus? I hoped that it would just be me, and that my twin brother wouldn't die too, or my mom, but I did worry about being terribly lonely without my mama and my brother.
And I was sooooo scared.
I wasn't ready to die! I wanted to write the next Great American Novel, and I wanted to be an Olympic gold medalist, and I wanted to go to college and have babies. I didn't want to die. Why did I have to have that awful dream?! It wasn't fair, and I was so, so sad. So scared.
Well, the whole day passed and I never died.
But then I knew how it must work: I figured that the next night when I went to sleep, I would be taken to the next world while I dreamt. And then I was relieved, because I didn't think that would hurt very much.
So that night, I carefully brushed my hair and my teeth. I changed my underwear.
I pulled out a clean sheet of paper and wrote in my childish script careful instructions on how to feed my cat and my fish. I said goodbye, and that I was sorry.
I hugged my mom extra hard that night, never wanting to let go. I was never going to lie in her lap again, smell her shampoo, feel her warm hug.
And it hurt too much.
So I ran from her, ran outside. I curled up in the garden and wept.
My cat came to me then, curious as to why I would be outside like this at such a late hour. And I was so happy for the company! I hugged her fiercly, sobbed the Dying's Cry of all that could have been and all that I would miss.
And then I dried my eyes.
I stood up.
I went to my bed, crawled under the covers, closed my eyes.
And I waited to die.
And in so many ways my eyes have never opened.
And I am waiting.
Still.

5 comments:

heather asia said...

Okay....this makes total sense! So, my question is: Do you want to wake up/open your eyes/stop waiting? But I get it. Good writing, it all comes together so well at the end.

Tanya said...

Brie,

You know that makes me so sad. I hope you can see that you have more of a reason to not be waiting with your baby. I totally get how it seems like we sit and wait for death...but sometimes I like to think that death sits and waits for us.

You write really well, just thought I would throw that in there.

alana said...

wow brie. this was wonderful writing. so babe, i'm thinking its time to wake up from this dream of yours. life gets hard sometimes, but let's live in the present and cherish the things we have been blessed with while we're here on earth. think of your family, bran, cade, your bffs! we all love you SO much! you have made a huge impact in so many lives. having you in my life is helping me to actually live in the present for once instead of being anxiously frozen in anticipation of the future. you have no idea how alive i feel when we have our girls nights, whether its hitting RR, VIP nights at Nordy's, or braving crazy mobs at midnight and having you change your shirt in the middle of a store without a bra on! don't even try to say that that's not being ALIVE! its the best part of my days right now- i'm serious! and a large part of that is due to you. so let's be crazy, let's be reckless, let's LIVE! my dear, i think we are going to have some insanely fun nights coming up, so be stoked!!! ;) plastics 4ever! haha muah!

Devon said...

So I think the reason I haven't responded to some of your posts is due to the fact that I don't know what to say.

They're all written so eloquently and express such deep emotions that I don't know what to say.

All I know is that I love you so incredibly much and am so grateful that that's only an urban legend. You mean more to me than you'll ever know. You mean more to so many people than you'll ever know...

brookie-lou said...

Your writing is beautiful...but, I just wish it wasn't you that was writing it. It makes me feel sad.