In my dream my little brother seemed like such a grown up. It was like I was re-meeting him. He seemed taller and bigger than I remember him in real life, and blonder. And cleaner.
We were in a filthy filthy filthy house, not dissimilar from ones I'd seen him live in with other artist college boy roommates. There was an air of apprehension permeating, though, there was a sense of violence. I remember feeling like I needed to be close to Brendan. Did I ever say his name in the dream? I don't remember. I can't remember if I wanted to be close to him so I could protect him or if I could feel safe.
I remember body parts somewhere in the dream; in the street? That seems violent enough that it would have tipped me off to it being a dream, but it didn't.
I remember him being very tall, and very blonde, and wanting to be near to him and feeling very anxious when i couldn't see him, and either wanting to feel safe or to protect.
I woke up and I felt shocked after a few breaths when I realized I had been dreaming, and angry that I couldn't tell if it was really Brendan in my dream because it was so far out there.
In the moments before really being able to be awake, when I was suspended in that undefinable world, I thought that I wanted to believe in something, I wanted to BELIEVE in a faith, in a god, that could assure me that one thing or another was real, that something could comfort me and assure me or dissuade me from the uncertainty that that I have a connection with Brendan beyond the cells in my brain that have memory and that grieve so powerfully; powerful to the point of creating illusion. Grasping for that weaker option, for that easy out, made me more angry than the uncertainty.
This never gets easier. We are just accustomed to this pain now. I have trained myself how to breathe and too keep breathing when the wind gets knocked out unexpectedly. I have to remind myself, at times, just how strong I am. After waking up from a dream where there are body parts in the street and all I want to do is be close to my brother, I have to remind myself how much of a survivor I am.
One week from today Brendan would have turned 28.