This is a dream I have had many times starting just after the accident. I am on a beach. Breakers crash to one side and sand dunes fold into the distance inland. A square tower stands about 100 feet from the tide line in the middle of a square cement slab, a seven story skeleton of steel poles with a zigzagging steel staircase like a crazy zipper coming up through the center. At the top is a square wooden platform with 10 cent telescopes, attached to the bright blue railing on the side facing the ocean. A plaque at the bottom told the story of the tower, how a very rich man had built it to watch for mermaids. Above this was a sign carved in a plank of dark wood.
Virginia Beach State Park
My mother and father are climbing with my older sister and brother to the top of the tower, while I wait at the bottom looking out at the raging surf of the deep blue water on a clear blue Oregon coast day. I have always had a dread of high places. From up above I hear a scream that travels down into a crunching thud behind me. As I turned, I saw a young girl face down on the cement surrounded thick spatters of red thick like dark paint spreading. Then another scream came. I look up as my mother’s face falls toward me, a frozen mask of surprise and horror. I jump back and turn away. Thud and spatter. I look up to see my brother prying my father’s fingers from the railing as he clings, dangling. With his last strength the father grabs my brother by the collar. A cry of alarm gasps out of my brother’s throat as both tumble to the cement slab. I turn away and run into the dunes.
I have only two younger sisters and my father had nothing to do with my family as I was growing up. I have no idea what I am supposed to learn from this dream. It is a catastrophe of tragic proportions that I am a witness to in which I have no way of interceding. I am personally involved but only in the dream. When I wake up all my involvement vanishes. I am left with a feeling of loss that fades as I go through my day and eventually leaves me all together like a half memory from my childhood until the next time I have the dream.