a long dream about the relative

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I found myself in my mother's bedroom at the surf house, a long structure right at the tide line of the Pacific Ocean. She was sitting up in bed, a huge plate glass window behind her. So she's propped up on pillows against the ocean. She looks about my age, not her shrunken and wizened and, I guess, stroked out self.

I say, "Marilyn told me you couldn't talk and didn't want to see me, else I'd've been here months ago." She said, simply, "I can talk," and, indeed, it was her voice, not even sounding old, let alone stroke-impared.

My father's ghost pulled me aside and gave me a little pile of secret money, seeming anxious for me to get out of there, but I was trying to process the outrage of my sister's lie and didn't get out fast enough before she came into the house, saw me, and started bellowing that I'd murdered seven people and, "Get out! Get out! Get out!"

I went back with my father, who was still wanting me to just get out of there to avoid a conflagration, for my safety, to my mother's room and complained about this outrageous allegation. She shrugged it off. Like, of course it's not true but that's our story.

I'm whining about my grandmother and uncle dying thinking these awful things about me. At least, thank God, not my father, who knew the lies were lies all along... even if he never did anything about them... and he was helping me, needing to find my car keys that were not where I'd left them. Marilyn had stolen them. I was not to have even a car, even if I owned it, I didn't own it and it was hers to dispose of as she saw fit.

I went to tell my mother this and she just handed me a brick of cash and shooed me off.

So I was out in the drive and my car was nowhere. There were the loggers' pickups parked willy-nilly and a lot of work going on somewhere in the vicinity, but my car was gone. There was a little cook shack on stilts by the side of the drive and a young man inside was avid for me to hook up with him, for me to be with him, go somewhere with him, almost like his life needed saving. Yes, yes, but I have to get to the bottom of this car thing first.

Some more running around in the forest. Another pass through the house. Nothing. And, on foot, leaving, I stopped to get the young man, but he was ignoring me and his mother was guarding his exit.

So I just started walking back into the forest as my eyes opened onto today.

always and any time....