I don’t ever see him. He doesn’t visit me. I don’t feel his presence. Instead, infrequently, I have dreams that are all about his absence. That are consumed with the reality of his absence. How he isn’t here anymore and everyone in my life is trying desperately to adapt to the hole.
Last night, I dreamt that my mother was driving across the country by herself in my childhood minivan because my dad wasn’t there anymore to take the wheel, and she wanted to prove that she could do it alone.
It does feel like a hole. A physical tear in the air. Dreams are like that—all these physical renderings of the intangible. I wish I would dream him instead. I wish my dead dad would appear in a dream—greying and stooped and tired even. I’d take it.
I imagine him grinning sometimes. Like he used to. This broad baring of pearly-white teeth—nothing like a typical smile, but it was his smile when he was particularly pleased. That was the smile that came to the surface when he was actually happy.
I imagine it. But I’d really like to dream it one of these nights. It would feel like a tiny miracle. I don’t really believe in miracles. But that would feel like one. A smile instead of a tear in the air.