Most days, he sits on the wall outside my local Walmart, far enough away from the front door so the manager won’t roust him . His clothes are disheveled and he always looks in need of a bath as he holds up his sign. “Homeless. Please help.”
In 1983, we lost my cousin Donna to cancer. She fought it for two years, valiantly, until she lost her battle while at Sloan Kettering in the city. They did all they could for her and my family still has a deep appreciation for all their efforts.
Donna and I were the same age and she was the apple of everyone’s eye. We all knew she was the favorite in the family, but for some reason we were ok with it, even before she became ill. In my eyes she was perfect, though I’m sure she was only human, like the rest of us.
To say it was a major blow to our family when she passed would be the understatement of the century. I had been away at college during most of her battle, and had come home only months before the end. My sorrow has always been tinged with guilt for not being there for her.
Then there’s Elton John. He doesn’t know about this connection, of course, and I’ve been trying for the last 18 years to figure this out. But here’s what happened. A few days after Donna’s funeral, as I was driving down the road, Elton John’s song “Rocket Man” came on the radio.
I burst into tears, and almost drove right off the road.
I come from a long line of women who have premonitions. And I don’t like it.
I woke this morning from a dream I was glad to wake from. It was tiring me to the point that I felt its effects until after I had showered and forced myself into the day. Where I was in the dream I can’t say, except to say I was a long way from home, but not in a foreign country. It felt like California, but I’ve never actually been to the west coast so I can’t be sure.
For some reason I was part of a large crowd, on a line, waiting to have our pictures taken by someone important. Why, I have no idea. But it seemed to be a very important objective I needed to accomplish before I could return whence I had come. The anxiety came from the fact that I could not stop thinking about the long trip home that I knew I could not avoid. And this dream sampled another dream I have had before, of a long airplane ride in an absolutely huge jet with wall to wall carpeting and comfortable beds mixed with comfy chairs. As plush as this dream plane may be, I do not enjoy flying. I will do it, as I dislike even more the thought of being trapped or stuck without the ability to go places, but I do not enjoy the experience as a whole.