I'm not a person who readily remembers my dreams when I wake up, but last night's was still with me in the warm dawn of early spring.
It was about my Dad.
I could count the number of dreams I've had about Dad throughout my life on my fingers - probably using only one hand. He left us when I was 2 in favour of an Amazonian air hostess, and my childhood was a mix of longing to see him and have him be a real Dad to me instead of a Dad who only corresponded with presents twice a year, and anger at him ditching Mum and me. Mainly anger at him ditching me. Kids are very self-centred.
But I digress.
Back to this dream.
I had a phone call from Dad, who said he was calling from Paris. He'd left the Amazonian and their two children and buggered off with someone called Cathy who was apparently French.
"Merde," I giggled obligingly and appropriately, and he chided me.
"You mustn't swear, Cathy doesn't approve of swearing." In the background I could hear a woman speaking French.
Soon after that he rang off. I'm not sure if we talked about anything else. I had never had a long phone conversation with Dad in real life so why on earth would I have one in my dream?
Ooh, I was a bit envious though. Paris! What a place to run away to!
So I went to Mum's house to tell her the gossip. She was in the kitchen, wearing blue trousers and a blue and white top, putting saucepans away in the cupboard. "Oh,"she said, "You know Cathy."
"No, I don't."
"You do. I'm sure you've met her. Or at least spoken to her."
"The Amazonian must be ropable."
"She is. She can't believe he left her and the kids." Mum had a 'now SHE'LL know how I felt' look on her face.
But Cathy was a mystery to me. Dreams are peculiar as we all know and ages and times were all a bit confused here. Dad, in this dream, was about 60, still fit, with greying thick wavy hair. I didn't see him in my dream but somehow I knew that. Mum looked younger too, somewhere about the same age. I'm not sure about the Amazonian but if Dad was 60 the kids would have still been at primary school, maybe the eldest in high school. The reality is that my stepsister and stepbrother are both in their thirties now. In the dream, they were in their twenties or close to the age they are now.
Dad died 21 years ago this month. Shite, it might have even been today, which is why I had the dream. I'm hopeless with death anniversaries. I prefer to remember birthdays, when the person was alive and we celebrated. So if he's in Paris with someone called Cathy, bonne chance Papa!