After my painting class last nite, I stopped by my son Dan's house. Nicole was asleep.
"She's gonna get an ultrasound later this month," he said.
"Oh, you'll find out the gender of the baby."
"Yep," said Dan.
We went in the living room where his two cats were prowling around. I took my digital camera out of the bag so he could unload my photos onto Facebook, the only way we could make them visible to me. I had a writing assignment with photos the next day so needed all the space on the camera.
"Wanna watch the movie with me?"
Dan relaxes by watching TV at nite. He was watching an ultra-violent film on the 5-year-reign of terror by the German terrorist organization Baader-Meinhof. Every two seconds someone was pulling out a revolver or a machine gun and shooting someone.
"The director," I said, "is obviously a fan of Quentin Tarantino."
"Yeah," laffed Dan.
He said Tarantino's latest, Inglorious Basterds was a good film.
"So I guess the penis will be showing," I said.
"What's that?" he said.
"When Nicole gets the ultrasound. I guess they tell what sex the baby is, if they can see a penis."
"Yeah, I spose so."
The black cat, green-eyed Chaz, came to sit on my lap. Then the tabby cat, Nudge, came over.
"Mom," said Dan, "he wants you to pet him."
"Oh," I said, and began petting him.
When I got up to leave, Nudge made this amazing sound. Dan had told me about Nudge's sounds.
"That was Nudge, right? I thought it was my stomach growling."
That night I dreamt about Xena, Dan's beloved dead cat whose ashes repose on his dining room shelf.
In the dream, I was lying on the floor of an unknown room. Xena was on my chest, the same black and white Xena with the heartbreakingly beautiful face, the Helen of Troy of cats, with her fur that was decidedly not smooth, but rather, a stiff kind of fur.
Into the room came a rat. I saw it and thought at first it was a mouse.
No, I said to myself, it's a rat. Look at that long tail. But it's not a hideous looking rat, even tho it's a rat. Still, I think Xena should go after it.
I turned Xena around so she'd go chase the rat away, or, eat it, she was a true mouser who'd often shown Dan, when he lived with her in Brooklyn, her dead trophies.
Well, this is certainly unpleasant, I said to myself in the dream. Here I am in a situation I don't like, I'm dreaming about it, and I do have the power to wake myself up and get out of this bad dream.
I then attempted to wake myself out of the dream.
Try harder, I said.
I tried harder to wake up.
Still, nothing happened.
Ruth, I ordered myself, you will open your eyes right now.
I thought I opened them up and looked around the room. It seemed so real.
I don't know how I got out of that situation but I'm fairly sure I'm awake now and writing. Then again, this could certainly all be a dream. I could be a small part of God's dream.