Every once in a while I have the sinking feeling one of my parents will burst through the door and veto something I’ve decided about my life. At the least they’ll tell me to get up off the couch and fold some laundry.
In my mind I’m still fourteen.
Every few weeks I dream that I’ve forgotten about one of my tables: after I took their dinner order, I never went back to make sure they got their meals. Dread and anxiety overtake me until I wake up and realize to my enormous relief that I am no longer a server in a restaurant.
In my dreams I might always be a waitress.
I often dream of life at 744 Manor Park Crescent, my childhood home. Not because it was a particularly happy place but even when the people of my present day are involved in the goings on, the setting is almost always that house.
In my dreams I still live there.
And even as recently as this afternoon when Shaune called me at work to let me know we’d be having sliders for dinner, then handed the phone to Deaglan, I pictured Matthew’s face the entire time I talked to my four year old. They have the same voice.
In my mind my brother lives on through my son.
A few weeks ago when the cook at Naveen’s daycare was saying his goodbyes because he was moving back to his hometown, we realized that we were both from Sarnia. In fact we’d both gone to the same high school only he was several years younger than me. We began rhyming off our siblings’ names in an effort to find a connection and he stopped me at Matthew. They’d known each other.
It was apparent that he’d not heard the news. It hurt to tell him that Matt was gone. I hated admitting it. Similarly in a recent conversation with an acquaintance at work about the cost of living in Toronto, I had to swallow a lump in my throat. My instinct to compare her experiences with Matthew’ s was overwhelming but I stopped myself for fear of having to tell her that he no longer lived there.
In my heart he’s still around here somewhere.