Don’t Walk that Path!

Although it’s been three years since Loy passed away, he’s appeared in numerous dreams. Sometimes the dreams are of us when we were young & feature my childhood home as the setting; more often, the dreams occur in current times & feature the house in the valley. In the dreams, I am usually surprised to see him because in the back of my mind, I know he’s supposed to be somewhere else. However, it’s one of those social situations when it’s best not to say what you’re thinking. Normally, he is aware that I know he shouldn’t be there yet plays along as though everything is normal. Sometimes he even has a scar that bears witness to the place he had been before; like Loy was sent away to a special school or camp with harsh conditions & now that he’s back, no one wants to mention it.

I also dream frequently of the house in the valley. Almost invariably, the dreams involve the wee hours of the morning before the sun rises, when the sky is still as dark as midnight but the clock indicates that sunrise is on the way. These dreams normally feature a pervading dread as I am loathe to depart from my bed to prepare for school or work. Just as frequently, I dream of an even more imminent threat like a home invasion or the presence of a dangerous predator outside. Last night, I had a dream featuring both archetypes combined into one. It was a disturbing dream; & when I awoke from it, I had about an hour to lay in bed before I was had to get up for work. I ending up calling out sick & went back to sleep. The next conversation I had was with a nurse from my doctor’s office who explained that my latest labs showed an extreme increase in my triglycerides. My bloodwork has come back consistently clean since 2016 & nothing has changed in my medication. My cholesterol was good, but tri’s & sugars were high. I was stunned as I fumbled around to answer the nurse’s question: What have I done differently over the last 6 months? Now, I was at elevated risk of diabetes, pancreatitis, & perhaps another heart event.

Over the last nine months I’ve made a great deal more money; but lost my gym access in the process. In addition, over the last 6 months, the time since my last lab, I’ve endured a great deal of additional stress & enormous ownership at my current workplace. In addition, I’ve made a concerted effort to save money & acquire quick calories. I’ve kept sodas around the house b/c they were on sale at the grocery just to keep them around & but have often found myself drinking them daily, which I hadn’t done over the last five years. In addition, I bought cheap store brand coffee which doesn’t taste good black, the way I used to drink my coffee–so I’ve used creamer. And then, work has been so strenuous that when I come home, I eat dinner. Then I partially clean up & lay down “just for a few minutes” only to remain on the couch until it’s time to get up for work again. I’ve become progressively more tired after each week so recently, I stopped using my stationary bike as often. And this is how my health goes downhill so quickly It’s the same formula that doomed me initially; I just didn’t realize it in time. I’ve always struggled holding down a high-responsibility job while maintaining healthy habits too. I did it back at Crutchfield, but I was younger back then. But over the last twenty years since Crutchfield, I’ve picked up an additional health problem here & there. Gout at 30. Severe depressive episode at 37–heart attack at 40. There’s always another burden placed upon me so it’s gotten harder rather than easier in a lot of ways.

Anyway, back to the dream. Dad had thrown a huge wild party & the drive way was full of cars. I was trying to manage traffic. There were a ton of roughnecks who really weren’t close to the family & it was a struggle to maintain order. Anyway, one of the drunkards lost control of his vehicle & it went careening down the hill towards the Gupalan house where it exploded & caused a fire. The crowd just sat & stared in amazement as if they were watching a fireworks show instead of rushing to help. The chaos resulted in the police arriving in masse. They admonished us for not helping & demanded to speak to the person in charge which was me. They threatened me with legal action for hosting an irresponsible party to which I told them my Dad had thrown it & I was only helping people locate their vehicles. Dad was on the porch. I told him to explain. He told me that it was my fault & that I should take the blame for it. He had too much to lose regarding his reputation & etc—and I needed to take the fall.

Patsy was with me & someone else–Walter, Loy, somebody. They were discouraged by Dad’s response & were trying to coach me up on how to handle the interrogation. At that point, I big white ball of light appeared low in the sky halfway down the driveway hill. Patsy started following it, as if hypnotized. I followed her & Loy followed me, trying to coach me up all the while. When I saw the sphere hovering over the driveway against the dark blue pre-sunrisen sky, I became mesmerized. It seemed to emit a strange humming noise & beckoned me to come closer. My mind went blank & all I could think about was getting closer to that white ball. Lou became frantic, telling me not to walk down the road–yelling that it was a trap but I barely noticed him. Further down the hill, I began to fear the sphere of light, sensing something evil about it. And yet, I couldn’t stop myself from walking towards it! It felt like that time I fell while skiing down the advanced slope & began skidd uncontrollably towards the support beam to the ski lift. A cataclysmic collision seemed inevitable!

Just then, Loy tackled me from my right side & knocked me into the grassy slope along the drive way road. He explained to me that the sphere of light would lie & manipulate me the same way the police would do when they interrogated me. He told me not to walk down that path.

After that, I woke up with a severe sense of dread, hoping to garner the willpower to go to work although i dreaded it. I had gone to church the day before. I hadn’t just lounged around the house on my Sunday off, having done laundry, folded some clothes, & gone to the grocery. I had prayed to God to slow down time while I gathered the strength to face another weak of customer complaints, flight changes, & answering questions about material I barely knew about. Oftentimes, God mercifully obliges at time slows down while I fire up my willpower just in time to make it out the door for work. But today, almost sinisterly, the clocked ticked away rapidly. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wouldn’t be going in on this day. When it wasn’t too early to be inappropriate, I called my boss to report. The next conversation was with my nurse as she delivered the shocking & disturbing news.

Once it was over & I processed the implications, I thought of the dream. I thought of my inexplicable reluctance to go to work that morning. I hadn’t been checking my voicemails, which the nurse had admonished me for. I had forgotten my password to MyChart, which the nurse admonished me for since my doctor had made attempts to contact me that way. Had I gone to work, I would not have answered the phone call. It was as if God had incapacitated me in order to receive this warning.

And then the dream about Loy. He was trying to prevent me from walking down this path, numb to the consequences. I don’t think that it was Lou’s spirit trying to speak to me directly; but rather, God using my knowledge of how tragically Lou died when it had been completely avoidable. God wanted to give me a chance not to continue down the same path. I would have to make changes or suffer for failing to do so.

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