My father, drunk and full of venomous rage, shoves me toward the door, follows me outside. He has a butcher’s knife and he intends to cut my throat because I’ve disobeyed him and I therefore need to pay the price. Somehow I summon the courage to break free from his grasp, and run. My legs are leaden, terribly heavy, making running almost impossible. But after a while I look back. I see him in the distance, looking for me. Then he stops looking, and walks off. I’ve successfully escaped.
The scene changes. I’m in a village near a shore that was flooded by a high tide or a tsunami. Brad has some things she wants me to do for her, one of which is to gut and clean a big pile of white and silver fish that had been stranded by the receding waters. I don’t like this task, but I set to it anyway, because she has always been kind to me, and helped me, and affirmed me, almost like a mother.
There must have been much more to the dream because I awoke with a pounding heart and a cold sweat, but I’ve forgotten many of the details. It probably was just more of the same recurring theme—my father’s obsessive need to repudiate me, to destroy me. And my refusing to submit, always fighting back, determined to survive his assaults.
Like long ago, after he attacked me in the kitchen. I’d had enough. I seized him by his shoulders and threw him against the sink’s cabinet. He rose, swung at me again, so I slammed him against the cabinet, this time much more violently, and then he fell and lay moaning on the floor, knees drawn up against his chest. I learned later that I had broken several of his ribs.
Patricide is the ultimate rebellion, an assertion of young alpha male dominance, a takeover of the leadership of the tribe, a coming of age. Some men get off on it. I don’t. I suppose that’s due to the strong artistic or feminine facet of my character. Who knows? Who cares?
Reverberations from that fleeting dream lingered as I hiked down the mountain, hopped on a bus to Sant Angelo to take pictures. Not even the good news yesterday from an editor of Eclectica that he’d accepted one of my stories could dispel my dark, melancholy mood. I imagine it’s how soldiers who manage to survive bloody combat feel. Knowing that some other human being for some obscure purpose has deliberately tried to kill you, and would have, were it not for an inexplicable stroke of good luck.