Have you ever had a series of events happen in close succession that make you feel odd?
I’m not talking about having mashed banana wedged in your bra and then getting all sweaty while trying to wrestle your kid into his winter jacket. . .
Something that seems perhaps meaningful or significant but you can’t quite connect all the dots?
Or more likely, you’re just being nuts?
I had that kind of experience this morning.
My Dad’s dead. He passed away in December of 2009. He and I were very close. But he was also very ill for an extended period of time and I have never felt anything but peace with his passing.
Every once in a blue moon, I have a dream about him. Usually it’s just a typical nonsense dream that I don’t give another thought.
Except this morning, I had a dream about my Father and all I could recall was him saying, “You never know how you’ll go or what will happen.” AND he winked at me!
Winked at me like he used to wink at me when we were sharing some private joke or our eyes met across the room. A special little secret wink we always had. . .except that I can’t really wink without looking like a stroke victim so I could only ever smile back. . .
Even though I don’t particularly believe dreams have meanings, I have to admit this one screwed with my head a little bit.
What if dreams do have meanings? Lord knows, I’ve been wrong about A LOT over the course of my life. What if he is trying to tell me something? Am I going to die in an unfortunate birding accident? Is my life miss-directed? Am I feeding my kid too many eggs fried in butter? WHAT?! WHAT?! Dirty trick, dead Dad/subconscious, dirty trick. . .
When you have a 17-month maniac running around, you don’t have a whole lotta’ free time to neurotically analyze your dreams. (Or even urinate for that matter). So we did what we do every morning: snuggles, breakfast, walk in the park.
The Park wasn’t very birdy and I ended up getting us through the entire place in about an hour. . .which meant if we headed home, Mac would have about 2 solid hours to hurl crap down the stairs before his nap.
I knew we needed some skim milk. Should we walk to the Grocery? It seemed ridiculous to subject myself to that wretched Safeway just for some milk. . .Yet, it would kill more time. And Mac was doing well hanging out in the stroller. . .What else do we need? We could use some eggs. . .And we’re having Greek Salad. . .I could buy us “real” Greek dressing as a little something special. . .
So to the grocery we went!
Mac and I wandered around the store and I picked up a few odds and ends. Then I wandered into the bakery aisle. I noticed they had bagels on sale 12 for $5.00.
We don’t have bagels very often. I figure with the amount of cream cheese I load on those suckers, they register at least 600 calories each. I’m not really picky about brand so sometimes when I see this sort of deal, I’ll purchase them and freeze them for “special occasions.” (i.e., the two times a year we have friends spend the night and we stay up too late and drink too much).
I quickly looked for the “everything” variety. If I’m going to blow a third of my daily calories on one item, it needs to have EVERYTHING. But those little bitches at Safeway – screwing with me once again: The everythings weren’t on sale.
So while Mac was roasting like a Thanksgiving turkey in a hoodie plus his huge winter jacket in the grocery, I debated with myself about the merits of purchasing a $4.59 bag of everything bagels. . .which were definitely never on my list to begin with.
I picked them up.
Put them down.
Can I justify this purchase?
Then it occurred to me I could probably make us some really nice bagel sandwiches with egg and cheese for our drive to PA on Friday evening. I could keep them nice and toasty in foil and we wouldn’t have to stop to purchase dinner.
When we headed out of the grocery I made a right so we could walk home a different route than the way we had come. This route took me past some outdoor seating that is located along the side of the building. Usually the area is full of grocery employees on break. However, the weather today is pretty gross and there was only one man sitting on a bench towards the end of the seating area.
Mac and I headed towards him and he made a few nice comments to Mac, who of course started giggling and hamming it up for the guy.
I looked at the man’s clothes and his backpack and I figured either he worked in the way back of the grocery or he was some sort of a laborer. . .or maybe homeless? I couldn’t quite tell.
I looked at his face. And I sucked in a short surprised little breath. He looked like my Dad: salt and pepper mustache, same build, bluer eyes but still simultaneously kind and piercing, similar age, same slightly weathered skin. . .
And then WINKED AT ME! Not like a creepy wink either. . .just a good-natured, jokey kind of wink.
That’s odd. . .? Right? Odd!
While Mac giggled and made funny faces at him, we spoke about the possibility of bad weather and that’s when I learned he was homeless. He said during the Hurricane, he ended up soaking wet and hypothermic and had to spend the night in the hospital.
We spoke a little longer. I learned he has five granddaughters. And if he doesn’t get out of Canton Waterfront Park by a certain time every morning, he loses his blankets.
I don’t know what came over me, but I suddenly just felt the overwhelming urge to offer those bagels to him (along with a package of cheese slices).
He graciously accepted and said he hadn’t eaten in two days.
And on the way home, I felt uncharacteristically teary eyed.
I haven’t really been able to make any sense of this morning.