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Uno and Fog: Dream Family

June 6, 2019

I step into my father’s office.  I have a moment of disorientation, I feel like this isn’t where I meant to go.  The plush carpet gives under my feet, the familiar feel of the electric current flowing around and through the building reassures me.  I step farther into the room.  There in the corner is the leather seats, and the decanter half filled with amber liquid.  Beyond through the wall to ceiling windows I see the harbor, and the dark blue of the sea that eventually meets the pale blue beyond.

I know if I walked closer to the windows I could look down on the docks, the ships and ferries going to and fro.

My father isn’t here, so I turn to leave.

And I see the impressionist painting of the Greensward.  The one that was my mother’s favorite.  The one that hangs in my office.

What the hell?

I step back into the room and toward the painting.  On the corner of the desk is a silver framed picture of a woman and two smiling little girls.  The woman looks familiar, but I can’t place her.  Dark ringlets of hair cascade around her face.  Blue eyes, all the more striking because of the dark hair.  The two girls can’t be more than three or four.

As I look closer at the picture I realize they’re twins.  They look familiar too, but like their related to me.  Cousins, or nieces maybe.  I look around the office more carefully.  I looks like my father’s office, but its off slightly.  Like someone else occupies it.

I get the feeling of disorientation again.  Like I’m dizzy.  Or like you sometimes feel when you wake up and you’re not sure where you are sometimes who you are for just a moment.

The intercom buzzes from the desk, I recognize the voice.  “Mr. Norte, you’re mother’s here.”


“Your mother.”

“Agnes?  Is this some kind of joke?”

There’s a brief pause, “Mr. Norte?  You’re mother is here.  She brought some guests that would like to see you.”  Some kind of practical joke.

“Send them in.”  I don’t know what’s going on.  Where’s my father?  How did my mother get here?  She’s been . . . gone.   Something is wrong, something’s not right.  I try to remember, what was I doing before I stepped in here?

I was . . . at church?  That doesn’t seem right.  I wasn’t going to mass, but I remember a church.

The memory slips away.

I feel them before I hear them coming.

One woman and two children.  Little girls.  Their nervous systems flickering and flaring.  The children from the picture.

“Daddy!” The two girls yell in unison as soon as they see me and run at me with arms out stretched.

“Wha- ” They slam into my legs.  Each one wraps their thin arms around one of my legs and pulls tight.  I look down and they beam with smiles of joy on their faces.  I can feel myself smiling in return.

“I should have told you we were coming.”  I look up at the older woman, she’s aged well but there are lines on her face.  Her dark hair shows signs of grey.  A familiar locket hangs around her neck, but something isn’t right about that either.

Of course its familiar, she wears it all the time a thought crosses my mind.

“Mother?” She’s wearing burgundy and dark blue.  It should be black I think and then wonder where that idea came from.

Black.  Why black?

It seems important, but the harder I try to think of it, the more elusive the idea becomes.

“Something wrong, son?”

“Just surprised you’re not wearing black.” I answer

She looks at me in surprise, “I only wear black to funerals,” no she doesn’t I think but then it slips away again, “are you alright?”

“I… think so.  I just feel off somehow.”

“You work too much, especially after . . .”  She trails off uncomfortably.

“After?”  I ask but then I realize she’s talking about my father.  What happened?  He died.  He must have died.  Why can’t I remember?

“Are you sure you’re feeling o.k?”

“I’m just tired.”

Her brows are furrowed, “come home early for dinner, son.  Work will be here in the morning.  Sefarina complains that she doesn’t see enough of you as it is.”

Sefarina?  I look at the picture on the desk.  My desk.  The strange yet familiar woman with the dark hair and blue eyes.  “I’ll do that.”

“Good.” she looks worried.

The children have let go of my leg and are running around the office now, chattering about ducks and the park.  Both of them wanting to tell me about their day at the same time.  With an earnestness that is heart warming.

I didn’t think I would ever have children, with the choices I’ve made, but here they are competing with each other to tell me everything before the other one does.

I hug them both close and laugh.  “It is so good to see you.  All of you.”  I look up at my mother.



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