Dearest Rachel –
I already had a topic to write you about today – in fact, it was already a day behind, about yesterday’s events – but when one wakes up with a certain song in one’s head, and fragments of a dream lingering in one’s mind, one needs to get that written down before it fades. Past events have happened; they can be chronicled at leisure. Dreams, on the other hand, are ephemeral; they need to be recorded immediately, lest they disappear into the mists of the mind forever.
Really, a lot of it had to do with waking up with an earworm in my head. This would happen to you on a regular basis back in the day, and you’d sometimes ask me for help to get it out of your mind. Usually, this would involve putting a different song into your head to drown out the other, which sometimes meant that the cure could easily be worse than the ailment itself, but that’s how things go. Obviously, right now, I need to have that song in my head so as to conjure up the story again, so I’m not about to do that.
Interesting choice of words, there; ‘conjure’ is definitely applicable to the story, although I can’t remember whether she did anything other than explain the situation. Because this story involved (in a surprisingly peripheral way) the fairy godmother from Cinderella – and you can probably guess that the song in my head is that of her magical incantation, ‘Bippity-Boppity-Boo’.
The weird thing is, it isn’t as if she actually did anything with her magic. You were there, but it wasn’t as if she brought you back to life or anything. Indeed, she even pointed out that there was only so much that her magic could do for you, and that – like with Cinderella’s coach and ‘servants’ – you only had so much time. She could make your life more luxurious or comfortable (which, given your parents’ legacy to you, we already have pretty much in hand), but apart from that, you still only had two months left to live.
And that’s all the impact that magic had upon us, and the dream. The rest of the story was a bit more grounded in realism, although that’s a decidedly relative concept; let’s just consider this to be the difference between animation and live action. I recall speeding so fast to get to your doctors downtown that I flipped the car over, but since it landed back on its tires, we just kept going as if nothing had happened. In fact, that kept happening throughout the dream – I couldn’t tell you how many times, but it was a lot, and every time, the car would shed a few parts from its exterior, but when it landed, it looked as if nothing had happened. Maybe that’s the one magical thing the fairy godmother could do for us; I don’t know.
The doctors, however, confirmed everything she said; whatever it was you had (and it was never specified, although there was some talk about it being something along the lines of Ali MacGraw’s disease, which Roger Ebert first described after reviewing the movie Love Story as “a movie illness in which the only symptom is that the sufferer grows more beautiful as death approaches”), those two months were all the time you had left. I recall practically falling on your neck sobbing about how unfair it was, which is odd, considering that within the timeline of the dream, you’d been around for the past nineteen months, unlike in this current timeline. Even you seemed to be somewhat irritated at me over-the-top reaction to the diagnosis, insisting that I pull myself together so that we could get on with our life.
And while the storyline became more fragmentary from this point, that’s pretty much what we tried to do. We simply went about our lives, taking care of our typical routine tasks; we just did them together as much as possible. The three of us were still volunteering in Sparks, for instance, although everyone there treated you like a queen, much to your irritation, as you were adamant that you were not made of spun glass, and didn’t need to be dealt with as if you were. It never got so far as to your deathbed or funeral – in fact, proving your diagnosis, there were never any symptoms to speak of, it was just there, hanging over you. Everybody knew it was coming, but nobody ever said anything, especially since nobody could do anything about it.
Not even a fairy godmother.
I don’t know what to think of such a scenario; it would be nice to have had you around for these additional years, and to have time to prepare for your departure. Maybe you would’ve made arrangements; maybe you could’ve answered some of my questions as to how to move forward. Or maybe we wouldn’t have been able to get around to any of that, since we would be trying to make those last couple of months as enjoyable for you as possible. Perhaps a sudden departure would be the only way for you to be able to let go – there would be no question of thinking about whether you wanted to ‘hold on’ to life or not. So many imponderables to consider, and no way to get your feedback one way or another.
Anyway, that’s the story of last night, and you can take it however you think it’s worth. Until next time, keep an eye on me, and wish me luck. As always, I’m going to need it.