Why Are You So Afraid of Death?

I dreamt my family and a couple of close friends were dining at a vegetarian restaurant. The air was comfortably warm, the lighting soft, and various tantalizing aromas wafted about. You could hear the chatter of the patrons, busily socializing as they filled their bellies with food and drink.

There we met a beautiful woman from Europe. I don’t know exactly how she ended up at our table. She was tall and thin, with enchanting eyes and slender fingers. Everything about her was kind, delicate, and graceful. She charmingly engaged us for an hour or so with interesting facts about her origins, her pursuits, and even her worries. We learned she was touring America, tasting the mix of cultures. She planned on going to the movies next. “That’s where we’re going next,” I spoke up, “Would you like to join us?”

She smiled a smile that gave me an odd sensation in my stomach, but still coaxed a genuine smile back out of me. I felt a mild weariness, and suddenly regretted inviting her along. She seemed very interested in my nine-year-old daughter, who readily devoured the attention. With a combination of worry, curiosity, and fascination, I studied both her physical appearance and demeanor. As she was distracted in conversation with the others, I stared at her face. It was impossible to guess at her age. It was as if her skin was both old and young, the wrinkles of time attempting to push through, but somehow held back. They’d forcefully manifest, and her face would immediately re-conceal them. It almost sounded like stretching rubber – a war between youth and old age right before my eyes.

“Will the movie contain male chauvinism?” My concentration broke as she turned to me and expressed her concern. It seemed to be her only content care, even though there were a number of other things to question – it was a horror film.

“I’m really not sure,” I responded, but it didn’t matter because by the time we arrived, all of the tickets were sold out.

One of our friends volunteered his place to watch a DVD instead, and naturally she was invited along. I was comforted by the movie being there instead of our own home. My strange feeling persisted, and I didn’t want her to know where we lived. Fortunately, this friend lived a good distance from us. We arrived there and situated ourselves around his big screen in the living room.

“Will it be chauvinistic?” She asked the same question again.

“Probably,” I smiled.

She got up to go to the bathroom, and I followed to the connecting bedroom. Suddenly struck by a dream epiphany, I calmed myself in preparation for confrontation. As she emerged from the bathroom and crossed my path, I stopped her.

“I know what you are.” I began gently. “I see the way you look at my young daughter. When was the last time you drank another’s life?” I kept my tone even and calm. I felt compassion for this creature who finally displayed symptoms of fear. Her skin loosened, and her eyes sank. “Your age is starting to show. You must be thirsty. Why are you so afraid of death?” I continued, “It’s okay to die…”

She sat there in silence, and I walked back to the living room. “Where is Kam?” I asked. “Where is she?” I strongly repeated, searching with my eyes. No one seemed to know, and I frantically moved from room to room calling her name. “Where is Kam?!?” I screamed. The woman was gone, and so was my daughter.

And that’s when I woke up.

[Dreamt July 11-12, 2013]

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