I dreamt that I was taking a train with my dead father and my younger sister, Liz. We sat in the front car, where we could see very well out the bus-like windshield. Dad started to have a heart attack. His face—it wasn’t really his, but that of a thinner guy—turned very red. We tried to get the train to stop, so we could take him to the hospital, but the train was an express and wouldn’t stop for a half-hour. I argued with the conductor. We sped through local stations. It was ridiculous. Dad was lying on the floor. His face was very red. Then he died. As soon as he did, his body vanished in the blink of an eye, like magic.
I dreamt that a brilliant orange and white bird was flying around above a suburban street. It perched on top of a streetlight. I had the feeling it would fly into my arms. I opened my arms, and sure enough, it flew to me. In my arms, it wasn’t orange and white, but furry brown like a bunny. There was another bird, too, that flew to me. I took the second bird back to the place where I was staying, a big suburban house that reminded me of one on Irving Ave. in South Orange, N.J., a few blocks away from my childhood home. The bird lived there for a while, flying around the downstairs rooms, but then decided it was time to leave, so we let it out the door.
I dreamt that my former brother-in-law, Larry Travis, was getting married in a reception hall in Iraq. Larry made a little speech in which he alluded to something that happened to Jack Kennedy and Jackie. As I stood outside, smoking, it suddenly occurred to me, “This is Iraq, it might not be so safe.” I looked around. From where I stood, I could look down several outer-borough-type streets with relatively low buildings. I didn’t see anything special. A few ordinary people. But when I focused intently, on one thing after another, the scene felt menacing. I realized that problems could suddenly emerge from a number of directions. Back inside, a young woman called a group of us together in a small room behind the reception hall. She asked us, “Do any of you want to get out of Iraq?” I think several of us indicated we did, including me. Then she asked, “Are any of you Jewish?” This was a confounding question, partly because several of us obviously were, and she seemed Jewish. I wasn’t sure how to answer. This might be a trick question, designed to identify with certainty a Jew, who would then be killed.