Dream Diary, 10/7/18
On my next-to-last night in Iceland, I had one of those dreams. One where someone you cared about isn't really dead after all.
In my dream, it was Gardner Dozois. It was only a few days after his death and I had suddenly realized that there was a grace period of two weeks after you die before you have to go away. So I hurried over to his apartment.
When I got there, he handed me a thin typescript--maybe six pages altogether--of an essay he had just written. "I'd rather it was fiction," I said, "but I'll take what I can get." The title was "Five Things Nailed to Joe Haldeman's Door."
"Aha!" I cried. "I know what this is." Because it was clearly a companion piece to an article Joe had written about his early days as a writer, titled "Five Things Nailed to My Door." Which had been written for I forget now what non-fiction book, possibly a collection of essays about his work. At which point, I dropped Gardner's typescript.
Gathering up the pages, I noticed that they had been misnumbered, so I said, "This is so very appropriate. I read Joe's piece a couple of days ago and every single page was numbered either 2 or 3--including the first one!"
Gardner threw back his head and laughed, then, that beautiful, full-hearted laugh of his. I felt a twinge of sorrow, then, knowing that this was the last time I would ever hear it.
At which moment, I woke up. It was night, and I'd heard Gardner laugh one more time. And I felt such a strange mixture of sadness and gratitude.