The author discusses how dreams and reality came together to create a work of fiction.
One night, when I was ten years old, I dreamt about my ex-stepfather. I re-imagined him as a character in a story, floating through time.
As some sort of coping mechanism, I suppose, I used to dream about him a lot those days, and violently.
I hated him. In the dreams, I hurt him. I wanted justice for the damaging roles he played in our lives as husband, father, and stepfather while undergoing treatment for paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, neither of which illnesses I understood at age ten – or any of the ages I had been that decade.
I simply wanted the scale tipped back into place. I thought life should be fair, and I was desperate to see its fairness.
But that one night when my dream was not a nightmare, and my ex-stepfather was a character in a story, a whole life unfolded, backwards, as dreams often unfold – as if chronology or linearity or whatever rules govern how we move straight ahead and forward in this world are not rules at all. It helped me understand him.
His life became mixed with my imagination.... more »more »