I held him for the first time after he was born and walked him about. Beneath the mass of black curls atop his head, his big black eyes reminded me of my own, of photographs of my own, taken in the days and hours after my own birth.
He was moving his lips, and I was watching him work wordlessly when very clearly I understood him to say, “Can I have a puppy?”
My first fatherly decree would be that my son would have a dog.
“Yes, you can have a puppy.”
Someone else in that dream room laughed good-naturedly. They hadn’t heard my son’s first words to me, they were touched by what they thought was my pantomime of fatherhood.
I walked with him a bit more in silence and he asked me, “What is worrying you?”
In dreams the whole world is your own mind, and your worries cut true figures with little effort, so I asked him, because the world is the place that it is,
“Was I right to bring you into this world?”
It was almost with a laugh that he said, “Old friend, you have never been able to remember or understand the passing of 2,000 years. I’m happy to see you again.”
It’s true. In my dream-mind I had that waking-world irked struggle with familiarity that always surrenders to affability and further investigation. I knew my son, and I knew I should know my son. But, then again, I didn’t. I was simply happy.
“Then welcome back.”