Untitled #3 by Mike Lafontaine

My father appeared to me in a dream last night. I was walking down the street in my old neighbourhood. I was looking at my phone and not really paying attention to my surroundings when I saw him walking towards me. He looked lost. I stopped him and said.

“Hey Dad where are you going?”
He said he was going home
“Where do you live?”
He said the address
“You are going the wrong way.”

He was wearing his blue overalls that he used to wear to work on the railways. I gently put my hand on his shoulder and turned him around and said.

“It’s this way. Follow me.”

I cannot remember if we said anything during the walk. When we got to the address it was an apartment complex with about fix or six apartments. He took some keys out of his pocket and opened the front door. His studio apartment was very small, barely big enough for the single bed and the chest of drawers and the bookcase that was in it. There was a little kitchen to the right and to the left was a door which I assumed was the bathroom.

He walked over to the bed and got inside and then proceeded to pull the blanket right up to his chin. He had a tiny space heater near the bookcase. I asked him if he ever felt cold in the wintertime. He shook his head and then got out of bed and showed me a special trick he did to get the maximum warmth out of the heater. He fiddled with the temperature gauge this way and that way, and he said that, if he did it exactly in that order, and then got under the covers he was warm enough.

I remember him saying something about some books on his bookshelf and the nudie mag near his bed. I wish I could remember more, as in the dream I did not look surprised to see him, he looked okay, he looked the way he did before he got really sick.

We were talking free and easy like we never did when he was alive. I must have left his apartment. I don’t know how or if we said goodbye or if we hugged. All I remember next was being in an indie club with the music playing really loud. It was “Catch the Breeze” by Slowdive. It was the part right after the second verse when the swirling guitars kicked in and it sounded like to me, what I think angels sound like when they talk to each other.

I had tears in my eyes and I said to the person next to me that the only people I love would be the people dancing to this song.

We both looked on the dance floor. It was empty.


About the author:

Mike Lafontaine holds a B.A and an M.F.A in creative writing from Macquarie University.