It's not important how the clues came together or what the people said in that fuzzy in between-- what is important is that he wasn't dead. And just as I had had to be the one to tell you he was gone in real life, in this dream, I was reconciled-- I was the one who got to tell you that it had all been a hoax, an elaborate hoax with dream hazy reasons that made sense in that world, and he was not gone at all. He was here, and he wanted to know us as he'd never had the chance to before.
I was crying in the dream. I was telling him, "We just want to know you, Grandpa." And then I was telling you, on a phone with a 1980s curly-Q cord, that he wanted to know us too.
And I would finally discuss Steinbeck with him and tell him he should have been a writer and a painter, along with his weekend auto-mechanic business. I would send my own words to him and hear his pause, see his hands on the table, flat and straight, as he told me what he thought of my sometimes too purple prose.
And you would finally understand where you came from, and why, especially why, you'd had to live without him for so long.
But I woke up. And even as I drifted to the surface, the waking-dream-me thought, "Maybe it's true!" even as I remembered his body in the coffin. Quiet. Cold. Final.
But not final for us. One day I will sit down with my grandfather and we will discuss all of the things I so longed to discuss on earth. I will hear his questions that aren't really questions, and he, he will hear me.