I had a dream about Nagymama last night. My aunt, Nagymama, and I were driving up Stelton Road, which is the main street that bisects my old town in New Jersey. My aunt was driving her white 1989 Volkswagen Rabbit, a leaky clunker with red fabric on the roof interior that always drooped down over our foreheads. Even in my dream, I could even smell the faint aroma of mold combined with the fake lemon-scented tree that always hung from the rear view window.
We were desperately searching for an ice cream shop, but it was 11 pm and everything was closed. Nagymama was complaining that she was hungry and my aunt really needed some coffee. We finally stopped at a 7-11 and got Nagymama a couple Twinkies, which she ate voraciously as we sat in the car in the parking lot. My aunt gazed into her black coffee, trying to find the solution to all of our problems at the bottom of her 16-ounce foam cup.
Nagymama threw the wrapper out of the car door and layed down on the back seat as my aunt started to pull away from the curb. All of a sudden, Nagymama’s hair started blowing around wildly because she had forgotten to close the door all the way. My aunt immediately pulled over and walked around the car to close the door, but she accidentally hit Nagymama in the head. Nagymama yelped in pain, my aunt apologized profusely, and I just watched from a distance. Nagymama threw up her arms and said, “Why do you always torture me?”
We calmed her down, and Nagymama complained that she was cold, so I wrapped her up in my big fuzzy red blanket. She kept on calling for me and complaining that she was still cold then, so I curled up by her feet and told her it was okay and that she’d be safe. As she closed her eyes, she reminded me to make sure that the front gate was locked. And then I woke up.
I jumped out of bed and called Anyu, just to check on everything. She picked up the phone in a panic when she heard my voice on the answering machine.
“Vhat, vhat happened, who died?” she said, half asleep.
“Hey,” I said, “I’m sorry to wake you, but I just had a weird dream, about grandma, and I wanted to make sure she was okay.”
“Don’t vorry, you didn’t vake me, I had veird dreams all night, I’ve been feeling anxious like something bad is going to happen. I just actually voke up 10 minutes ago because Nagymama was calling for you and she said she was cold, so I covered her with a blanket. You know, Stephie, I can’t get her to eat these days. All she ever vants to eat is ice cream. And maybe dose Twinkie tings.”
I can’t quite shake this eerie feeling, so I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope that it passes.
Photo by Sanja Genero