November 27th, 1990
At home, England
Woke up crying from a dream in which I was floating in the sea with David. We were entwined in an embrace, when I saw a look of horror flash across his face. I turned to see sharks, hundreds of them, making their way in our direction. David let go and swam away from me. I screamed his name over and over, but just as the sharks began circling me, he disappeared underwater. That’s when I woke up and saw mum in the doorway, her expression not unlike that of David’s in the dream.
“Wit’s the matter?”
“I had a nightmare,” I sniffed.
“I heard you screaming,” she said. “Are you alright?”
“It was a really disturbing dream.”
“Sounds like this depression,” she sighed.
“Climb in,” I said, pushing the duvet down. “I’m going to make us tea and toast, then we need to have a chat.”
“I’m no interested in talking about this,” she uttered, sounding like a petulant child.
“I don’t want to talk about you mum,” I said, my angry tone surprising me. “There’s some stuff I need to tell you.”
Her posture straightened and she looked at me in a way she never has. “Did something bad happen in LA?”
I nodded. “I don’t even know where to begin.”
“You stay where you are,” she motioned. “I’ll make the tea and toast.”
“Are you sure?” I asked, shocked by the transformation in her.
“Aye,” she said, fluffing the duvet around me. “I’ll be right back.”
Typically, when mum crashes, it can be months before she starts the slow climb back up but for whatever reason, my words hit a chord with her, propelling her into another state of being.
She returned with the antique tray, laden with all sorts and placed it on the bedside table, then she perched on the edge of the bed, reminding me of David. She poured the tea and handed me a slice of buttery toast “Go on,” she urged.
I started telling her about David, in between which, she plied me with tea and more toast, not interrupting even once, which is very unlike her. When I was done, she hugged me tight and said she was sorry and that if she was, “Feeling just a wee bit chirpier, I’d fly to LA and wring his bloody neck,” which of course made me laugh.
We spent the rest of the day in my room, talking about David, Dad and depression. I don’t recall a time when we talked as openly as we did today. I have a tendency to shield mum from anything I think might upset her for fear it will knock her into a downward spiral but today I saw a strength in her I’ve never seen before, especially when she opened up to me as much as I did to her.
“Do you want me to stay tonight?” She asked.
“Are you not ready to go home yet?”
“Aye, I’m ready to go home,” she nodded. “But if you feel you need me to stay with you-”
“I’m ok,” I smiled, reaching over to hug her. “Plenty more fish in the sea, right?”
“Millions,” she smiled. “And all you need is one.”