I had a dream that my gramma was dying. I had gathered with my brother and sister to preside over her imminent death. (I was played by me, my gramma was played by my living gramma, her house was played by my not-so-living gramma’s house, my brother and sister were played by made-up people who were my age).

She was speaking rather incoherently, and we put her to bed, saying such things as “sshhhh” and “it’ll be all right”. When she finally went to sleep, we were pretty sure this was it. So we started speaking about the logistical arrangements: the will, the house, the funeral, etc. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open and she shot up. She spoke more coherently than she had in months.

“I need to see Dean!” she said.

”???” we replied. Who was this “Dean?” Where was he to be found? We had never heard of such a person. We assumed that this was another incoherent rambling, and we were kind of stalling to wait until her fervor dissipated and she went back to resting in peace. But this did not happen. Her insistence only grew.

She wasn’t sure where Dean was, but she insisted that we get in the car this instant and go to find him. She was also not very forthcoming in answering our questions about who Dean was.

We pretty much had the idea that putting her in a car wasn’t something she could handle. After all, she was an inch from death. But this was, after all, her dying request.

So we piled into the car and began our search for Dean.

She never filled us in on the plan, but after awhile it seemed she had one. We’d be like “Where do we go?” and she’d be like “Albequerue.” And we’d be like “Albequerque?” and she’d be like “Albequerque” and we’d be like “Why?” and she’d say “To see Penelope!” as though this was the most obvious thing in the world.

Well, we thought we knew the whole family history and whatnot, and she kept on mentioning people that we’d never heard of. Dean, Penelope. But she kept on acting like these had been important people in her life. We were sure she was hallucinating, but were obliged to fulfill her requests. We drove to Albequerque where, much to our surprise, she directed us very specifically to Penelope’s house. And there was Penelope, a lady about my gramma’s age. She gave us tea and set us up with beds in the guest room and attic, despite the surprising nature of our visit.

We began to find out some things about our gramma’s secret, wild past. It seems that Dean had been her lover. It seems that they had been a singing duo of some note. She could sing? It’s true: Penelope played the piano and my gramma sang a haunting and beautiful tune. Well, where could we find him now? It seems he was still singing. Still on the road.

After some searching, we found what town he was playing in. We arrived at the hall (I think it was a casino/hotel or somesuch). And here was a rather perplexing scene, where we tried to talk our way backstage. “Listen, we need to see him,” we said. “Yeah, you and everybody else,” he replied.

Eventually, we somehow got backstage and she met him and they embraced. Dean put us up in the hotel for the night. She died that night. So many mysteries. But at least we now knew some of the key people from her former life, and could start to work it out.

Sorry, the details of the dream got a little spotty near the end, there. But I thought it was entertaining anyway.