I dreamed about my grandmother yesterday. I dream realistic dreams that aspire to mimic daily life, though they are never lucid. I sank easily into sleep, perhaps a little too late at night.
In my mind, we are in the kitchen of her apartment. Puzzle pieces are scattered on the table. But after a moment, my grandmother walks silently and absentmindedly away. I follow her. I watch as she opens a closet near her husband’s vacant office and pulls a silver fox stole from the back. It is perfectly preserved, sheathed in a soft and ancient swath of cotton.
She wraps it around my shoulders. I turn to face an egg–shaped mirror hanging from a nail in the hallway. I see her young face in the reflection instead of my own. The same bone structure, but with pale blue eyes and coiffed yellow hair. The stole matches her eyes better than mine.
I follow her back into the kitchen. I sit down at my puzzle and see almost immediately that there is a plain gold band, previously unnoticed, mixed in with the pieces.
I slide the ring onto my finger. It is loose, so I make a fist to prevent it from falling off. The apartment door slams shut behind me.
Nobody is in the green cinderblock hallway. The elevator is broken. I clench my right hand as I run down four flights of stairs to the lobby wearing a silver fox stole.
I’m almost awake, but not quite. I am standing in the parking lot. I see the F train subway stop to my right in the distance. I see the hazy white sky. I see the newly built bank. And I stand on the concrete outside of Key Foods. And everything turns raw. And it snows. And slush creeps up to the to sidewalk. And the snowflakes turn to water on my silver fox stole.