On Mothers Day night, I wake to nightmares of killing, “a dream about the Patriarchy,” my husband explains in the dark.
But in my dream, it is daylight, and this man is so charismatic; and we are drawn to Him; and so He weaves His way through homes & classrooms & workplaces, alternatingly charming then murderous. Slitting throats, dividing families, orphaning children.
Each time I get wise to Him, I sense the great vulnerability of going against such cunning, and I see how willing others are to oblige Him in blindness; and so I become absorbed with protecting myself whenever He appears, until I see Him follow a family into a loft over the Great Room, and doesn’t He kill the young father and then the mother, as their child toddles unprotected toward the open railing.
Terrified, I dash through the loft space, past a bureau and a hutch, and I sweep the child up into my arms, where she becomes an infant, and with only moments to spare, I dangle her through the bars of the railing thinking I might drop her to safety if only someone would appear in the Great Room below.
And then I see him! My father! But although he hears my calls, and I direct his attention toward her again and again, he cannot see the child or make out what I am saying.
But then my youngest son enters the room, and seeing the dangling child right away, puts out his arms to catch Her.
And with that, the Patriarchy disappears.