People have dreams all the time. It don't mean nothin.
--Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
He forever dreamed of funerals.
Never death. There is a difference.
He dreamed he walked the aisle to see Hank Williams lie in repose. A Cadillacwide pearlwhite casket with a black lead sheet inlay along the length denoting the melody of "Ramblin' Man." Inside, the man himself. Pale. His dermis thin like phyllo dough. Somehow a smirk cobbled on his lips. The points of his white lapels sharp as rapiers. Fingertips crannied on the brim of the matching hat.
The son was there. Drunk in his leather. His eyes barely seen behind aviators as he stood at his father's feet with Ghostface Killah. The palm of his bloated hand slapping the casketlid with a muffled thump.
"Daddy's not wearin pants."
"No shit. Last request." With this he gripped the crook of his elbow, made a fist, and raised his flexed arm to eye level. "Nahmean, Tony?"
As he backed away from the casket, he plotted his life as a line drawn from one funeral to the next. He imagined his first steps at a funeral. His first kiss. Learning to drive a hearse. Voting a corpse for president.
Every year he dreamed these funerals. Built them in his sleeping mind. Invited the dead and living to the same room for small variations of the same service. How could they be different? At death, whose life is so special that it cannot be summed into the same small number?
You will be missed. Or you will not. You will be remembered. Or you will not. Death is nothing. Life was terrifying.
Only once had he dreamed his own funeral into the parlor. There was a cross but no preacher. No songs. No flowers. No service to organize. No body present. A small crowd.
A tall horsewoman stood. She bounded to the front and read a letter--"I don't believe in God and nothing bad has ever happened to me. At least, not because of that." With that, the crowd dispersed and he was remembered, or not, by nothing more than his finite days that led there. Like anyone.
He would not stay with these dreams long. He sloughed them best he could like a heavy coat too hot for the temperature of the waking world. He decided that's what dreams were. Clothes that fit always out of season. To be exchanged before seen by others.
But they would return. Sure as winter.