I have this recurring nightmare that my mother is alive.
She never died.
I've made a terrible mistake.
I have to call my editor.
We can't publish the book.
I don't know how I could have made such a wild mistake.
I mean, she looked dead.
I signed the papers.
I let the man from the cut-rate crematorium in Albuquerque take her body away.
But in the dream, she isn't dead.
And in the dream, she's really pissed about the book.
I can't get through to my editor. Of course I can't get through. It's too late. It's already out, anyway. My editor can't do anything.
Maybe I can hide the books.
Just walk away.
I'd been having the dream for nearly six months the night it occurred to me: it didn't matter if she was alive.
If I'd lived these many months believing she was dead, feeling freer because she was dead, writing the truth without worrying about cleaning it up because she was dead, then who cared if she was alive — or pissed?
I wrote my first memoir when my mother was still very much alive. It seems like eons ago. Even my stepdad was alive. Was it only a ...