Do you ever have dreams so visceral that it takes a while to get grounded in reality once you wake up? When I was about 13 years old, one particular dream seared itself into my memory:
I found myself in a taxicab, heading who knows where. I’d only been in two or three cabs in my entire life, so the fact that I dreamt of one was significant. The driver had a friendly and odd familiarity to me. And when he turned around to ask where he could take me, I instantly recognized him as my maternal grandfather, Papa Charlie, who had died a few years earlier. Except for one significant difference: he was black.
In that intangible, telepathic way we communicate in our dreams, I had a “conversation” with him, trying to understand whether it was really him or some kind of parallel universe doppelganger. Amidst the confusion, I gathered that he was doing a sort of penance for prejudices he perpetuated during his lifetime. He wanted me to know that he was okay, that he was learning.