I was in a huge version of my grandparents' house with my whole extended family, and it was 20 years ago - my grandad's hair was still dark, and my aunt Clare was slim and happy-looking, and my uncle Terry was manic and spontaneous. It was Christmas or Easter, there was something to celebrate, and there was some kind of music throughout the house.
I went into the sitting room to see my grandad sitting alone on the couch, talking softly to someone. Then I heard a young girl's voice coming from the other end of the couch. I still couldn't see anyone there, but I knew that the invisible girl was my mother. My grandad was crying, something which I've never seen him do in real life. He was sorry for what he'd done, and he really loved her. She didn't understand - she was just a little girl, and we couldn't even see her.
I left the house with Lindsay, and we were walking through Dublin at night when we passed by an accident. A cyclist had been hit by a truck, and was lying on the road with a blanket thrown over him. At the roadside, two of the bystanders had started to fight. People were trying to separate them, but one of them got free and started to punch the other in the face repeatedly. I ran over and started to get between them, telling them to stop fighting, and one of the aggressor's friends glared at me and told me to piss off or he'd kill me.
I didn't piss off, and he backed me up into an alleyway. I thought he was going to punch me, and for once I wasn't afraid - I wondered if it would hurt a lot, but it was more important to me that I not run away and not be scared. He tried to hit me with his elbow in the stomach, but I raised my knee and I heard a crunch. He had broken his arm, and stood still for a moment in disbelief and pain, then ran away. I returned to the crowd to get Lindsay, and we went home.
On my own, later, I called over to my grandparents' house after all the celebrations were over. It was a calm, sunny day, and they were happy to see me. Everything was out in the open, for the first time in all of our lives - what my grandad had done to my mother when she was small, and my granny's concealment of it for the sake of keeping her family together, and for some reason I knew it had all been healed, somehow, by the truth. I felt totally happy to be there for the first time in years, just like when I was 6 years old and would come around to watch Star Wars on the tape they had made that was missing the first 20 minutes. I stood looking at them and I knew it was okay to love them.
The dream became lucid. I knew I was dreaming, and I knew I'd wake up soon in my bed in Dublin beside Lindsay, and that there was no need to worry any more about anything. I wanted to enjoy the feeling, so I wandered out into my grandparents' garden and stood on the small path beside the flowerbed. The sun shone behind a bright bank of cloud, and I stretched and smiled. I hoped I wouldn't wake up just yet, because I was enjoying the sensations - I looked at my callused hands, at the flowers, the grass, I breathed deeply and wondered how everything could be so detailed and beautiful. My gaze rose up into the sky, and I woke up.