Lately I’ve been having incredibly vivid dreams. I can’t remember ever having such vivid dreams that I remember during the day. Most times, you have dreams that disappear during the day. Every day for the past week I’ve been having dreams that I remember. Most of them have been unremarkable, reliving particles of my previous day. I was Anthony Bourdain’s producer on No Reservations, I was on a ghost adventures investigation show…But last night was different…
For the first time, I had a dream about my birth father. It started on the streets of Seoul, memory remnants from my first trip to Korea over three years ago. Taking in the sights and sounds from the only place I knew, from the back of a taxi cab-a tourist’s view-Briskly moving through store fronts as not to hover for too long attracting conversation from shop-owners. In my dream I walk through a CD store, part is owned by Koreans, part owned by Asian Americans. I stop between both, then immediately stay on the side of the store owned by Asian Americans. A friend comes in and leads me out.
At one point I am told by a figure that is not clear that my father wants to see me. I call a phone number that appears on my phone and hear a voice on the other end in fluent English. I say I want to meet him, and he says that he is in Korea. I hang up. My view cuts away to a dentist’s office where my father is lying down getting a procedure done on him. And for a brief second, I am him as I look up I see the dentist talking to me in English, or at least I am able to understand what he is saying.
Then, I appear in the room, I switch back to myself and stare down at my father whose face is covered by a white mask as his teeth are being worked on. We talk, in English. No this is not my imagination, or me understanding Korean. After his procedure ends he stands and removes his mask, he is white, middle-aged, and has a stubby graying beard. I look, and almost laugh. “You’re not my father, this is a joke right?” He looks back at me and smiles, for a moment, he becomes my adoptive father then changes back to himself. Suddenly things start to spin. I back away, trying to regain my composure. Thoughts begin spinning. Who is this man, who am I, who is my family? My dreams ends, and I wake up.