Finally, I was able to push the bedroom door open and once I did the blinding light subsided. I stood there for a moment cradling my hand as I tried to figure out what I was seeing. It was me. I was severely bruised and battered, lying asleep on what appeared to be an old bus bench. And there was a woman who was also asleep, lying almost on top of me. I didnít recognize her, but I knew it wasnít my wife.
Just as I was about to walk across the threshold, the door swung shut and a pair of hands came up from the floor, grabbed me by my ankles and pulled me down into the murky ground below. When I opened my eyes I was lying in a graveyard. I looked around and spotted a gravedigger in front of me, some three rows away.
I stood and saw the name on the tombstone in front of which I had been lying. It troubled me to learn that it was my uncle Virgileís. How did I get back to California? At that point I was seriously confused. As I moved about the graveyard, on each headstone I passed I read the name of a family member; my mom, my dad, my sisters--but I knew that wasnít right. I was sure one of my sisters was still alive, although I couldnít remember which one it was.
I continued to read the names on the headstones that I passed. The carved names included Richard, Helen, Michael and Marie. They were all there--dead. I walked up to the gravedigger who appeared to be shoveling his last spade full of dirt from a new grave and the thick dark dirt had covered the name on this stone. I walked passed the man who held the shovel, but he paid no mind to me and then I stood next to the tombstone. With my hand I slowly removed the dirt from the cold stone. In just a few moments I had cleared off the fresh soil. I stepped away from the grave marker so I could make out the words, then stepped farther back from the gravesite and read: