My father is 64 and for some time now I have watched him get smaller. The skin on his face has thinned so as to trace the muscles that move his eyes and lips and brow around his familiar skull and sometimes I feel those same muscles pulling or relaxing on my own face and I remember that we have almost the same skull.
The last few days I've had this same nightmare:
I'm walking down the hill after having snuck a cigarette and I run into my father and my uncle who wave and I join them. My dad is in high spirits, surrounded as he is by his brother and his son. The two of them are attempting to move an old hot water heater onto the back of a truck. A big guy walks up and starts to make small talk. My dad is wearing the awkward, over-eager smile he reserves for strangers when the big guy goes beserk mid-sentence and attacks my father with a rabid, Tasmanian Devil intensity. My uncle and I are struck motionless, stunned; we do nothing but watch with horror for what seems like several minutes. I can't even make the noise to scream. Finally, we pile on to pull this guy off of my dad. There's blood and skin and hair and groans and wheezes. Between the two of us, we still can't match the attacker's intensity and rage. My father is torn to shreds (in the dream, I see his bones, his ribs), beaten to death in front of me and I'm on the ground panting and dirty and helpless.
So, this is the dream that's been running in my head for three straight nights now. It sort of makes me not want to go to bed at all.