I Dream of Dashiki

Two nights ago I had one of the strangest dreams I’ve ever had. It was simple and completely unprompted. Well, maybe not completely unprompted, depending on how one interprets the dream itself, but the composition of the dream remains simple.

I was back in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the house that I grew up in. But it was still me, as I am now, not a flashback. No Christmas tree stood in the living room, although my family is known for keeping the Christmas tree up well after the new year. But no, this was a normal night. My aunt came over, not out of the norm on any given night, but apparently this night was special. My mom emerged bearing gifts. I opened mine and unfolded a vibrant, colorful, and patterned…dashiki.

In the context of the dream I didn’t think anything of it. It was a dream, it felt normal, like yes, of course my mom would buy me a dashiki. Why wouldn’t that be normal? In retrospect, the iridescent nature of the garment when viewed from just the right angle should’ve been a red flag considering dashikis don’t and shouldn’t look like holographic baseball cards. But dreams are weird. The next morning is when I realized just how weird.

I’m no Sigmund Freud but when I woke up, I immediately deciphered the dream as a testament of my years and years of racial insecurity. It was clearly my mom telling me that she wishes I was blacker. Wishes I was more in touch with my roots. Dated more black women. Hung out with more black people. Finally gave Tyler Perry the respect he deserves as a filmmaker and businessman. That last one was a joke, but my mind tends to run wild at times like this.

Aside from playing a supporting actress role in my dreams, my mom is a gifted interpreter of dreams. I went to her in all honesty to get confirmation on what I had already determined in my head to be true. I told her about the dream and she simply said: “maybe it means you will join me on a trip to the Motherland one day.” All I could do was smile.

It’s funny how one’s own insecurity can make him or her draw conclusions that simply do not make logical sense. Sometimes we need that person who will put things so simply, that there’s no way to convince yourself that anything otherwise could be the truth. I find myself happiest existing in that simplicity, whether it rings true all the time or not.

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