It was Nano's house, but it wasn't really. I only thought it was. It's important that I thought it was, because I wasn't the only one-we all thought it was. My aunt was making us sleep on a gigantic psychedelic blanket. It was tacky and fuzzy and had Disney characters all over it and I thought it was odd that she gave a strange, high laugh and said almost manically, "How cheap!" even while she asked us to like it. She pointed out Mowgli, from Jungle Book. There were so many guests-all my parents friends, even though they didn't belong at Nano's house at all, and one carried around a baby and asked me about daycare practice. When the table was laid for dinner, there was a secret plate of biryani on a chair, just for me, just because I had asked for it. Suddenly, I remembered I needed to go to class and ran to the kitchen with my plate of food to hand it back to the cook. Everything in the kitchen was black and white, no colour at all after the insanely bright colours indoors, but I cheerfully foisted my plate on the grouchy cook and continued running. "Class" turned out to be geology class, and it was inside a salt mine. I had a long, long conversation with a science student who asked me about my research. I told her finding original sources for history papers is basically time travel. It was a while before I remembered, with a kind of longing, that my biryani was still waiting for me at home, that Nano's house was full of the people I loved. I ran again, this time through Mount Holyoke. Ran through the familiar campus, ran past the familiar buildings, ran smelling the familiar winter-smell. I stopped only to appreciate the familiarity and laugh at the sheer brilliance of running in the cold through a place that feels like a home. I wondered what it would be like to be a horse.
The inside of Nano's house was black and white, but I was in colour. I was real. The table was still laid, but abandoned. It's then that I realised everyone is dead. Everyone died before I was born. The people I loved only existed in time travel; they had lived and died and I had never known them but through my sources. The chairs were really graves. My brother's grave had his face on it and I almost died of shock. It said 1947-1955, and for some reason I thought, so he died only five years before me. I woke up, but I remained insane for the rest of the day.
Disclaimer: I had this dream in April. Please don't worry about my mental health.