I dreamed a dream that in the near future:
I flew back to Jeddah for a visit. My parents were still there (which they haven’t been since their final departure in 1995) in the last house we rented from a Saudi. In the dream everything appeared the same as what my thirty-something brain has managed to conjure up: in what I assume to be memories of pristine condition. I liken my memories to be stored in an airtight filing cabinet locked up in the recesses of my mind.
I arrive. There is the heat, and the humidity; the sweet smell of humid desert air as I step off the plane. I take note at one point that I know nothing in terms of directions. I am completely without knowledge of where to go and how to get to whatever that ‘where’ might be. I will have to acquire a driver. My sense of direction is pretty limited to begin with, and I think, if I had matured here, I would really be directionally challenged because I would have relied solely on a driver or the men in my family.
Cue next dream scene:
Lounging by the pool is great. Childhood friends, Kimberley Woods and Hanna Taleb, are with me visiting (neither of them live in Saudi anymore). We sit on wicker lounge chairs, basking in the warmth. I suggest I host a “throwback” party similar to the birthday parties my mother used to orchestrate. We’re grown up now, but the three of us delight in this idea. Everyone loves nostalgia.
The landscape is different; my brain didn’t get it right. The neighbourhood is sandier and emptier of apartments under construction, feral cats, and a prince’s palace down the street than it ought to be, but dream Julia is impressed nonetheless, and click, click, clicks goes her camera.
Real me wakes up with a smile. I need to go back.