DREAMING ACROSS THE STYX My father walks into my room wearing his long tan trench coat. A finely blocked felt hat tops his jet black wavy hair. He tamps down the tobacco in his pipe, then turns to me, his brown eyes twinkling, his lips curling up in a smile around the pipe. He steps back into a poorly lit hallway I do not know, removes his coat and sits in an orange plastic chair. Coat on his lap, he draws softly on the pipe and nods at me. Cherry tobacco smoke wafts toward me. He’s waiting for me, as always. Through theatre classes piano lessons dance lessons patiently enmeshed in his own thoughts waiting without complaint. Suddenly I wake. I am at home. No hallway. No chair. No cherry tobacco. No trench coat or hug. Only the smell of coffee. My father smiles from his photo. Some say dreaming across the Styx means Charon will soon come for you. I chuckle as I prepare to face my day. No fears. Instead of Charon, my own beloved father waits patiently to ferry me across the Styx in his white 1960 Thunderbird.
Joan Leotta’s artistic goal is always to show the beauty of the ordinary and encourage the audience. She now lives in Calabash, North Carolina with her husband and has published several books (fiction and non-fiction) and many short stories and articles. Her blog on writing and performing is at joanleotta.wordpress.com.