A Dream Remembered


I don’t often remember my dreams unless they wake me with my heart pounding in my throat. When it happens, I’m glad it’s not a regular occurrence.

I woke this morning at 4:00 after dreaming about an old high school buddy named Kurt. We had been pretty tight even though he was a year or two ahead of me. He was always pretty laid back and open to discussing weird ideas, and he had a sense of humour, which really counted.

I always felt bad about the way things ended between us. He went away to college about the same time I discovered music that didn’t have the support of commercial radio. I don’t know why, but it seemed like listening to punk rock, especially in those early days of the 1980s, equated me with child killers and sexual deviants in his mind. He made me feel as if my choice in music had been a personal betrayal and nothing I could say could make up for that. I liked loud music. I also liked him. But in the end, we never reconciled.

I had a dream last night that I had called him out of the blue half-drunk one night and poured my heart out on his answering machine. We haven’t seen each other since before the world-wide web’s creation, so it made sense to do it using old school technology.

He showed up at my place – which was actually the first apartment my wife and I ever rented together – looking just the way he did in high school, button-up denim shirt and all, but he had Lou Ferrigno-type muscle definition. He said my betrayal hurt him so bad he never wanted to be hurt ever again, and he got really mad and started hulking out right there in that tiny kitchen, incensed that I dared try to reach out to him.

“I bet you don’t have these muscles,” he challenged me.

“Well, technically, I’m pretty sure we both have the same number of muscles,” I replied. Regardless of stress levels, dream-me is never lacking for a zippy retort.

After several Hulk-styled remarks from him about crushing puny humans, etc., I apologized to Kurt, saying that calling him was clearly a mistake and I’m sorry to have upset him, and I got him safely out the door somehow. There was a work crew there, staring at me – they were somehow enlarging the apartment on a Palace of Versailles scale (same rooms, just bigger and more opulent) – and I curtly asked them to leave immediately. I needed a drink, and a good cry, and fresh underwear. I needed a time machine, and I needed to let go.

When I woke up, I found him on Facebook. Maybe I’ll send him a message. He looks so normal. Dreams are messed up things to be consciously avoided.