I’m ingesting again, so it’s time for another post. This time it’s
- One Slim-Fast diet milkshake, made with 8 ounces of skim milk
Yeah, we’ll see how long this diet lasts…
In my dreams last night there were a series of very odd occurrences that all seemed to reflect “unfinished business” in my memories. They all merged together to form one cohesive story. (I wonder sometimes if our idea of a good story isn’t drawn directly from how our dreams are constructed. Then again, maybe my dreams follow a short story pattern because I’ve done a lot of reading…)
Two important things happened in the dream. They were important not necessarily for their specific nature, but for the feeling I had throughout. I was completely comfortable and happy, which was nonstandard for me in those situations.
The first situation was me having a job. I am not entirely sure what exactly the job was; it seemed to be something involving troubleshooting or data entry or somesuch. The dream took place after hours or during a break or something, and now that I think about it, the setting was a hospital, right outside the cancer ward. I remember reading the name of the ward (it was named after someone): it was like the Vola or Zola or Zula Cancer Center, or something like that. In any case, I don’t know if my actual job was at the hospital or not, but for some reason I was hanging out there and meeting up with people. As this happened I spoke about my job and realized that I was happy with it, even though it didn’t really utilize either of my degrees. This gave me a profound feeling of comfort.
The second thing was the people I was meeting with. They were all figures from my past, people I don’t see anymore. They may have all been high school friends, but I’m not sure because I only remember two of them clearly: Audra J. and Isaac P. Audra was speaking to me in a friendly way about something silly, and while this was happening I did not feel awkward or as if I had nothing to say or as if I wanted to run and hide. I felt serene, at peace. I was having fun. This does not match up with my memories from high school, in which I never felt that I belonged. I still have trouble with this even now. A quick anecdote from a recent get-together can illustrate this.
Sean and I had had some people over to watch anime and eat Japanese food. It was really fun. Afterwards we all went to the local putt-putt golf place to play arcade games. At one point everyone was standing in a circle talking. I realized all of a sudden that the guys were shifting around to make sure I was part of the circle instead of standing in a flanking position to someone who was in the circle. So I tried standing in the circle, realizing that I don’t normally do that, and it felt infinitely weird. Sure, it felt like I was important and a part of the group, but it also felt like I should somehow prove my right to that position. I felt uncomfortable and just stood there not saying anything.
It was a lot worse than that in high school. That’s why not feeling awkward around Audra–a popular, bubbly, friendly girl of the “smart kids” group that I wanted so desperately to be considered a part of–is so odd. Essentially, I never feel that I am worth talking to or that I have anything interesting to say when I’m face-to-face with another person. Online, though, I feel clever and witty and fun…so in the dream, I was essentially experiencing how I usually feel online in a “real life” scenario. It was neat.
The other person I remember clearly speaking with is Isaac. This is a guy who I knew since sixth grade. He and his friend Ryan L. seemed to get no end of amusement out of tormenting me and my friend Noelle. I remember at least one instance of me running out of the English classroom and going to cry in the bathroom, despite my overwhelming goody-goody instincts that leaving the classroom during class was bad. My perception of whatever they had done to me must have been extreme.
Time sort of adds a buffer to memories like that, and so I can’t really remember what it was that they did that was so horrible. I can remember their mocking, laughing faces, and how wildly I hated them and just wished they would go away forever, but I have no idea why I felt those feelings.
In any case, Isaac and Ryan diminished in my life during the beginning of high school, and by the time I encountered them again they had somehow become charming, attractive, polite young men. The same thing happened to the guy who used to torment me and my friend Johnnie in fourth grade, Jared B. Suddenly, I no longer had a reason to hate any of them. In fact, all of them seemed like guys I would want to go out with. But the history between us made everything feel so weird. I never became friends with any of them, and instead sort of gazed on them from afar, wondering how it was that they had gotten “cool” while I was still the same person I’d been back in middle school. (Except fatter.)
I never could relate to any of them. My distancing myself from everyone in middle school due to beliefs that I was somehow better, and then my distancing from everyone due to beliefs that I was no more than dust at their feet, had conspired to give me zero real friends. I was the wannabe outsider, in class with all of them but never feeling that I belonged. I wanted to feel that I belonged, but I didn’t know how. By the time I started trying to just be friendly and sociable, it was my senior year, and everyone had already forged friendships. No one was interested in new ones because we were all graduating. I asked Jared to go to the prom with me and he said, “Umm, well, I wasn’t actually going to go.” I ended up going with a freshman who was a friend of AJ’s girlfriend at the time. It sucked.
It’s interesting to me, then, that Isaac appeared in this dream. I sat down at a table with a bunch of those kids from school, all grown up, and he happened to be next to me. (In other words, I didn’t sit down obsessing over the fact that I was sitting down next to Isaac P., which is yet another difference.) I just sat there and enjoyed the company and talked and laughed. It was amazing.
At one point Isaac wrapped his arm around my shoulders. For awhile I didn’t say anything, and finally I looked over at him and said “Did you put your arm around me?”
He grinned with embarrassment. “Uh, yeah,” he said, pulling his arm away. “You smell good.”
I blushed, wrapped my arm around his shoulders, and said, “Oh. Thank you.” Then he put his arm back around me and we continued to sit like that. It occurred to me later to wonder if he’d seen my wedding rings.
So yeah…weird, huh?
I don’t know if this means I have unresolved issues with my high school experience (probably) or if my subconscious is just telling me to lighten up (another good possibility).