Out of the Past

Lately, I’ve been having weird dreams, and remembering them, which is unusual for me.  Last night’s dream was very bizarre.  It started out in the coffee shop from the TV show “Happy Days.”  I was sitting at a table with Richie Cunningham, Ralph, Fonzie, Laverne, and Shirley, and we were all waiting for Potsie to return to town.  He had been living for several years in California.  

Suddenly, the scene switched, and I was home, but my house was now some sort of enormous mansion that looked a bit like the Getty Museum.   I was getting married in the morning (to Sophia?).  I had hundreds of guests… and they were all in the mansion, sleeping in various bedrooms, waiting for the big wedding.  There were friends and acquaintances walking through my house, some who I hadn’t seen in twenty-five years.  It was first come, first serve for the bedrooms, so I had to go from room to room to know where everyone was staying.  I spent the most time in the “master” bedroom, which had three big beds.  In the beds were some kids I remembered from my elementary school in Queens — P.S. 154 (and they were still kids).   One of the kids, a girl named Claire, was hiding her boyfriend, Dennis, under the bed, thinking that them being in bed together would upset me, but I told her that it was OK for them to “fool around.”  (there was a scene just like this in All My Children yesterday, so I obviously steal my dream material from a soap opera).  I actually laughed to myself when I met “Whoorl” in the bathroom combing her hair.  (The only reason she must have been there was that she emailed me recently that I showed up in one of her dreams, so this must have been payback.  And yes, the baby was there!).

Even though the wedding was the next day, I decided to surprise everyone by giving them tickets to the Oscars, which just happened to be taking place that night.  After I bought a thousand tickets from a woman sitting at a desk in the middle of Wilshire Boulevard, I began to second guess myself.  I wondered if my guests really WANTED to go to the Academy Awards, or whether they would prefer to go to a Lebanese restaurant where there is a bellydancer performing (Sophia and I had a bellydancer at our wedding).

I don’t remember much else about the dream.  Why was I having this dream?  Why was I thinking about all these people I haven’t thought about it years?

This morning, after waking up, showering, and eating breakfast, I went onto my email, much as I do every day.  Amidst all the spam, there was an email waiting for me from “an old friend.” 

An old friend?

It was from “Tess,” a friend I had in summer camp.  (I changed her name. I’m not sure why.  If she says it is OK, I’ll use her real name)  I was 14-15 years old at the time I went to this Jewish summer camp.  I haven’t heard from her since then.  Apparently, she found me through someone finding my blog. 

I immediately called Sophia over to read this email, because this wasn’t just any old friend from the past.   This was from the first girl I ever liked!   I even wrote heart-felt notes to her, which I could read at the next “Cringe” “read embarrassing stuff you wrote as a teenager” festival.. 

Tess was totally unlike me.  While I played right field in softball (and dropped every ball), she was the best athlete in camp!   Even then, I liked a strong woman!  Alas, we never became more than friends.  She liked someone else in camp — and now she’s married to him with two kids.  All in all, I was probably better off, because  at the time, I wasn’t ready yet to deal with girls.  I still required several more years of practicing kissing the back of my hand.

Even though my memories are vague, and probably reinterpreted through the years,  I remember Tess as important, because before her, I don’t think I had the guts to talk to a girl as a “real person,” or consider one a friend.  I even asked her to some sort of final dance “social” at camp, and I think she agreed, but I have some unclear memory of her getting a cold and having to be in the infirmary, and me talking to her through a screen window.

Something happened that summer when I was fifteen.  During that important summer,  it occurred to me, that even if you were a total dork —  and I was — if you make a girl laugh, she might actually notice you.  It was a lesson I learned, and learned well.  Today, all I have to do is tell a funny story, and my mailbox is filled with the panties of female bloggers from around the world. 

I’m very curious to speak more with Tess.  We emailed a couple of times back and forth today, trying to fill in everything that ever happened since we were fifteen,  but this is difficult to do, especially in an electronic age where a Twitter is considered a long message.

I’m not one who is into mystical stuff, but it was an odd coincidence that last night,  I had a dream about people from my past, and this morning, someone for real showed up in my inbox.

Has anyone from your past ever found you through your blog?

(I told her to read my blog.  I hope that wasn’t a bad idea.  We’ll see if she writes back!)

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53 Responses to Out of the Past

  1. The dreams do not surpise me considering what is going on right now … you are experiencing vicarious trauma (no! this is not some new sexual fetish!) … seriously my friend, you are vicariously experiencing what Sophia is going through. This triggers emotional and/or psychological responses to mortality. You are processing your own issues with mortality through these dreams and remembrances about your own life experience. Yeah, I know this is heavy, but hang in there my brother. xx, JP

  2. teebopop says:

    I can not help in the dream interpretation thing. But I can tell you what I have learned about dreams. I did a sleep study one time and I was told that when I remember my dreams so vividly it’s NOT because I’m sleeping so deeply. It’s because I’m not sleeping well at all. So I suspect that you are under a lot of stress and not sleeping as well as you should.

    As an aside, just how many panties have you collected so far?

  3. Nance says:

    Neil, Bill Maher once said, “Nobody wants to hear about your dreams. That’s why they play in exclusive engagements in your head.”

    Bill Maher was never stuck for a blogpost, apparently.

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