Last night, I dreamt that a former boyfriend came back into my life after being absent for many years. This particular boyfriend was one of those rare people that really burrowed under my skin. Something about him, about me vis a vis him, about us together, was so viscerally powerful that despite that the relationship ended about as badly as imaginable without involving a homicide, I never really and truly, fully, shook him out of my system. And that is saying a lot, because I was always quite adept at purging exes from my lifes. No lingering, festering, on again, off again stuff for me. I was really quite adept at the clean break. Upon the ending of a relationship, I would immediately get busy rationalizing any residual feelings away. I would put the relationship in a box and bury it, dust off my hands and move on.
Not in this case, however. For reasons which have never been clear to me, I was never able to keep the box buried. Despite that he has been out of my life for many many years, he has never been particularly far from my consciousness. He appears in my dreams from time to time, although not in the way you might think. Not in a sexy way. No. Rather, sometimes he appears in my dreams to reject me or to betray me. Sometimes, rarely, he appears in my dreams as someone who offers the promise of romance.
In my dream last night, there was no husband. It was as if I had never been married at all. The former boyfriend came back into my life after many years of being in prison. I don’t know what he did to get sent to prison, and it didn’t occur to me in the dream to ask. I discovered quite quickly that when he was released from prison, I was not the first person that he contacted. Instead, he contacted another woman. But in the dream, I told myself that this was only because he wasn’t sure how I would react to the news that he had been in prison, that he was scared to come directly to me right after being freed.
Anyway, in the dream, nothing had changed between us at all. And nothing about him had changed at all. He was still gorgeous and charming and manipulative. He was still evasive and vague. Things he said still confused me and didn’t sit right. He reminded me of Mr. Big from Sex and the City, who never gave Carrie the answers she wanted, although Carrie didn’t seem to be able to connect to her own disappointment. Likewise, I wouldn’t allow myself to connect wih my own disappointment, both in real life and in the dream. I remember, in the dream, telling him that I was not only okay with his own peculiar brandof unavailable availability, but that this was the way that I was choosing to love now, that I had finally come to terms with the fact that I actually, affirmatively wanted to be with someone who wouldn’t overwhelm me with their steadiness and availability.
It was an odd dream, and in a way, it spoiled my day because my mind kept drifting to the dream over the course of the day, as if it had all really happened the night before in a haze of too many cocktails and was now being remembered in the fog of a hangover.
I don’t know what it means. I don’t know why I dreamt it. And I can barely remember it. Even as I write about it, it’s slipping away from me.
Maybe it was just a fever dream – one of those dreams you have when your mind is not quite right because you’re not quite right physically. I do have a low fever and an unpleasant head cold. I woke up with a parched throat from breathing through my mouth all night. And then there was the dream to haunt me all day.
Tomorrow I leave for Boca Raton for a few days. May I just say, blech? I wish I could stay here by the fire, practice my yoga, take long hot baths and just be really really relaxed. Instead, I’m off to see the inlaws, and I’m going to be prodded into playing tennis and going to horrible restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory. How ungrateful can I be? There was a time in my life when a trip to Boca seemed exciting. Now, it’s like worse than just staying home. I am in serious need of a reality check, I know.
I’m also in serious need of sleep. So, off I go.