Keeping the door ajar

Do you reckon dreams mean anything? A few weeks ago I got told by an eccentric woman that I should watch my dreams closely and abide by any message received via them. That’s nice in theory, assuming it’s valid, but more difficult in reality. If your dreams are anything like mine then that kind of clarity comes but rarely. My dreams, like most I expect, veer from a mad jumble to the an eariely surreal. Things happen out of sequence. Characters lob in then disappear. Scenes change dramatically, in time and place, and it’s rare that I dream anything that is truly linear. I may scratch my head at it afterwards, but the reality of dreams is that when you’re in the middle of them nothing is really surprising.

Last week I had a few dreams though that perhaps could be grouped around a theme. Last year I had a falling out with a close friend. We’ve tentatively reached out to resume our friendship, but on my side I had wondered if something was irrevocably broken. I acknowledged finally that for all his endearing traits that he was an unreliable character. Despite his charm, there was also something juvenile, almost trivial in his personal make-up. None of this was really new to me, but the credits I had extended previously had since been cashed. While on the one level I was prepared to give him another chance, in my gut I thought it was futile.

That’s a sad realisation, but I thought I was ready to accept it. Shit happens after all. Times change, we progress, people fall in and out of your life. Then I had my dreams.

The dreams are vague of course, and if it was just one dream then I would discount it altogether. as far as I know though I had three dreams on successive nights, as if something deeply held inside me was trying to put itself forward and present its story.

The first dream seemed almost a vindication of my feelings. I travelled to be where he was, he met me, he made a few anodyne comments, and then left to pursue his own thing. That was in keeping with my latest thoughts about him – that he is self-absorbed and often pretty shallow. I woke wondering why I dreamt that, but prepared to let it go. The dream the next night I have no real recollection of, except that it was more generous towards him, and more forgiving. Well alright, but so what?

Then came the third dream. Once more we were in the same place, and had come together as the long time friends we have been, but awkwardly, with this shadow hanging over us. Neither of us was prepared to speak of it, and in my case I barely cared. I was at the point that it didn’t matter if we remained friends or not, and I didn’t care enough to try to save it. Then his girlfriend stepped in. She spoke quietly to me. She knew what he was like, she said. She understood that I was upset and maybe I had some cause. She told me that he was distressed by what had happened and wanted to be friends again, but didn’t know how. She said my manner and hard-line attitude was intimidating. All throughout she was gentle in her speech, looking out for the man she quite possibly loved, but sympathetic towards me.

In the dream she left me and I began to question this hard-line – a hard-line I’ve pretty well held to in my waking life also. In the dream I suddenly felt harsh and unforgiving. I felt like a bastard, and no amount of justification could change that.

I woke and thought little of it, but walked around with the dream in me all day and in the days following. Gradually I began to wonder if I wasn’t being too dogmatic. I thought back to what the strange woman told me and wondered if this was it. Ultimately I realised no matter what happens with him, this is is not a person I want to be. What that meant concerning him I still hadn’t resolved.

Then yesterday I heard from him out of the blue. It wasn’t anything much, just the typical quick exchange about something happening or something I should know about, like many hundreds of times before. I responded in the same tone and that was that.

What’s to come? I don’t know. He knows what I feel. There’s no reason to say more on that. I think I’ll keep the door open though, just in case.

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