What our dreams know

I dreamt about Rigby last night as if he was still alive and well and a key part of my life. He was perfectly recreated in the dream, vivid and true to life. I adored him and him me. That was perfectly nice, but then he disappeared. I woke up one morning, and he was gone. I looked everywhere, but he was nowhere to be found. I tried to think logically: where could he be? But really, there was nowhere else he could be. As I realised that, I began to feel that frantic sense of fear. Then I woke up.

Rigby is often in my mind, but even more so lately. The reality is, I wake up these days and he’s gone, just as in the dream, and I wonder if the meaning of the dream is as simple as that?

It often occurs to me that I lost Rigby at just about the worst possible time. There’s no good time, of course. He was a devoted companion for many years, and we had a close symbiotic relationship. I think he knew me better than anyone. That’s probably exaggerated, but he knew me in every tic, just as I knew him. I miss him looking at me with his deep eyes. I felt seen and valued. These days alone, recuperating from cancer, I miss that companionship and love – as well as the movement and life he brought to my home.

I’m on the list to get another chocolate lab puppy later in the year. I look forward to it, but he won’t be Rigby. I expect I’ll form a close bond with whatever dog I end up with, but once you’ve had a pet, you recognise how distinct their individuality is. There won’t be another Rigby, and I feel as if I’ve lost a great pal forever. It still seems hard to believe.

I fear that when I hear the puppy is available, I’ll be unable to afford it. Dogs have become very expensive, especially in light of Covid. I’m getting by financially, but there’s not much in the kitty. Cancer has cost me dearly, and I’m still on short wages. Things will improve when I return to FT work, especially if I get the pay rise I’m entitled to, but it will be a struggle to pull a few thousand out of the air when I need it.

What happens if I can’t afford the next Rigby?

While I’m speaking of dreams, I’ve had a few lately in which a woman has featured in different roles. There appears a bond between us, even when – as in one dream – we’re not in communication with each other. It’s clear that we know each other well as if we have been intimate in the past or remain so.

None of that is strange, except the identity of the woman. In my dream, I know her. There’s an acceptance of her presence, as if she belongs. Its just ‘her’ – someone familiar and well known. When I wake, though, I can’t remember who she is. She may be a complete stranger to me, a figment of my dream. But she may also be a real person, as it feels she is. And I wonder if, once more, my dreams know more than I do. It’s frustrating not knowing who she is – someone I know, someone from my past, or an imaginary figure? I may never find out.

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