Friday, October 14, 2005

Strange Dreams

In the past month or so, I have had at least 10 dreams featuring the same people. The content of the dreams is nothing unusual, which is very unusual for me. I rarely ever dream of actual people or places in my life, and the subject matter is just shy of “too strange to describe in words.” In these dreams I’m with the popular kids from my high school, some of whom I saw at my 10-year reunion, but most of whom I haven’t seen in 16 years. We’re mostly just hanging out.

Now, in a school like mine at that time, where the senior class numbered 99, you might not think there was a lot of room for cliques. When we were in the fifth and sixth grades, this still was true for the most part. Although this changed a bit starting in seventh grade, in high school we all knew each other and on some level we were friends during school hours. However, when it came time to get together in the evenings or on weekends, the lines of separation became clearer. Understand that I’m not talking about race here. The entire county I grew up in was populated by white folk, with a few Hispanics and Asians in the mix. Most of the minority children still were in elementary school at that time, so the skin color of faces in my high school rarely varied unless there were freckles (and I was among the latter).

I never aspired to be like the popular kids, and I never felt a need to look up to them. I didn’t dislike them, either, and had no delusions of being intellectually superior. Academically, we generally ran about even, and were in the same classes. They mostly were nice kids with social interests that did not interest me.

That is not to say I have no history with these people. I do have childhood memories of their coming to my house for birthday parties, and of my going to theirs. We played soccer together on the playground. We kissed the same girls on the playground. Then things like sports, band, and drinking parties started driving wedges between us.

This is where it gets confusing. It makes sense that in these dreams we are not adults, because I never knew them as adults. However, we’re not the same age as when we used to play together. We are in high school again. There was one weird scene in which one of the guys, the star athlete who played quarterback in football, center in basketball, and won a lot in track, lived with me for a while. He has lots of baseball caps and has trouble fitting them in the small section of closet I was able to spare.

Neither my wife nor any of my family makes an appearance in these dreams, but there’s no romance, either.

Breaking the normalcy was one dream in which snow fell in the middle of a hot summer day, while about five or six of us enjoyed a lunch at a local diner. I was familiar with the location, but the diner itself was a construct of my subconscious imagination. Or something like that. The snow did not seem out of place to me during the dream, which follows my normal pattern.

In the past, I’ve had other dreams featuring these people, but very seldom. Am I having them more often now because I just moved to a new state even farther from my roots? Because I am a father?

I just got an e-mail after telling a friend about these dreams. It reads:

"That is really weird because I was telling my wife this past Monday I had a dream about (your brother) and then the next night a dream about you... same deal just hanging out... although (your brother) was shopping for a bow tie!"

So, it’s good to know I’m not alone in these dreams. Anybody else?

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