I didn’t even realize it was August until just now. I had the weirdest dream last night. I think I had the dream because my wife and I watched The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind this weekend. In the dream I was reliving old scenes from my life. They were mostly past humiliations but they were greatly exaggerated and my wife would walk in from off-screen and try and save me from whatever situation it was.
One scene was from my senior year of high school. In calculus class two girls sitting on opposite sides of me figured out I had been taking each of them on dates for the previous few weekends. I would take one out on Friday and the other on Saturday. I did this because I had just gone through a rough breakup that was a little destabilizing and going out on casual dates seemed to be helping. Once the pieces of the puzzle were put together neither spoke to me for the rest of the bell. They looked forward icily and I was afraid I would have to spend the weekend at home by myself thinking about the breakup and brooding.
It’s a minor memory. Nothing very dramatic happened. There wasn’t any yelling. Just an awkward 45-minute silence. But during that time I felt I had done something horrible. I sunk down in my chair. I didn’t want to use anybody but the hurt of the breakup was so bad I wasn’t primarily thinking about that. I was thinking about myself. As long as I could look at a pretty girl from across a cup of coffee and have a conversation about nothing I would be fine. I could keep moving forward, however painstakingly. It never occurred to me until then that this would offend anyone.
In the dream version my now wife was standing in the doorway, smiling kindly, almost laughing, with her hands on her hips. I felt I knew her and that she was important to me but I didn’t know how or why. She walked over to me and my heart sank. Perhaps this beautiful mystery woman had something against me as well. She leaned down to me and put her hand on my shoulder.
“One day this will be nothing but a funny little memory. You have to trust me.” She leaned down, kissed me on the forehead, and I peed my pants.
© Daniel Douglas