Friday, September 19, 2014

Sometimes I write stuff down just to do it. This is one of those times.
Last night I had a dream. (No, this will not be a long, weird dream story. Just a sort of long weird dream story, but indulge me)
As I often do, I dreamt I was back at UCSB, but the campus was filled with new and wildly modern buildings I did not recognize, like it really is now.
In these dreams, I start off about 20-years-old, but as they go along, slowly I turn back into myself: 56 with a family, a gut and a dog named Wally. This is what was happening because, as I was strolling through campus, I remember thinking: “I wonder if any of these students think I am a student?” Then I thought; “Who are you kidding? They think you’re a professor. An old professor.”
Out of nowhere, somebody hands me a package. Inside a manila envelope are about 10 pages of the most beautiful cursive handwriting I had ever seen. The writing was in green ink and it was on white thin paper. Paper that was so soft, delicate and light it was like tissue paper.
There was a note clipped to the pages explaining this was a letter from an old friend named Meg. 

Cut to: real life. Meg was a girl I knew best in 6th grade. She was nice and cute, and had a lot of freckles and was a great athlete. Yes, I had crush on Meg.
Meg and I did not stay in touch in high school and after, but I saw her at the 20-year high school reunion and was glad to talk to her. Meg had also lost her mother. 
So, back to the dream, I started hurriedly reading bits and pieces of the letter. It was about how Meg had gotten to know my mom at Northwestern, and how my mom had meant so much to her. It was about how much she loved my mom and how sorry she was that my mom had died.
This wonderful, thoughtful letter meant so much to me, I started to cry. (First time crying in a dream) Then I got embarrassed about crying in public. Then I thought, no, if anyone is ashamed of me for crying about a beautiful letter from an old friend about my mom, well, screw them.

All I wanted to do was take this wonderful, beautifully hand-written letter and go somewhere private and read it alone. As I struggled to clumsily gather these delicate pages together, a strong breeze kicked up and blew all of the pages away.

Just like that, the letter was gone. 
Now I was really crying. Crying out of anger, rage, hurt and frustration. Then I felt a sudden calm. Somebody or something was telling me it was fine. It was good enough just to know this letter existed.

Then I woke up and went downstairs and kissed my dog, Wally.