Just thinking about writing a piece about this topic makes me cringe. I was thinking of how to make this sound logical, and un-superficial, because it will really seem that it is. Or maybe it is, really.
See, I live in a world where things always have to make sense. I work for the content development branch of a big film company, and one of my responsibilities is to ensure the quality of the characters we create. My job is to ensure that the conflicts of the main characters are sound: logical, palpable, and relevant. And this, right here, is a “character conflict” that wouldn’t pass the standards for the big screen.
Today, I woke up from a dream. A long one. And it was about a person who shaped who I am today, in a very impactful way. To cut the long chase short (and I know you’d be tempted to end reading this as I say who it is), it was about the (cringing right now) great love I had, thirteen years ago.
I know what you’re thinking: Shallow. Petty. Get over yourself. Don’t worry, I’m aware. But I have to get this out of my system one way or another, because since I woke up, I haven’t shaken away the distress I felt. It’s 10pm right now, and that dream practically shattered my mood for the day. IF you’re still reading this right now, maybe you’ll get to relate. Or maybe you can learn a thing or two. Or not.
Let’s call him Joe.
As I remember the dream, he lost his father, and there was a funeral. As soon as I came, I saw him and felt his pain. The dream was in the present time, so it has been 13 years since we last saw each other. To my surprise, he came up to me and wanted to get away from the funeral with me. So I went with him. We found ourselves in a mall, just walking, talking, and I remember a part where we were just seated in an outside area of a restaurant, where we talked about how he felt. Again, I felt the pain.
Confusing and fantastical as it may seem, the next part of the dream sequence was a piggy-back ride through the mall. And I remembered the pain I felt as I witnessed this scene in my dream. It was the same feeling I felt with him, specifically. The feeling of uncontrollable, almost-exploding kind of joy… That unique joy that I only felt with him, in my 27 years of existence. He piggy-backed me as we went through the mall, and we were laughing so hard. I remembered how we goofed around so much when we were together. I remembered the feeling of when our skin would touch. I remembered how it felt when he would rub his big hands vigorously against mine, whenever I feel cold. (believe it or not, it was mostly cold when we were together, so there was a lot of this back then).
The next part of the dream was me, going back to meet him the next day. I felt discomfort in doing so, given my responsibilities, but I did it anyway. And I didn’t regret it. Again, we had a great time. This second time that I remembered, I didn’t want to end. I remembered how it felt in reality, when we would spend days together: The feeling that time was non-existent, and that we were the only people in the world.
When I woke up, all I felt was pain and joy. Joy, that I remembered that I once felt that much joy with someone. Pain, because I really didn’t want to remember stuff from my past… being a mature, responsible individual. And then, there was the weird, uncomfortable joy… the joy of remembering how it specifically felt when I was with him. I remembered how he made me feel. And it was bittersweet.
Heightened emotions and all, I did what every irrational person would do… I sent him a message. After 13 years of being apart, I sent him a message; Which led to a catch-up conversation. Prior to the dream, I knew that his long-time girlfriend had been pregnant from months before, and as expected, she gave birth already. I knew about this, even though he had absolutely no posts about the kid, nor the girl. (Yes, there may have been a little stalking and research from time to time). He was a father now, but there was a twist I didn’t ever expect. They weren’t together anymore, and the kid was a result of a screwing around period. So, he wasn’t getting married anytime soon. (I said “whew” in my head. I know. It’s kind of pathetic, really). When the baby was born, he already had a relationship with a new girl. I had my ways, so I asked him to send me the girl’s picture.
What bothers me in all of these are two things: ONE, is the “whew”. Why was I happy that he wasn’t getting married to the mother of his child? Why was I happy that the child won’t get a set of normal parents? And how could I bring myself to accept that this makes me happy? What kind of a person feels joy in this kind of set up? TWO, was the fact that the child’s mother, who was also Joe’s long-term girlfriend, was not getting married to Joe. The fact, that even if I had bias towards their relationship, she’s not getting him. The fact, that even if I always wished for them to break up, I now feel bad for her and her situation. They had been together for about 5 years, and now, there they have a baby.
There is a singular thought that lingers through my head right now… and that is: “What has he become?” It seems that the times had changed him. It now seems to me that the new Joe was one that never gets contented with anyone. Not even someone who has been with him for five years, baby on top. I feel for the mother of his child, I even want to befriend her and feel like I want to create a support system around her. (I’m sure you must think I’m crazy by now)
I know that he isn’t the same person I loved. Not the same person who made me feel that way, like before. I definitely know that even if we rekindle, I wouldn’t feel that way ever again. I’m human and logical like that. (not convincing, I know).
I wonder why all of this even re-entered my system. After all those years, why did I need to reminisce the past? Why did I need to feel “that” pain again? Why did I need to remember what we had? That great big perfect I-will-die-for-you kind of love? What for? I now feel like I’m a character in a time-lapsing romance movie who still ends up unhappy. Now, I ask myself… did I really need to feel worse about myself?
I find it unfair to be reminiscent of this specific piece of my past, and I hate it. I really do. But it happened. Today, it fell down on me. I don’t know why, but it did. So now, like everyone else in this planet… I just have to stand up, try and shake it off, because life is mysterious and unfair like that.
It happens to the best of us… that unwanted reminder of a past where we were completely happy. A seeming mockery of our present state. Unlike others, I won’t leave a hopeful line in here for all who took time to read this… because life is just like that.