words are all i have

I’ve become jealous of the girl I am in my dreams

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Like many people, dreams pique my curiosity.

patti dawn swansson

patti dawn swansson

Not all of them, of course. Not so long ago, for example, I had a dream about being in journalism and, given that I have spent more than half of my adult life on the print side of media, it follows that my long-time career as an essayist would present itself on occasion once my eyelids have lowered and my consciousness is in a state of retreat. Thus, I thought it not to be odd, peculiar or worthy of examination or analysis.

Were it to happen on a frequent basis, mind you, I suppose I might be inclined to interpret dreams of journalism as an alert, a sounding bell, if you will, to signal a need or desire to return to the newspaper business. That, however, has not been the case. It’s usually a one-off, not to be repeated for many, many weeks or months.

There has been a recurring theme, though—relationships and companionship.

On the first night of my 66th year that began last week, I dreamed of being at the race track with a group of friends that included Frank Sinatra. Yes, that Frank Sinatra. I won $178,000 wagering on the ponies, whereas Ol’ Blue Eyes spent the day tearing up losing tickets, ordering stiff drinks and chatting up “the dames,” as he called us.

But chilling with the Chairman of the Board and cashing chits worth great gobs of cash wasn’t the interesting part of the dream. Toward the end, you see, I began a relationship with a woman who bears a striking similarity to my friend Lucy, both physically and in mannerism. She was tall, slim, very feminine, with long, blonde hair and oh, so full of life. We quite fancied one another, something that did not go unnoticed by the others.

“You two lesbian dames wanna be alone?” Sinatra asked between sips of his scotch. “I can get you a room if you like.”

“Don’t be cheeky, Frank,” I told him with a wave of my left hand and a soft smile. “We’ve got a whole lifetime ahead of us…there’s plenty of time for that…we’re in no hurry.”

That’s when I awoke. And cursed. Silently. I wanted so much for that dream to have been real, not because of Sinatra or the money. Because of the girl.

dreaming2Same thing last night, exactly one week from the previous dream.

This time, I was at a house party with a lot of much younger people I didn’t recognize. Or know. One couple seemed central to the gathering, attracting much of the attention due to their unveiled affection for each other.

“That’s how I want it to be between you and me,” a young woman said as she stepped beside me.

She was petite, slightly shorter but a tad wider than myself, almond-skinned and she had a crop of short, brunette hair styled in corn-rows. She was mildly masculine rather than girly-girl, but there was a gentleness in her voice.

“You and me?” I replied once past her frank opening gambit. “There’s a you and me?”

“There should be,” she said. “I’ve been watching you all night and you intrigue me. You seem very pensive and thoughtful. You don’t say much. I’m guessing you’re a writer or an artist. I want to get to know you and I want us to be just like that couple over there.”

“But I’m so much older than you.”

“So you can teach me about life and I’ll keep you young.”

That’s when I awoke. And cursed, silently, about yet another dream I wish had been real.

These two delightful dreams that arrived in such close proximity invite interpretation. My life, after all, is devoid of a relationship, so surely they’re telling me something. I assume I still have much life to live. They’re telling me to share it. I’d love to.

As it is, though, I’ve become jealous of the girl I am in my own dreams.

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