Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Sum of My Yesterdays

She is quite literally my dream girl.

The only reason I met her is because I was at the museum.  She was leading a tour group of which I was a face, half listening to the memorized banter.  But in this case, the talking drew my attention because it wasn't memorized.  She spoke off the cuff with animation and feeling.  She threw asides in for her own amusement.  This was how I first connected with her: laughing at a "Hello Dali" joke she tossed aside as one might a comfy hat into an easy chair.

She's tall and dark-haired.  That's actually amusing, as I never really found myself attracted to dark hair.  When people would rattle off lists of characteristics, that was never something I thought about.  The tall part is fun.  When I walk, I can see directly into her eyes without requiring her to crane her neck.

When I spoke to her, I got incredibly embarrassed.  My face flushed and I could feel my brain trying to slow everything down so I didn't stumble over my words.  That didn't happen, but at least she and I were both smiling when I asked her if I could take her to dinner sometime.  I threatened to burst from smiling when she looked at me and said, "Of course," as though I'd just asked if she liked ice cream.

Still blushing like mad, I remember thinking "Man, I must be dreaming because she is amazing!"

I was.
I woke up this morning.  It was quite dark, so rolling around in my bed to get my bearings, I glanced at the clock: 1:15am.  I was warm.  Putting my hand to face, I felt the burning warmth of the blush I'd just left behind.  Gradually getting my brain in gear, I had to slowly comprehend that it wasn't real.  None of it.  The museum, the tour, the woman, the hair, the joke, the acceptance.  All of it was just a fantasy.  It existed nowhere but in the tunnels of my brain.

It is -- without a doubt -- the cruelest thing my subconscious has ever done to me.  It would be an understatement to say that I was disappointed.  The rest of the morning's sleep was suddenly merciful: no dreams at all.

I know what dreams are.  Like any good student of psychology, I know that they are the result of a brain gone wild during the time when most of the functions are "off".  They cobble together pieces of our thoughts, awareness, wishes, desires, fears, and occasional ponderings.  We sometimes use "dreams" to describe things we aspire towards (such as in the first sentence of this entry), but the dream state can more accurately be described as a highlight reel.  It can be good or bad, simple or complex, but it's made up of the essential parts of our experience.  For example, I've seldom been anywhere near the desert.  I don't spend a whole lot of time existing in or thinking about deserts.  And not surprisingly, I usually don't dream about being in a desert.  Occasionally I might have a bit of desert imagery (since I know what a desert is), but the vast bulk has nothing to do with sand or cacti.

My misfortune (as I've illuminated elsewhere in the past) is that my dreams tend to be extremely straightforward.  In fact, they are often indistinguishable from reality as they happen.  I regularly dream about waking up, taking a shower, getting dressed, and going to work.  Good and bad circumstances will occur, but they are never outside the realm of reality.  For example, it might be payday and I dream about meeting the FedEx driver at the office door to sign for the envelope from ADP.  Or we may have an angry customer who is upset at the quality of work done to an instrument we had recently shipped.  It's never anything like King Kong attacking or getting made president of Uganda.  [I realize the grammar is bad in that last sentence, but King Kong being made president of Uganda was too funny of an unintentional image to correct.]

As such, I thought things were cruising along swimmingly.  I have talked about going to the art museum in the past month or so, so that was perfectly plausible.  All other details were similarly pulled from recent experience or thought.  Even the conversation with the lady resembled an unsuccessful attempt to "chat someone up" I had the "honor" of floundering in recently.

Maybe my brain was trying to do me a favor.  There has been a rather unsatisfactory procession of dates in the last little while.  My gray tissues were merely attempting to regroup and discuss the game plan again.  I suppose I should be thankful, because it was a moment I embraced wholeheartedly.

But only for the length of a dream.

No comments:

Post a Comment