Strange Recurring Dreams

Last night, I had a dream, and it’s one that I’ve had several times over the last thirty-five years or so.

The background: Back when I was in junior high and high school, my best friend was a boy. The background on that was we were thrown together in school when I was asked by our English teacher to tutor him in spelling. I had completely tested out of the high school ACT spelling modules that were so popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and this kid was a terrible speller. That’s how it started. All during high school, we were very close friends, commiserating on each other’s families and various significant others. I taught him how to play guitar. Both of us were interested in Eastern philosophy. Our friendship went beyond that of mere acquaintances. (Not in a physical sense, I somehow couldn’t see him in that way.) I felt as though I’d known him all my life, and in previous lives as well.

After high school, we went our separate ways in separate lives but managed to keep in touch another ten years. After he had graduated from college, he ceased writing to me. This was done in a rather pointed manner. He was in a relationship with a woman, and at that point, she began writing to me. He relayed to her that he felt I had an irrational crush on him (which didn’t make any sense to me, since I was married a second time when he said this), and so didn’t want to speak to me again. Also, he wanted to erase any traces of his life where he grew up. (He’s never returned to our town and will not correspond with others we graduated with.)

I didn’t mind. This woman became a good friend and even later, after she and my best-high-school friend broke up, we still write to each other, even to this day. Neither one of us has any current connection to my high school friend. By Googling his name, I know that he’s doing well as a professor in a southwestern college, but will not attempt to contact him.

What is strange is that every so often, I will have a dream about my friend. This is odd, since I rarely think about him at all, especially as time goes by. Then, out of the blue, I will dream of speaking to him. This is all the dreams consist of – regular conversations with my friend and nothing more.

Last night, we were on a train in the dream. I was sitting with a woman I didn’t know. The train stopped to take on more passengers. He boarded the train from behind us and started walking up the aisle. He got to our row and turned around. Then he bent on one knee and looked at me, and then at the woman. Quite plainly he said to me, “This is my wife and I love her very much.” Then they both got up and walked to another part of the train.

In other dreams, there is no talking. One time, I dreamt he walked up to me, touched me on the shoulder and smiled. The dreams are so vivid, I can even smell the surroundings. They are so real, I wake up and think that these things really happened, until I look around and realize I’m still in bed.

Every time I awaken from dreaming of him, I feel a weird tightness in my stomach for a couple of hours.

Since it’s been thirty-five years of this, I don’t think I will stop dreaming of him.