She came to me in a dream. I don’t mean that in some cliched implication of prophecy. She was no avatar of long lost love. I am perfectly happy with the one that didn’t get away. Even so, she was someone that once meant something to me. A good friend, from a time that I had far more ambition and dreams. I don’t dream much these days. I sleep fully grounded in reality, as if some part of me is enforcing on myself a tether to the concrete.
But there I was, walking across a college campus. It was some intermixture of campuses (campi?) past, the kind of place that exists only in your sleep. As I walked along my little chunk of quad, floating in some indescribed aether, she approached me. Not quite a singular persona, but some allegorical aggregate of friends past. It was as if for a moment I lived again in that space: In that discrete 6 week chunk of summer on that campus so long ago. She was a friend, a fountain of support at a time in my life that I thought I was an island.
In my dream it was as if we had not seen each other in some time. The surroundings were the same, but we were different, like some temporally displaced reunion. With a grateful embrace time scrunched and shuffled until that spacious disparity between us dissolved. I wondered why it had taken us so long to reconnect. I have not talked to her since that summer long ago.
At the time I didn’t realize the effect that those people had on me. I barely held onto them when I had them, so when it was time to say goodbye they easily slipped through my grasp. Looking back, I can see how they affected me; how those people shaped me and propelled me forward. We had yearbooks at that camp, and mine are over-filled with genuine well wishes and memories. At the time I was cynical. Those messages seemed contrived. Reading them now creates for me a new canon. At the time I created a reality for myself where I was confident I was just misunderstood.
I was the one with the misunderstanding.
I realized how much I miss those people. I don’t consider myself someone who has regrets, but I seem to have forgot that for a bit this morning.
With 20/20 hindsight,