Dearest Rachel –
So, you know that I never experienced dreams the way you or Daniel have. I mean, I would have them, but they were much rarer, and not nearly as vivid as those you two would have – at least, as a rule. Maybe it’s a function of my sleep apnea, maybe it’s the fast that I could never get a full eight hours organically (although, come to think of it, that never stopped you), or maybe I’m just not attuned to the world of dreams and spirits they way you two are… were… whatever.
<sigh> You know, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the past tense when talking about you.
Anyway, last night (this morning?), I recall this dream:
I honestly don’t think you were a part of it, honey, because… well… and I was aware of it, because it becomes important shortly in. I was part of a group event that… whatever it was, clearly wasn’t important for the dream’s purposes, because I recall nothing about it. I only know we – the group – were on our way home, and stopped for a bit at this rest stop-cum-mall food court. Probably like the Iowa 80 truck stop we would often go to on our way to Anime Iowa. Except the food was more plentiful and… exotic? I think that’s the word. Crispy shells like you’d have taco salad in, Mediterranean shawarma, giant hot pretzels and the like from various stands in this somewhat labyrinthine maze of shops and stalls. So much to choose from, and I remember being so hungry: I wanted something from everywhere!
This proved to pose a problem, because in no time, I was rather lost. And worse yet, some of the shops were closing up for the night, it seemed. Indeed, the entire mall seemed to be on the verge of closing – which, in retrospect, would be kind of silly for an interstate rest stop, now, wouldn’t it? But here we are, and after all, it’s a dream. The fact that any of them ever make sense is something of a small miracle, really.
At some point, I realized my plight, grabbed one of those taco shell-type things (I think it had cinnamon sugar lavished on it – yum!), dropped a few bill on the empty counter to assuage any fears of shoplifting, and headed for one of the exits…
…only to discover that the bus I’d been riding on had already left. Again, I shouldn’t complain about why there hadn’t been seat checks or something – it’s a dream. Anyway, I wasn’t all that concerned, as there were several other buses as part of the same caravan, and I figured I could just hop on one of them to get home, no problem. Which I did.
But I figured I would need to contact someone on the other bus to let them know I was okay and on my way safely. So I took out my phone, and…
…well, before I could realize I’d dialed your cell number, and that there would be no answer… someone answered.
“Hey, Randy! How are you? It’s been a while!”
Wait… this wasn’t you. “Uh… hello? Who is this?”
“Oh, right. It’s Lenore. You remember? From Singleminded?” Well, yeah. It had been a while, but I recall her from our first few years after we got married and basically hung out with the singles group at church, because we had so much more in common with them than the young married folks who were juggling family and work and all those other things that would eventually overtake us but we weren’t pursuing like they were. “Yeah, everything’s fine! The other bus knows you’re okay, I’ve taken care of that.” Yup, typical Lenore. Rapid-fire, cheerful, and take-charge juuust to the point of pushy. Either she hadn’t changed, or…
“Wait, Lenore? Why do you have Rachel’s phone?” As far as I knew (know?), it’s sitting on the card table on my side of the bedroom, waiting to be charged up and taken in for repairs. The thing literally shouldn’t work. “Can I talk to her?”
“Oh, no, sorry. She’s here, yeah, but she’s busy. She says hi, though. Don’t worry, you’ll see each other soon enough.” Uh.,, not sure I’m ready for that, but of course, there’s the indefinite nature of the concept of ‘soon’ from vastly different perspectives.
“Lenore… you say you’re with her…?”
“Oh, don’t worry about that. Look, you run along and join your group. I’ll take care of things here. You take care of yourself, okay? Good talking to you.”
Talking at me, more like, but okay.
I woke with so many more questions.
I think she was (is?) five years my senior, so it seems almost as unlikely she’s where you are as it is to imagine yourself there, I suppose. Maybe I should look her up. I know she joked about the Poe poem when we were first introduced, but (not having read it for a while) I didn’t get the connection. Now, of course, I’m living it.
I have no idea what, if anything, this dream was supposed to mean. And I’m neither pharaoh nor king, so I have no Joseph or Daniel to help me out (and no, I doubt my Daniel could help much with the interpretation, in any event).
Maybe I should just shrug and dismiss it as what dreams do. Maybe it’s as close as you can come to letting me contact you. I’ll probably never know.
Maybe… I’ll see you in my dreams another time.