I had the oddest dream last night. I dreamed that I was in a small town located on the ocean, I’m not sure which ocean. I was there to attend a reunion of all the people I’ve met online through weblogging and have wanted to meet in person.
I was sharing a dorm room with a couple of other webloggers, two very young and very attractive young women. We were all getting dressed to go to the party, when I realized that all I had with me were my muddy, old hiking boots, my jeans, a blue jean shirt, and a white t-shirt underneath. I looked at one of the young women, and she was dressed in silver satin and black velvet that was cut down to here and slit up to there, exposing her long, trim legs and sleek belly, and firm, youthful breasts. As she primped, she chattered away about how the next day, she was going on a river float with some of my favorite webloggers. As I listened to her excitement I looked more closely at her face, and realized that she looked a lot like I did twenty-five years ago.
A large car was outside, waiting to take us all to the party. I strained to peer inside, through the darkly tinted glass, but couldn’t see into its depths at who had arrived to pick us up. As we started towards the car, I suddenly turned toward the young woman in satin and velvet and said I wasn’t going. She was disappointed, being a sweet young woman as well as pretty, and asked me why. I said it was because I didn’t want to disappoint people who were expecting her, and got me, instead.
After she entered the car, I watched it drive off and then started walking through the town. I entered, in turn, a small cafe, a tavern, and what might have been either a church or a school. None of the buildings seemed very distinctive, and all were misted in gray, with the people odd lumps of shadows standing out from the walls.
Towards the center of town, I entered a slightly disorganized bookstore that also had bits and pieces of art hanging from the ceiling and cluttering up the floor. A man entered and even though I could see him clearly and sharply, I couldn’t see what he looked like. He was the owner of the shop, though, and the creator of all the art. I started to ask him about it, when he came up to me and kissed me on the mouth. Not a friendly peck either: the kind of deep, sensuous kiss that looks good in the movies and feels wonderful, but when you see yourself doing it looks a bit sloppy, which is probably why we keep our eyes closed.
When he had kissed me thoroughly, he stepped away and told me when I was ready, the shop would be there, and the choice was mine. The choice of what, I didn’t know but I knew it was something important. Something beyond him and the kiss, but I couldn’t figure out what.
I left the building in the opposite direction I entered, and found myself on a porch that had a glass wall, and there were a few people sitting on barrels and chairs looking through the glass. On the other side of the wall, were people dressed in ordinary clothing but doing extraordinary things.
They were juggling, and tossing each other about, and riding unicycles, and all manner of wonderful stuff, and I asked one man sitting on a barrel–he was an older man, an indian, wearing a feather in his braided hair, and a leather vest over a homespun shirt–what was going on. He replied that the circus was in town and the performers practiced daily, just on the other side of the window. He and the others would come down and watch because this show was free, unlike the show that went on in the big tent.
It may have been free at one point, but I noticed an older woman looking at me from the other side of the glass, and she seemed grumpy and mouthed words I couldn’t hear but could sense, something to the effect that didn’t I realize that these people worked hard? I felt guilty and I reached into my pocket and pulled out an old five dollar bill and held it up to the glass. At that she seemed satisfied, even though she made no move to collect the money.
At that point I woke up: before I saw the dog act; before I returned to the bookstore to find out what my choices were; and before the young woman in satin and velvet returned from the party to tell me who had been there and whether I was missed or not.
I don’t know what the dream means, other than today I turned 50.