Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
June 17, 2022
Such a waste of good suffering?
Category: Dreams

The other night I had a dream that I was visiting a childhood friend in his apartment. (Incidentally, I noted when I awoke, the apartment in the dream was actually the home of *another* childhood friend. But the three of us did hang out there often, so I found it interesting that my subconscious brain mapped the space to this friend despite his not having lived there). He was dying -- I was initially under the impression that he'd be gone the next day -- and I was there to say my goodbyes, and I was crying and he was crying and we were telling each other we loved each other and just sadness abounded. And when I learned he actually had maybe a couple more days and was instead due to move to hospice the following morning, I pledged to visit him there and then we cried some more. I hugged him tightly -- he felt so thin and frail; I worried I might hurt him -- and then woke up just as I stepped through the door to leave.

Upon waking, I was immediately startled that my face was dry. I had just been crying! My friend was going to die! And then I realized that whereas I had been devastated mere moments before, I couldn't summon any of that emotion now. I realized it was a dream: I haven't seen that friend in decades. Moreover -- a thought that struck me as interesting but probably a bit callous -- I don't even think I'd much care if I learned he were dying. Like, I wouldn't be delighted by the news, but this was the friend (if I've told you that story) who ended our friendship after my freshman year of college because he decided he had become "too cool" to associate with me. (We worked at the same place that summer; after he made that declaration our occasional run-ins were awkward and unpleasant.) Unless for some reason he requested my presence -- I believe in honoring the requests of dying people within reason -- I wouldn't think about visiting him in the hospital or hospice or wherever. If I felt sad at all, it'd be more for myself and the knowledge that I've reached an age where more of my peers are dropping off, and that that will only get worse as time wears on.

But yeah, I was mostly fascinated by the amount of dream-tears I shed for someone whom I haven't seen in ages and don't much care for in waking life. The experience did seem to mirror feelings I had in two real-life situations -- though in those my dying friends weren't able to respond -- but it seems odd that my subconscious would draw upon those and toss in unrelated details. What could have prompted that? What could I have been processing? (Did we remain friends in some alternate universe where I'm much cooler and was therefore worthy of retaining his friendship?)

All I know is this: sleep and dreams are weird.

-posted by Wes | 4:35 pm | Comments (0)
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