Head Games

“In order to move forward sometimes you’re forced to look back. Don’t dwell on what you see. Only observe from afar.” JSM

-The Third Month-

I hate dreaming. My mind can’t process the dream world. I try to rationalize that realm and guess to their abstract meanings, and I’ve read books and articles on dream interpretation(s), and had lengthy conversations with others about dreams, but nonetheless, I do not enjoy them. Even the good dreams feel awkward and borderline uncomfortable.

I know I speak on dreams quite often, but I can’t help it. Like breathing, drinking, eating, sleeping, walking, bathing, working, loving, hating, and all components of living, we also dream. It’s a part of who we are. We are dreamers. Some just react to the dreams differently than others, or maybe not at all.

The funny thing about dreams, is the complex interpretation of them… or lack thereof. Often, a dream is dismissed without a second thought.

One can’t have a random and bizarre dream event without first thinking about it for awhile. At least I can’t (I believe I’ve made that blatantly obvious at this point. My dreams are deemed important to me; both literally and metaphorically. No matter what happens or what obstacles I’m forced to face, I will follow my dreams).

All I could ponder for the following seventy two hours, was a man who appeared as though he was yanked straight from the 1940’s, looking like a younger Ryan Gosling telling me I have to kill his wife, by my method of choice, and to be sure I did it gentle and as pain free as possible.

I believe a facepalm is in order.


The old life was now drifting away into the forgotten, and swallowed up in that abyss of disregard. I no longer cared what happened to me in my past. I cared, but I no longer festered. As far as I was concerned, it had become water under the bridge. My kids were safe, I was chatting with a friend again, I had a good job, the mutt was happy and I had a roof over my head.

Something else was pulling at my strings.

I found a new obsession and jumped from the frying pan, headfirst, right into the fire. The Online Archeology played it’s part and served it’s purpose for the time. Now I had to figure out who the hell this Joe person was, and I had no idea where to start.

shadowTherein lies the problem. Subjective interpretation of personal events. Through personal interpretation one can only speculate and postulate which naturally leads to guesswork and potentially more questions than answers.

For instance–See if this rings a bell, “I’m such a bad person. My spouse/significant other cheated, or my friend ended our friendship, and there’s something wrong with me. I’m worthless. It’s all my fault. They deserve so much better than me. If only I was a different person, they never would have left or cheated or quit the relationship. I’m such a loser. I can’t figure out what I did wrong. Where did I go wrong?! What did I do wrong?!?!”

Speculating on every possible angle. Driving ourselves crazy trying to figure it out. So deep in our own heads we can’t get out.

When in actuality, the one thing that’s never contemplated, is the idea that maybe the spouse is a selfish asshole who thinks their shit don’t stink, and the friend is a jerk who doesn’t deserve our friendship (pardon my potty mouth).

It’s never been anything other than that one simple fact, but it’s always overlooked. We attack our self-worth first, before ever considering potential alternates.

I use that strictly as a loose example. I’m thinking you get my drift.

Perhaps a reason why dreams are pushed to the wayside and left alone. We can’t make sense of it no matter how hard we try. Wandering aimlessly and lost in our head.

Someone can say Joe represents this part of me, or I’m dredging up something I can’t let go. Could it all still center around anger and spite? I don’t feel angry anymore. Fear of the unknown? Joe was assuredly an unknown element. The book will say picking up a hitchhiker will indicate x-y-z. The second dream could be indicative of a dream remnant, lingering in the subconscious. Who really knows? This is bullshit!

Despite my confusion it was all I could think about.

I can’t in good conscious honestly say I was up for seventy two hours straight time. I may have dozed at my desk and caught a cat nap or two, nodding off during a movie or a rerun, but I never slept for an extended period during that obsession. Joe’s visage haunted my mind.

On the fourth day of fighting sleep, the mysterious woman approached me again and stopped me dead in my tracks at the threshold of an office door. My face was back to pale and saggy and I was dragging my feet as I meandered through my day. Dark bags clung to the skin under my bloodshot eyes and I had a throbbing headache at the base of my neck, just under the skull. I kept my baseball hat pulled down and avoided eye contact. I looked like death and she called me out on it.

“You look terrible. Are you sick? Need a Tylenol or something?”

“No thanks. I took an Ibuprofen about half an hour ago. Just really tired. I haven’t slept well for a few days.”

“You look like you need a break. Anything you need help with around the house? You want some company later?”

Taken aback by her generosity and straightforwardness, I had difficulties responding. “Oh, I don’t know… My kids will be there… the place is a mess… and I’m not sure how I’ll be for company, to be honest. I don’t want to nod off and fall asleep while you’re visiting.” I attempted a weak smile.

She ripped a piece of paper from a tablet on a nearby desk and scribbled on it, “OK. Here’s my number. If you ever need anyone to talk to, or someone to vent to, or if you need help with something, feel free to call or text. Don’t hesitate. If I don’t answer, it’s because I’m at my night job and wasn’t near my phone. I’m not that far. I can hang out if you get bored.”

“That’s really cool of you, thanks.”

She was off to her responsibilities again and I plugged her number into my phone.

No. You don’t want to come over and visit. You saw what it looked like over there, right? It’s depressing. It’s like the bedroom of a lonely dark mage at the top of a castle tower. Dark and macabre. Everything black and sucking the light from the room. Gothic trinkets and strange books littering the empty spaces. Dragon shaped incense burners and long melted candles. My pad is weird… no, you don’t want nothing to do with that. Do yourself a favor.

When back at the Island, I cleaned up my living space and collected the debris from the kid’s rooms. Stop being such a slob. What if you do have company? What if someone stops by?

Shut up. You have no one to impress. This is you being yourself. You’re living the life you want to live.

I washed the few dishes in the sink, tossed my clutter where it belonged, ate some dinner, and looked at my phone.

You know what? Maybe some company would be nice. Might as well test the waters. Send a text.

I received the reply roughly an hour later, in two parts. “:(  I made plans with Sarah and told her I was free. Her moms bday 2day–

–It will be late. Can I contact u tomorrow?”

“Sure. I’ll be around. Snag me a piece of cake. LOL”

“Will do. From what I hear from the fundraiser, it’s a little slice of Heaven.”

“Cool. Text when free. Chat then.”

When I began my stroll across the room, I felt a short electrical shock wave travel from my lower back, up into my neck, and my eyes opened wide. The hairs on my arms tingled, I stopped in the center of the living room, ripped the phone from the desk beside me, and reread the words on the screen.

No… that’s not right. Hang on… no. That’s too weird. Don’t you dare add this to the list. It’s only two words. Just… two… words. Leave it alone.

I tossed the phone on the couch, looked to the corner of the room and nestled snug underneath a bookshelf built into the wall, sat my two drawer filing cabinet which had been crammed tight with everything from the days of my youth, to my youngster’s earliest drawings tucked away in their own compartment.

Folders with tax info, health care documents, Polaroids from the mid seventies, three ring binders bursting at the seams with old sketches, notations, poetry of the olden days and scattered through both drawers, outdated technology I never disposed. Work certifications behind wood and glass frames, college papers, and training manuals from recent employers.

The filing cabinet had been overlooked since arrival. I dropped to my knees and with a shaky hand, opened the bottom drawer first.

My mind said no, but the gut didn’t agree.

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