I was in one of those dream places that is an amalgam of memory and fantasy. The familiar and the unfamiliar. I was with M and S (friends from high school) in a pub. I was bored. I saw a young woman (too young for me–in her late 20’s probably) with short red hair; it was one of those hair styles that Mods in the mid 60’s wore. She wore these adorable grey slacks and a fuzzy purple cardigan over a turtle neck. Strange second-hand bead necklaces. A very carefully cultivated style. Quite androgynous. She had freckles and eyes that changed colors (from blue to green to grey). It tickled my heart slightly so I walked over to her (even in the dream I had the meta awareness that I don’t go to bars and that I don’t generally approach women) and we began to chat. I don’t remember the specifics of the chat only that we were friendly and that we connected over our shared love of post-punk/indie/shoe-gaze music. I remember feeling quite vividly in the dream that she was adorable but that our connection could go no further than a shared interest in music. I could feel the fight between my 20-year-old self who believed that all you needed was attraction and shared interests in weird-wacky things and my current self who knows that this isn’t enough glue for something lasting. We went for a walk. The surroundings where something between the parking lot of a local shopping center and Greece! I ignored the part of me that knew there was no future in this and asked for her number and she gave it to me. I felt a tiny little rush (that old feeling of “yay, I was worthy of a phone number!”) followed by the realization that I would probably never call that phone number.

Suddenly I was in an old shop. It was owned or run by a middle-aged Korean couple. M and S were in the shop with me. They were buying snacks and alcohol and I was excited over finding this giant pole that was meant to clean second and third floor windows. The couple seemed thrilled that I had taken an interest in it. It didn’t feel like they were excited in the sense of wanting to make a sale; more like I had discovered something magical that nobody else realized was magic. They ran my credit card which included the stuff M and S bought. The total was $1,038.00. I don’t think I blinked twice at this.

I’m in a town. Or more like a tiny square dirt village composed of ramshackle shacks. It was dusk. Now it felt like I was in a horror film. I was uncomfortable but not scared. I walked into every shack. They were all deserted. In them candles were burning but there was nothing there. I wanted to find someone whether it be human or ghost or demon. I was prepared for anything so long as I could engage with it. I began to see the beauty in these dusty deserted shacks. It felt like they housed invisible souls that were not ready to reveal themselves. I longed to connect to the place but eventually gave up and walked out of the village square.

Cobblestone streets. I see J–an employee from the record store from over 20 years ago who always fascinated me–sitting on a car. J was stoical. J was funny in this brutally dry way. J let nobody in. But we got on nicely. I said hello and he looked through me as though I didn’t exist. I walk around the corner and there was a woman. I didn’t remember her name only that I worked with her somewhere and that I missed her. She smiled and showed me a small level of warmth. I told her that I missed her and she stood up and did this little dance. She began to look to her right (my left) and there was a dance troupe in front of a canal. She winked and left to join the troupe and I stayed on the bench.

I pulled the piece of paper with the phone number from my pocket and stared at it. It felt nice to look at it but I didn’t feel compelled to act. I felt lonely. It felt like a journey that I was destined to take alone and somehow the phone number represented some small fleeting connection that I got to have on the way. It wasn’t deep but there were smiles and a couple of laughs.

I stood up and kept walking along the canal. Nobody in sight. No boats, no people–just candles flickering in windows. I wake up.

The comforter and sheets feel velvety and soft and I see that I have overslept. For a moment I realize I want to stay in bed not in order to avoid life but because the textures felt so nurturing and sweet against my skin. Though it is not uncommon for me to say this–I felt like I was being held and that it was mutually sensual experience between myself and another sentient being.

The “adult” realized that like it or not it was time to have my coffee and see if I could find the energy today to lift weights. I am still waiting for that energy to come. It might be another “fake it til you make it” type thing. I may have to simply start doing the exercise even if I feel weak and even if I am longing for something else. Touch. Company. A phone number that will never be used. Well, those things just aren’t in the cards for today so….it’s time to lay a towel down on the floor and set up my equipment.

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