Waving At Myself

I can’t help thinking every so often, that everything I know in life started out as a dream. Whether from my head or someone else’s heart, connections are made, seemingly indiscriminate – I walk down the street enjoying the warm sun and cursing the presumed yuppies in my way, thinking about a friend I haven’t seen in months and just as suddenly she appears, half drunk, waving a newspaper behind my back while we embrace. I want to hear her words, but can only think of the coincidence. Did I manifest this happening or did it simply occur?

Later in the night I’m laying in bed listening to some band I just discovered and I relive that instant over and over, pondering it in about thirty different ways. When I finally let it rest, my eyes refusing to blink it into reality anymore, I drift off and dream about what I would have said to her had we both enough time and energy to relate beyond the moment on the yuppie filled sidewalk.

In the morning, the memory is dull and unpixelated. Around 10 am, a boy is disrupting his whole class excaliming at the top of his lungs that he had a dream about a monster and a shark and he called for his mother. I’m practicing active listening, asking him about the shark and his mother (in hushed tones, modeling respect for his exasperated maestra). Back in the hallway, he asks if I ever have dreams and I reply, “Of course I do!” I send him back to class – he’s ready to focus on his maestra now – and I walk toward another room, preparing for another light intervention. Of course I do.

I wonder if he and his mother ever have the same dreams? My mother and I once had very similar recurring dreams when I was younger. I attributed the coincidence to some sort of mother-daughter connection or, to my heightened level of awareness of the world. I was a bored and stoned teenager eager for meaning, which meant everything related to me somehow. The dream that we shared, of being on a stone jetty while the ocean hammered away at it, was scary and powerful. I believed that I was facing something, coming to terms with it. In the dark dark nights at South Jetty, high as a kite on ghost weed, I wondered to myself if in fact there had been a time when we had both been on a jetty, fearing for our lives?

Of course, I had feared for my life many a time on or near jetties. Once while swimming in an undertow ( I was saved by a surfer and my dad, with no real comprehension of the physical danger I was in), another time when I had jumped off South Jetty (again, enter weed ) and my leg hit a rock because I had not jumped out far enough and, of course my 19th birthday at El Capitan, night swimming with friends. One by one they got out of the water, warning that the waves would soon get big. It was my brother who waded in to convince me to come ashore. Moments after we got out, the waves were higher than anyone had expected and they pounded the beach for an epic seven minutes. I know my mom used to go to the beach in highschool and watch the waves and play guitar. I know somehow that there’s a connection.

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