In Memoriam

Open letter to some unknown person out there on the internet

The dream I had last night ...

Last night I dreamt about Ed. He was a high school friend to whom I once felt very close. The relationship was always a platonic one because I kept it that way. Ed would have liked it if I had been interested in something more. But I was always wary of that.

Ed was a talented musician and entertainer. Brilliant and sharp but with a cutting sense of savage black humor that spared no one although it was a long time before he ever used it on me. He used drugs sometimes. Was in many relationships with women. Was married several times but I don't know how many. Verbally abused the one wife that I knew and physically abused at least one girlfriend according to the artist fellow who is now married to her. I witnessed his treatment of a band member one night where he screamed at her at length to tell her what a bad job he thought she'd done in their gig that night.

In 1982 or '83 I visited Ed in New York. My marriage was falling apart. Ed made a suggestion that maybe if I went around the house without underwear on, that the marriage would improve. I suggested to Ed that his suggestion was a tad sexist and that the problem was a lot more serious than that. Ed went berserk at my saying that he could make a sexist remark and after he finished berating the woman musician that night, we had a fight that went on for about 4 hours.

Ed and I haven't seen each other since 1984 when I took my now husband to see Ed play in a night club. That was when Ed made one of his savage black "humor" suggestions about what he would have liked to have done when I was pregnant with my daughter. My now husband was horrified.

A few years ago I discovered Ed on the internet again and emailed him. When I updated him on my life and told him that I had married the person I'd introduced him to, Ed stopped speaking to me.

Last night I dreamt about Ed. We were visiting together in a house that I don't recognize. He was warm and friendly and affectionate. He couldn't have been more warm. He told me that he'd missed me and asked me to marry him. (There was nothing in the dream about my current life of being happily married to my second husband.) We hugged and I thought about it. I considered it! Then I woke up. Literally. I woke up and remembered the dream and wondered why the heck I would even think for more than a millisecond of marrying Ed!

Then, of course, I knew why I had had that dream. Dream as metaphor. We wish things to be different but sometimes things are the way that they are for good reason. We wish that people we loved and cared for also loved and cared for us. We wish that people we cared about would never be abusive. We wish that those we loved would be loving and warm and that we'd all ride off into that golden sunset together. We wish that things were not as they are with some people. We wish for the rosy Kinkade fantasy of a warmth and love that is just not possible in some relationships. Even though we might have made our heads bloody by knocking them into walls trying to figure out why it isn't that way. Our knocking our heads into walls keeps us from enjoying the relationships in our lives that really are warm and enjoyable and loving. Our true loved ones watch in dismay as we knock ourselves out, trying to figure out why when the truth is there all along and we just need to admit it and put our energies into the relationships in our lives that are good.

Marry Ed? Why that would be like getting back together with my daughter! I might as well just stick a sharp fork in my foot. It would be quicker, less agonizing, and I could take the fork back out and be done with that.

After thinking about the dream and realizing what it meant, I said the Serenity Prayer to myself.

God grant me the Serenity to accept what I cannot change;
The courage to change what I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.


I wrote about Ed in March 2004 here: My Estrangement from Ed



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