In the mist of drunken invulnerability that comes to one as first semester freshman in college, I had a lovely dream one November’ Saturday night. There were people all around mingling, enjoying themselves. I was with someone. The being seemed like an middle-aged man wearing a sky blue robe. His demeanor was calm and respectful. He gently lead me to an antique couch where my high school girlfriend was sitting.
I was head over heels for her in high school, even though she did not seem to share the same level of emotional intensity in the relationship that I did. After being together for a years or so, she broke up with me. But I was (and will always be) madly in love with her even though I always left like there was a block between us. It was like she didn’t believe me or just couldn’t go there with me.
Elation filled me as I recognized her on that sofa. It had been months since I had seen or talked to her. Sitting down, looking at her, all the love that I felt for her well up in my being. As we spoke on that sofa, that block was gone. I got to feel us connect, truly connect like I had always wanted.
After there was nothing left to say and we had emptied our hearts to each other, we kissed, a gentle kiss that was a long time in the making. Then, suddenly she got up and was lead away, to a place that I couldn’t see or maybe not allowed to and the dream ended.
The next morning I woke up bent on getting in touch with her. I was still on cloud nine, content that even if it was only a dream, we shared a moment. All that unexpressed emotion was finally off my chest and she finally felt what I had to share with her.
However, later that Sunday, I got a phone call from my sister telling me Lindsay had died of an overdose the night before.
I don’t remember much of what happened in the two days after that, I didn’t cry or grieve. My mind was reeling from the cosmic coincidence of the dream and the sense of blame I felt knowing that had we been together, she would not have died. I wandered around campus dissociated from my surroundings and feelings. Some sweet, random girl from one of my classes asked me if I was okay. The emotional damn broke and my legs gave out as I collapsed in the weight of my feelings.
This experience became the cornerstone of the temple I would build to the unknown.
To me, this was undeniable evidence that there’s something going on. I didn’t know what, but something. No one could tell me it was just my imagination and that dreams did not have meaning. No one was going to take that experience away from me.
Many years later, after getting over my misplaced guilt, I became extremely grateful that I was able to say goodbye her. She died 20 years ago almost to the day as I write this. Rest in peace Lindsay.