I’d been thinking about J on and off during the past week, a typical melange of, “How long has it been?” blended with “I wonder what he’s up to?”
Easy math answered how long, coughing up thirty-four years. I choked on a “wow” response as tangent thoughts about his children’s ages and lives bounced through. Thirty-four years since I’d heard or seen him, thirty-four years since I’d heard anything about him.
These thoughts boiled into my dreams, bringing a visit from him in a dream last night.
I was in a steel, glass, and concrete complex. Dust motes surfed wind currents as people walked along the corridor. Hot, I squinted against sunshine through the windows. I thought, it’s winter outside, but it’s so hot an stuffy in here. Then I paused, looking ahead at an intersection.
His back was to me but I knew it was him. “J,” I said, increasing my stride. As he turned, I caught up, but we didn’t close the distance.
Always a smiling person, even when pissed off, he was smiling and much, much younger in my dream than when I knew him. “Where you been?” I said.
With the smile hanging on his face, he said, “It’s okay, I’ve moved on.” Giving me a wave and a shit-eating grin, he walked on down the corridor, leaving me behind.
Awakening, I wondered what that was all about, and whether this was a signal that he’d died. I searched for him through social media this morning, but he has a common name. Not the first time I’ve search for him, but it was the same results.
Not surprising. He didn’t trust computers as they were emerging. He didn’t really trust society and the government. Buying and stashing gold and silver coins in a safety deposit box, he planned to buy a large plot of land after he retired.
We’d always had good times together, and we’d work well as a team. A few years older than me, a survivor of the Vietnam war (although served in Thailand), I wish him well, whatever he’s doing, and wherever he is.