My Dad was a special guest star in my dreams last night. I was a teenager in all of them, not really surprising, because that’s the era of my life that I saw the most of him, as I lived with him for three years after things became dark and unpleasant with Mom’s husband. Then I graduate from high school and left home.
In one memorable part of the dream, Dad and I were following a young tabby cat. The cat had gone down a sidewalk. I hurried after him, and discovered him rolling around on the cement walk in some freshly cut grass.
After that, the dream scenes fluttered and crackled. There was Dad and I driving in a car, and I’m looking out the window, checking out passing scenery. We throw a baseball back and forth in sunshine. I hear his laugh. Dad enjoys laughing.
The dreams grew darker and faster in nature. Then, suddenly, it became “This Is Your Life” from when I was in my mid-teens.
Life wasn’t going well. Most of my time was spent reading books, riding my bike, playing sports, drawing and painting, and listening to music. Although I enjoyed math, history, science, and literature, school was a bore. I was becoming a loner and acted out out a lot, and the dream managed to feature sharp memories of that era. In one sequence, a boy two years younger than me was riding a bike. A bunch of us children were in front of his house on a late summer afternoon. We weren’t doing much but hanging. I think I was fourteen. This kid, though, was riding around and bantering with others. Then I heard my sister say, “He spit on me.”
I don’t believe I’d ever reacted as fast to anything in my life, and I have always, from childhood on to even now, been known for amazingly fast reflexes.
He was riding his bike by me. My hand shot out, caught the rear of his bike and jerked it back, pulling it out from under him. As he fell free, I tossed the bike to one side, stepped forward, grabbed the kid, and hauled him to his feet. I told him he needed to apologize to my sister. I remember that other kids there were freaked out and afraid I was going to do something terrible to the kid. But he apologized to my sister. I released him. He took his bike and ran to his house.
His mother came out and confronted me. I was unapologetic. I told her nobody was going to spit on my sister while I was there. She didn’t know her son had spit on my sister. That changed things.
The scene was just a brief flash in my dream, the part where my sister said, “He spit on me,” and I grabbed his bike. I remembered the rest, along with other memories from that period, after awakening.
The whole dream and memory sequence left me emotionally shaken as I went about my morning routine. As I wondered why I’d dreamed so much about my father and childhood, I reached out to him to ensure he was okay.