T: Amazing Husband ST: Three-year-old Wonder Prof. G: Advisor I Prof. C: Advisor II Julie: Stylish Sister Rob: Awesome Brother Belle: Our Cat Bill: Grumbling BIL Rita: Uncomplicated SIL SMU: Smallish Midwestern University Doctoral University: where I got my Ph.D.
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Quote of the Day
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Many years ago, before I met T, I developed an intense friendship with someone I'll call "Jim." Jim and I met in high school when he was a junior and I was a senior. Our friendship was unconventional in that, in the early months of it, we rarely spoke to one another even though we saw each other every day. We communicated by letter -- long, lovely letters that were sometimes stuck in one another's lockers, sometimes delivered by other friends, sometimes sent via the USPS. These letters were the sort that you keep forever, that capture a part of life that you can never recreate, that, when reread, instantly transport you back to your old self. I still have them all -- an entire crate full of them, spanning several years -- and in fact I actually jumped into a dumpster to retrieve them once after my Dad unknowingly threw them out. They are a vital part of my past; in fact, one of my favorite parts.
To say that Jim and I loved each other was an understatement. We tried to date for a few weeks, but found that our relationship was so powerful that dating seemed to cheapen it. I loved him because he was quirky, smart, a gentleman, and because he seemed to flourish when I was with him. I really feel that I helped him come into his own, to realize that he was a vibrant person capable of anything. I know without a doubt that he would, to this day, say that I was an absolute necessity in his life at one point. And he was a necessity in mine. And I suppose that's why my relationship with him was never destined for any sort of permanency.
We had an unspoken falling out several years ago. I met him for breakfast after not seeing or corresponding with him for a long time, and the intensity of feeling (not even love -- I'm not sure what it was) I once had for him was simply gone. Gone. In fact, I found him to be exactly the kind of person I didn't ever think he would be: arrogant, over-confident, annoying. All he wanted to talk about was himself and his accomplishments, and how he was smarter than the woman he was dating at the time. He never once asked about my life, my marriage, my accomplishments, and I didn't feel like sharing them with him.
I have not spoken with him since 2001. We didn't have an argument or anything -- I just stopped returning his emails and letters. He doesn't even know I have a son.
However, the past few nights have been filled with horrible dreams about him. In the dreams I know he is suffering but I don't know why. In my dreams he is asking me for help, and I am unable to help him for some reason. The dreams are vivid and stay with me for the rest of the day. I'm not one to put much stock in dreams, but these are the most intense dreams I have ever had and I'm not sure why I'm having them. I haven't given Jim so much as a passing thought for several, several years. (And when I have thought of him, my thoughts are of the disappointment I feel that he has turned into such a jerk.)
I'm not sure where he lives. I know he's a doctor somewhere. I have no information about his life. And yet I feel compelled by these dreams to contact him, to make sure he's OK. Part of me wants to do it, and yet a larger part of me wants to let it go -- I would rather hold on to the sweet memories I have of him than stir up the bad ones and add to them. Very frustrating.