A random dream about a youthful romance last night was so pleasant, that I promptly went back to sleep and dreamt about other young loves, including the first man to steal my heart. We parted, with real regret on both sides, after two wonderful years. Many years later, we corresponded briefly and found that we both still cared. I was divorced, he was married, and that was that. But out of curiosity and spurred by my dream, I looked him up this morning on the internet. He is still living, at 84, but I didn’t go so far as to enroll and pay the fee for the program that would give me full contact information. I’d like him to know that all these years he has had a small part of my heart. Maybe it was first love but I like to think it was something deeper. When I have a moment of wishing our lives had turned out differently, I remind myself I wouldn’t have the four wonderful children and seven grandchildren that I do, and I am content. But much as I’d like him to know that, I’ll never contact him again. It wouldn’t be fair.
A few other romances, mostly brief and inconsequential, passed quickly through my dream, but brought to mind some men I’d totally forgotten about. Once again, I’m reminded that I’ve had an interesting life. I wouldn’t want you to think I went from man to man all my life. Like any young woman and then fairly young divorcee, I dated, and a few caught my fancy but not for long. After my divorce, as a single parent, I was occupied raising my children, and I feared no man would love them as I did. As for the present, I do believe romance can happen to seniors, but I’m not expecting it, wouldn’t know what to do if it arrived. I’m happy as I am—in my cottage, with my family and my work. I’ve said before that someday if I want to write a memoir I’ll have to come to grips with the fading of that dream of “Grow old along with me/The best is yet to be/ The last of life/For which the first was made.” But not now.
As for that dusty storeroom, it was at the university and connected to my position at the university press. Awake, I realized no such room ever existed. But in my dream, I had a crew from maintenance helping me—a whole crew! —and we hauled out overflowing ashtrays and cheap crockery coffee cups with solidified coffee in them. Where was the housekeeping service? But I hauled out two huge hassocks, although even in my dream I was acutely aware I have neither need nor room for them in the cottage. And I found small figurines done sort of in the style of Giacometti. There were other treasures, but I was relieved to waken and find it was all a dream.
I woke to loud, rolling thunder and a steady dripping rain. It was predicted to rain off and on all morning, and I enjoyed it. For a while, it was dark as dusk, appropriate for a rainy day. Another happy day in my cottage.