Move Over Mary Poppins!

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Friday, November 21, 2008


Last night I had the kind of dreams that I don't remember in full, just as fragments, like photographs. These dreams usually leave me feeling disoriented and somehow estranged from my morning routine. As if I'm still in the dream, like sleepwalking.

Last night I saw a ghost. Or a memory. Or an angel. That's all I can remember. I was dreaming about a friend who's been gone for more than two years as if he was still right here in the city. A phone call away from having dinner together. He felt that close.

I think about him at the strangest times. He creeps up on me. When we were in college, I used to drive him and another dear friend home from school pretty regularly. Whenever we got caught behind a slow car (torture on the Vermont back roads we drove), he would intone from the back seat, "It's the Slowest People In The UNIVERSE!" We imagined them as shapeshifters moving from car to car to ensure you never got where you were going on schedule. I used the intonation around my Mom in subsequent years, and eventually explained its genesis back to him. She took to using it, too. Last weekend Mom and I were on our way down I-495 to do some shopping, and we were trapped behind a slow car sandwiched between two lanes of slow cars. She wondered aloud if perhaps, as a divine prank - which I agreed would be right up his alley - he was now moonlighting as the Slowest People In The UNIVERSE in his celestial spare time, just to yank my chain?

I still have his number in my cell phone and his last contact information in my address book. I cannot bring myself to delete them. Is that usual? I nearly called his old number yesterday instead of the contact above his name. Also, in dredging up the photo for the shoe post, I found his face grinning up at me from my college photo albums. It's easy enough to understand what might have triggered my dreaming; a lot of reminders about a death that still feels like such a waste and a loss that blindsided me, and my psyche's need to worry at the grief when I'm safe and sleeping.

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Blogger jen said...

I don't think it's unusual to keep his # in your cell at all. It would be more odd to hit delete, in my opinion. My hubby still has his grandmother's # in his cell - and she passed away 4 years ago.
Hugs :)

11/21/08, 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still have my friend's email addy in my box, and his number is still in the phone addy booklet. I like to see it there, and another friend's name starts with the same letter so I see it often when I write. I think it isn't strange. I think he's still around in spirit form, and many things prompt me to think of him as you do your friend. samm

11/22/08, 11:54 AM  

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