Before I attempt to recollect the details of the dream I had last night, I should tell you about Hazel.
(No, not that Hazel.)
I will refer to her as such because she has the most amazing hazel eyes... and also because she might be reading this, though I haven't seen her 'round here in many moons. Hazel is a brilliant writer, introspective and poetic. She was one of my first blogging friends, and in fact we often e-mailed each other back when I was a file clerk with too much time on my hands. I nearly got fired because of it. I wish I had.
Hazel and I didn't have a lot in common, and I felt awkward around her at first.. but we eventually found a rhythm and for a time I became quite comfortable corresponding with her. She was thoughtful and candid, and validated me in a way that no one else in my life was interested in doing. There used to be a Facebook page called "Intelligent, classy, well-educated women who say 'fuck' a lot." That was Hazel.
Alas, part of what made her intriguing was that she so often disappeared, deleting her blog without warning and then reappearing under a different name some months later. It's been a while since I've heard from her. I'll not be surprised if this post lures her out of hiding..
It was a cold, dreary dusk at the docks, though the weather and the atmosphere were out of sync. Music was playing, and lights were flashing, and people were milling about the blacktop. A carnival without rides, as it were.
I turned right at the food stands and spun around when I heard her voice. Her long, curly hair was hastily tied in a loose pony, falling down on the light gray hoodie that seemed to inflate her upper body. "Heeyyy!" I said as I approached her. As we converged, the time apart became obvious in our awkward sort-of hug, which we tried to shrug off. "Whatever." She smiled. "How are you?"
Walking and talking ensued. Making up for lost time was such a pleasant experience, I had forgotten why we hadn't spoken in so long.
Hazel got hungry, and I offered to buy her an ice cream cone at one of the food stands. Side note: that's all there seemed to be at the docks. Food, and lots of it. Second side note: why did we want ice cream when it was so raw and chilly outside?
I approached the ice cream booth and asked for two cones. I was handed an orange creamsicle and told to hold on while the faceless person opened another carton. I ducked my head into the booth for some reason, and gasped at the frightening image on the back of the carton - a dark green Wicked Witch mock-up of Hillary Clinton. "Here you go," said the ice cream server.
I took my second cone - Hazel's cone - and proceeded past the booth. Right in front of me there was a long metal opening for what appeared to be a laundry chute. I took Hazel's cone and chucked it up the chute. Then I kept walking. Away from the action. Away from her.
Night had fallen. I felt no remorse for leaving Hazel behind. The more I thought about our partisan political divide the more emboldened I felt. I kept walking, down the lively, well-lit streets. The long, looong way 'round the docks.
As I turned a corner I heard singing. There was an African-American woman performing a heartfelt rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time". Side note: I'm pretty sure I know why that specific track popped into my subconscious...
I took a step or two past the singer but then retreated to her. A conservative would never do this, I thought. And so I sat on the concrete ledge nearby and listened for a while. She had changed some of the lyrics to reflect some personal abuse, though I wondered if she might have felt as I did - lost, hopeless, and abused by an increasingly cruel world.
Eventually I had to go back to the docks. I'm not really sure why. Guilt, maybe? The crowd had cleared out by then. It was well after midnight, perhaps as late as 2am. I knew Hazel was long gone. Had I deserted her? Was she upset? Angry? Would she ever speak to me again?
The entrance to the docks was a sloping hill of rocky pavement. I skipped down as cautiously as could be. There was a message written in red Twizzler on the ground in front of me:
see you on the 13th
I honestly have no idea what that means. My subconscious didn't seem to know, either. But the guilt began to crystallize as I awoke: She still wanted to see me. She still wanted to be friends with me. I was the asshole letting our differences come between us, not her.
I have to face the in-laws this coming weekend. Maybe this dream is telling me that I should try to be more tolerant, instead of judging them all as vile, racist money-grubbers. Maybe conservatives aren't all bad. Maybe I should just be the bigger person and be nice to them.
(But why does it always have to be us?)
p.s. I did not stop speaking to Hazel for political reasons - or any other reason, for that matter. In this dream she's symbolic of anyone in my life that I'm discarding and dismissing like that green death-flavored ice cream cone. Also, I dont think these overtones were completely political.. some of this is just me, missing that feeling of meeting up with a friend and having a conversation.