Wednesday, January 01, 2014
paging dr. freud
What were we doing?
Celebrating New Year's Day? Thanksgiving? The end of hostilities between Rome and Carthage?
When the subconscious creates these scenarios, temporal context usually ends up sitting in the hallway outside the writers' room. The reason is never as important as the celebration itself.
There I was. At dinner with seven other men of my age. All dressed for dinner. Traveling alone on this exquisitely-appointed small cruise ship without their wives.
Of course, the conversation was witty. Ivor Novello and Noel Coward would have felt at home. Inevitably, when women are not part of a conversation, the wit degenerates to gossip and then to mining the depths of boredom.
I excused myself.
If time is a stranger to reality in the mind, so is set continuity. When I stepped out of the compact dining room, I was in a hallway with the dimensions of the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles. On a cruise ship.
And at the other end stood Linda. You have met her -- in my diane keaton. She is one of several on the list of "Women I Should Have Married."
As you already know, that relationship did not end well. As I walked across the full length of the crystalled hallway, Linda showed no emotion. None. As if I were as invisible as our shared history.
My head can shock me at times. Instead of saying anything, I kissed her. Not in the way you kiss your grandmother. But in the way you kiss when life may actually hold other possibilities.
She looked at me, and said in her best Mississippi belle accent: "Sir, I don't kiss strangers."
Me: "I'm sorry. For everything."
(And that is a perfect example of why no one has ever received a literary award for dream dialog. There are no re-writes while the story unfolds.)
The next thing I knew we were being served all forms of chocolate concoctions by liveried footmen. (Apparently, the cruise ship had actually been replaced by Versailles.)
Linda loved chocolate. It is one of my least favorite tastes. But I indulged. For her.
And, as happens every night, the play in my head was replaced by the habits of morning. Leaving me content.
My blogger pal Jennifer Rose over at Red Shoes are Better than Bacon has set a goal that I do 2 of 3 things in 2014: 1) move to the highlands, 2) get a dog, 3) get a wife. My prediction is that I will come up short on all three.
What I do have is a bag of memories. Where my ancestors once lived in the highlands of Scotland. Where I was owned by one of the best dogs in history -- Professor Jiggs. And where I have find memories of relationships that are still a part of who I am.
And who could ask for anything better as we launch ourselves into 2014?
Fasten your seat belts. And let's see how much adventure we can pack into the next 52 weeks.