The hotel room is very quiet. I have a fan on in the corner to help the air conditioner work on the whole room, and because I like to have a slight breeze while I'm sleeping. The end result of this is that at night, the only sound that I hear is pretty much white noise from the fan, and I am lulled into dreamland.
Last night, I dreamed that my ex-wife came back to the 'cities for a visit, and she looked me up. We got to talking: she was married yet again, but as it turns out, her husband wasn't all that interested in her anymore, and she was unhappy. We talked about old times; there was still a lot of separation there, with both of us kind of split between wanting to see the other happy, but not too happy.
Thing is that for one brief shining moment, I remembered what it was like during the early part of our relationship. The good part, the part where I was in love with her, and she with me. And I remember that it was good, and it was real, and I miss her so very much. Or rather, I miss what she was, what we were.
We talked about what could have been, what might have been. We both realized that we wouldn't have made it together anyway, even if we had tried. There were just too many differences. It was a good kind of "you can't go home again" message, but we parted actually liking each other.
It was a little like looking at my life reflected in a different mirror. One I haven't seen for a long time. And I saw parts of my life that are truly pathetic, and was left with the feeling of many wasted years.
It was rough. Still is, when you get right down to it.
But for a brief moment, I remembered what it was like when I was head-over-heels completely-infatuated in-love with her, and it was glorious.
And today, I still have the echo of that ringing in the emptiness that was left behind, like the peal of a church bell in a long-deserted village.
So why the dream? Why point out the dissatisfaction in my life and the constant reminder that you can't change the past? I know this. I'm aware of it every freaking day that I'm alive.
It could be that I'm worried about my future. There is a big looming black hole where the road for my future goes, and I have to think that maybe the world of computer jobs will never recover, and I'm going to have to find something else to pay the bills. And really, I don't think I'm destined for the 9-to-5 world.
It could be about my relationships, and how lonely I feel in a quiet hotel room, cocooned by blankets and pillows.
It could be that it's time to make a change, but I can't see it because I've become so deeply rooted in my stodginess that it takes looking through the eyes of my ex-wife to see it.
It could mean nothing. It could simply be a way for that part of myself that loves to bring me pain for no good reason to find a new kind of pain and sadness to torture me with.
A voice inside my head tells me to forget it. Tells me that it's not worth the time it takes to dwell on it, because the past is simply gone, and I can only move forward.
And truly, my life is not as pathetic as it was made out to be. There are some very good things, most of which I am isolated from at this time. Family, friends, loving critters, and toys.
But I feel like there should be so much more.
Perhaps the isolation is key. The separation of myself from my normal environmment focuses greatly on the division of myself from the things that make me happy in the norm, and I find myself unhappy with me. I am unhappy with what I have become within myself. Like I haven't lived up to my potential.
I hate that word.
It is the word of my father.
My father, for whom nothing was ever good enough. My faher, who was determined that I would zoom through college faster than normal because I should be better than everyone else. My father, who's idea of punishment included driving me across the lake and leaving me outside all night in the winter to dig my own shelter in the snow. My father, who taught me respect and fear.
My father finally taught me to say "why bother" to what he wanted, because he always wanted more.
His ghost still haunts me, driving me into the sandpits of "not good enough". I have learned when I recognize him to tell him he is not welcome here, but he has become tricky, and now appears only in disguise.
But in reality, he is long dead, and the ghosts are merely echoes of his iron hand. I have to take responsibility for my own lessons, because they are nobody's but my own.
Or is that his ghost telling me that too?
I don't visit my father's grave. I never have. I don't see the need to. He isn't there. What is there is a box with decaying flesh and a stone with a number: a marker to a memory.
I have my own memories, and my own nightmares. I don't need to add more.