My dreams have been mundane and ordinarily random the last few weeks. In the most recent one a cigar toting alligator paused in front of me to ask for a light and before I know it he and I are wandering through convoluted adventures. I didn’t catch a trace of Sarah anywhere we went. She is no longer there to be found.
My real life has been chugging along just fine. Jen and I are still together and she has even introduced me to her friends. Something I wish hadn’t happened because in truth her friends are terrible. Which is not something you can say to the girl you are dating; even if it is the truth. I guess I should give an example. The first time I met her best friend Ally and her boyfriend Ben we went out for dinner. It was a place that I have always loved and the little Asian family that owns it are proud of the establishment. The food is good and they are always happy to see me. Everyone who has ever been there with me has thought it was a great place. It is small and not fancy but between the pride of the owners and the quality of the food it is a pleasant eating experience. Except for that night; all her friends could do was ridicule and complain about everything. At one point Ally thought it would be fun to mimic the accent. I have never considered myself P.C. but I was mortified and wanted to stop her in the eye with a chopstick. I was absolutely offended by their behavior and felt the need to apologize profusely for a week afterwards. Which meant that I went to their restaurant for lunch and ate for 7 days; between bites of food I apologized. It was the most pleasant apology experience I have ever had. They were still happy to see me every time but I think in all honesty they were happy I came alone.
Jen apologized to me and claimed it was the pre-dinner drinks that had caused the behavior I had been scandalized by. I decided to take her word for it because Jen seems relatively sane. After last night’s bowling event I am having my doubts about her ability to judge a person’s character. There were a group of ten of us; evenly divided between her friends and mine. It started out a little awkwardly but a few pitchers later everything seems amicable. Until I noticed that they had failed to chip in on any of the pitchers but were drinking most of the beer. I am all for buying pitchers and allowing people to drink with me and even get the extras beer or two on me but I need them to pitch in as well. It is an unwritten rule of hanging out as a group; everyone takes a turn buying a pitcher. My side of the bowling group had all bought a pitcher at some point and we suddenly had run dry. So I asked “Whose turn is it to get a pitcher?” The only response was silence and I felt like I needed to say something. My sarcastic friend Mike, knowing I was already on edge about Jen’s friends, decided to just buy the next pitcher and stop me from saying anything. Which, in reality, has only delayed the inevitable. I could feel my irritation building and knew I needed to call it a night and as the beer was passed around I declined.
I kissed Jen on the cheek at the last frame, made some excuse about a meeting early in the morning and took off; followed closely by my friends. We ended up back at my place and everyone discussed what had happened. Nobody had left with a very good impression of her friends and only I was the one irritated by the pitcher situation. Mike’s wife had not been comfortable with how Ally had spoken to the kid working behind the bowling counter. Mike had not liked little side comments said into his back as he went up to bowl. Steve had been irritated by the general conduct of her friends and his wife Susan could only say “I didn’t like them but not for any concrete reason.” Susan likes everybody and her admitting she did not like someone is kind of unheard of. If she were ever carjacked she would still not be able say that the guy was a jackass. Something was wrong with Jen’s friends and I was less sure of who Jen was.
When I had calmed down and everyone had left I tried to sleep. I wanted to find Sarah and talk to her. I wanted her to be there by my side in the dream. She always had good insights and could get at what the real problem was that I was facing. She would listen and when I was done she would point out things I had not paid attention to that were important clues. Then she would ask me questions that got to the heart of the matter and helped me figure out what to do. Of course I wanted her by my side for more than just her insight. It occurred to me as I lay there that asking Sarah about Jen’s friends did not seem right somehow. Then I just started thinking about her. I wondered if she still wore her engagement ring. I wondered if she ever smiled when she thought of me. I also wondered if she had manifested in someone else’s dreams.
That was when the dream started; the one with the crocodile. He told me to stop looking and to work on getting my head in order. He said “No one wants someone who is afraid to go after what he wants. You should have stopped her before she left. If you really loved her you would have.” His advice continued as I followed him through confusing dreamscapes. He told me that what is going to happen will and my job was to be ready. Then he bit off my hand. For some odd reason I still followed him around like we were friends.