And in this dream I had a dream…
It is a crisp, clean and warm Spring day. No clouds mar the amazingly blue East Texas sky. Marvin and I are wearing t-shirts and shorts because we can; in another month the heat and humidity will demand it.
We have left his house and are now driving down a quiet, country road in his rather large convertible. Rich, a friend of his, is working outside his house as we pass and Marvin calls to him, though not stopping. Thirty seconds or so later I interrupt the still talking Marvin to ask him why he is, in fact, still talking. It is obvious Rich can no longer hear him.
In an instant I know the reality of my situation. I know I am dreaming and that knowledge alone should have awakened me, yet I am still in the dream. So I ask him. A little angry and more than a little sad, I ask him why he chose to leave his wife and one month-old son for a useless trip to Louisiana. I ask him why he chose not to stay overnight and come back in the morning.
I ask him why he died that night twenty-three years ago.
That, at least, is what I intended to ask Marvin, my best friend from high school. But I was so overcome with emotion that I only managed a single “why” before the dream fragmented and was gone. I awoke with lingering sadness and sense of loss not only for my friend, but I felt I had missed an opportunity for discovery, or maybe closure.
It would be a while before I realized I was still dreaming.