Friday meditation: On dreams of old friends (a parable)

Last night I dreamt of an old friend. I had popped my head into a shop despite my reticence about window shopping. It was something I never did. There among the sweaters I saw my old friend.

“Jules!,” a young man cried out to another, as if it’d been years since they’d seen each other. Looking at each other as we overhead this uncanny exchange, my old friend and I laughed.

He and his wife– “his second wife Mary,” he self-corrected–were wedding planners. They were in town for the weekend. I could just make out what looked like assistants coming in and out of the background. I could see that he was busy.

*

Rumor had it that my old friend had married a woman named Sophie and then changed his last name to hers in order to “spite his parents.” This would have been a few years ago. They had cut old ties and moved out west.

*

A few weeks ago, I Googled my old friend’s name. He and Sophie had signed up for a baby registry.

*

Five years ago, I received a note from my old friend. He wrote of “aggressive action” and of taking “necessary actions.” He had recorded phone conversations, over 50, he said, all well-documented, he said. It was all very frightening. Before this, I hadn’t spoken to him for 6 months.

I wrote a reply, but he did not answer. My girlfriend and I spoke to some psychiatrist friends to see what they could make of it. They had their diagnoses.

Meanwhile, my old friend had disappeared. I haven’t heard from him since.

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