I had a dream…
That one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it’s creed…
No, wait. That was Martin Luther King. Though that IS a hell of a dream.
Mine was actually a bit different. It was last night. And the dream went a little something like this…
I was dreaming that I met up with a girl I knew in university. It was present day. She was married and pregnant.
Maybe I should give a little backstory.
Picture it… Sicily, 1931.
Actually it was Halifax, Nova Scotia… 1992.
My overuse of ellipseseses hadn’t begun yet.
I was living in The Apartment with my BFFs. (Wouldn’t they be BFsF?)
It was September and a bright-eyed Peter was attending Dalhousie University. Mihkel Mathiesen had just assumed presidency of the Pre-WWII Republic of Estonia, in exile. Right Said Fred recently reminded us that we were all considerably too sexy for our shirts. And I was about to see HER for the first time.
As I plunked down into my seat in this small, horseshoe-shaped classroom, I instinctively looked up to see what other suckers were here at 8:30 am on a Monday. She was seated directly across from me. She was petite, blonde, and had a pony tail sticking out through the back of her baseball cap.
I knew I was in trouble.
I also knew that my classroom attendance was going to be the best it ever was from this point on.
I don’t remember what class it was, but I’ll never forget the first time I saw her smile at a friend sitting next to her.
You may not know this, but an interesting fact about the North American Peter, is that historically he could not talk to women that he really like liked. A girl he just liked was no problem. He could be confident, funny, maybe even charming on a good day. But, if he was really interested, his brain shut down and no words came out. Needless to say, that wasn’t really handy.
A few days later, my friend and I were in some kind of meeting. A large group of our classmates were there. She walked in with her friend and they sat directly across from us. Immediately my buddy leans in to me and whispers, “We must have them. Which one do you want?” Without hesitating, I whisper, “Blonde!” He smiles. He wanted the buxom brunette all along.
You gotta love “dibs.” I often wonder if Paleolithic man ever sat around the fire with his homies saying, “See woman with only a little brontosaurus burger mashed into hair? Dibs!”
Okay, you got me, I’ve never actually wondered that. Way to ruin a story. Jerk.
I hope that P-Lith and his boys were better at respecting the time-honoured tradition than my friend was, because after 6 months of no progress, he said to me, “You know, I think I want the blonde now.”
It turned out that she was in quite a few of my classes. And somehow I managed to increase my GPA that semester, even though I spent the majority of my time staring at her. I would catch myself doing it – so obviously she and others could too – but I just couldn’t stop myself. I’d be thinking, “Dude… you are doing it again. STOP. You are staring. You look like a fool. Stop it now. Okay, that’s it. I’m going for a slice of pizza. You are on your own, fucko. *Homeresque footsteps walking away*”
Then one day I looked up from my notes and she was staring at me. Of course I looked to see if anyone interesting was sitting to either side of me, or if I had something hanging from my nose. Nope and nope.
Without thinking, I smiled a half-smile at her. She smiled back. I heard violins. Possibly violas.
So, every day we’d stare at each other. This went on for quite a while. Then one day we both left at the same time, from different doors, and our paths crossed. I stopped. She stopped. I said, “Hi.” She smiled and said “Hi.”
Then I started walking again.
If I could meet up with Past Peter right now I’d give him such a punch in the kidneys.
Do I regret walking away? Absolutely.
Would I do it differently if given another chance? Without question.
Do I realize that I am talking like Robert Evans? You better believe it.
One day I realized that a dude I was working on a group project with had gone to high school with her. I immediately asked about her situation. Apparently she had been dating the same guy forever and they were “practically engaged.” I was crestfallen. You know, if crestfallen is latin for “punched in the cherries.”
For the next couple of years we’d stare off and on in class. Our paths would cross at various Commerce Society events. Including one night when a bunch of us were looking for something to do and she offered a joking suggestion of “We could all go skinnydipping at Chocolate Lake.” It was met with silence until I offered up, “Yeeeah, I’m hanging out with HER tonight.”
She was even a waitress in my favourite place to eat in the city. An insanely cute woman bringing me delicious chicken fingers. Now THAT, my friends, was living. For some reason, whenever she waited on me, I tipped like a drunken Frenchman. Actually I don’t know if the French are good tippers. I know that it wasn’t like a drunken Scotsmen. I kid, I kid. It’s not right to generalize based on unfair stereotypes. That’s something Belgians would do.
Okay, back to the dream. You had totally forgotten, right?
So, in the dream she and I had met up. We were chatting like old friends. She was pregnant and not feeling well and wanted a drive home. I’m not sure where we were, but I immediately volunteered.
(A weird part about this dream is that I actually woke up, popped a couple of sinus pills, then fell back asleep and continued it. )
I go to get my dream car and it is blocked in by some jerkass. So, I start looking for an alternate means of transport. I am frantically asking everyone. Eventually a friend lends me a car and I go back to get her.
I am carrying her bags and heading towards the door, with her in front of me, when a dude walks along and knocks a hat off of her head. (She hadn’t been wearing a hat moments before.) I pick up her hat and put it on her head, and just want to get her home. But, she is enraged. She takes off after the guy and slaps him in the face. He says something rude to her. So, I sigh and put down her bags. I take off my jacket and walk over, ready to punch him in the face, so that I can get her home.
Suddenly he starts getting really excited. It turns out that he is some kind of deviant masochist who gets off on getting pummeled by strangers. She and I are both creeped out, and I grab her bags and usher her towards the door.
Once outside, we are walking towards the car when she doubles over with a contraction. I put my arm around her and start consoling her.
Then I wake up.
What the hell?
I wonder if this says something about who I am that I immediately wanted to be her “white knight.” Maybe we should REALLY delve into this deeply right now. I should just bare my soul and —
Oooops. I didn’t realize how long this had gotten. Oh well. Perhaps another time.
Crap. I just thought of something. What if she had been unhappy in her relationship way back then and I really did have a chance?
Past Peter, you’ve screwed me again. Damn you, you spineless handsome bastard!