Two of my friends wrote me this morning independently.
They both shared the same thing, that they had dreamed about me last night.
One said that I was just as mesmerizing and charismatic in her dreams as I was in person. The other alluded to how I can be just as charming and kind in dream as I was in real life. In both messages, the sentiment was roughly the same; the same power they felt around me when they were in my life was the power they felt still in their dreams.
I found the entire concept fascinating but it was one I had heard before. That there was something about me, some inexplicable feeling, that je ne sais quoi of being that made me stand out from others in a way that was almost impossible to ignore. There was some truth there.
Inside of me was an odd mixture of creatures, where I had power and strength that was difficult to match, but where I also felt almost overwhelming sadness, shame, and fear of a world that could not be overcome. The latter came from my past and most of the time I could beat it down, presenting to the world only the self which was who I am. The former was sometimes so intense that I had a tendency to overwhelm people. I could be taken only in small doses, for too much of me became an overwhelming quandary, and addiction that was difficult to shake. I could become addicted to this same quality in other people as well. I sought it out in those people that I became closest to, the strange subtle blend of almost choking power that had under it just the finest hint of the fear they really felt. I was drawn to those who were so like me. This was not everyone, to be sure, and not even all my friends, but some, those who are conflicted like me. They had the strongest hold on me and they hurt me the hardest when I felt our mutual entanglements becoming fractured.
Getting over the loss of those people who balanced the varied parts of my self was as painful as death. My grief moved from inconsolable to (finally) friendly remembrance, but underneath was always a deep sadness. For a while I found it hard to trust at all until slowly, eventually, by accident I ran into someone else who has those same qualities and if the fates aligned I allowed myself to repeat the entire process over again.
I dreamed most nights of single people. The qualities of those individuals remained the same, but the faces change.
In my dreams of myself I am only the person who I really am: exposed, small, and terrified of the world; I seek out a protection that I shall never have, because the world does not believe I need to be protected. I drown in the projection of power upon me until I sink and there is nothing more.
Lately my dreams of people I have lost intermingled with my two greatest fears: the storm and the flood. The storm and the flood. The flood was the worst because it rose and rose and I could neither control nor outpace it. It came slowly sometimes, swiftly others, like a tidal wave. I might start the dream with people, but in the end it was always me alone with the water. The storms were difficult: tornadoes that would chase me. Tornadoes on the horizon spinning Tornadoes waiting. Sometimes they hunted me, sometimes they separated me, sometimes they carried way those I love.
Lately I dreamed I was drowning as the eyes of those I missed the most at the moment stood on the shore and watched.
Perhaps I was heartened that my friends had better dreams of me.