i have been visited with unsettled dreams for the past couple of weeks that have caused me to wake early in the morning and lie there for hours, rescripting old dialogue. what is said is said, but i find it irresistibly tempting, re-occupying my 13 year old body, envisioning what that boy would have looked like courageous. in my first few years after moving away from home, i would torment myself in the revisiting, and for a very long time after, i turned to coldness and silence. i know that shame stays with you a very long time, but i always thought it was a sign of spring, that moment when the frost sublimated into warm breath.
so it seems curious to do this again, to see myself there in the basement, watching television, taking the brunt of my parents' woebegones. to stand for sunday photos forced to smile. the old fantasies about running away and changing my name come back, inexplicably, since a quarter century on, there is nothing to run from.
it conjures nicer memories, too, which adds even more textures to the weeping tableau. in the early 80s, i might have spent every hour glued to a computer if i'd had one. a friend had a commodore 64, which seemed like magic, but even then it wasn't like having the internet. i was obsessed then with model airplanes. whatever money i had working from my paper route and later my job bagging groceries was sunk into kits and glue and paint and knives. i would string the planes from the ceiling.
a friend of mine said he would probably attend the air force academy, and i later found out he did. he had perfect vision, and mine was dreadful, so it wasn't a dream i could long entertain. i remember going to his house one day and sitting in his bedroom wondering why there were no model planes. others always seem to do a very good job of living the dreams you poured your childhood into.