I had a very vivid dream last night about my high-school sweetheart, Chris. It was so absorbing that I woke up even before my alarm clock went off just by opening my eyes suddenly, and realized I hadn't moved all night. This is highly unusual for me, i'm a tosser and turner. When I closed my eyes again I went right back into the dream.
Basically, the dream was about Chris and I rediscovering each other now. It was this weird morph between the present and how we were in high school. Like he still lived in his parents' house but he had his own "wing" so it was kind of private. His little brother still snooped around trying to spy on us. His mom and sister were still sugary sweet to me b/c somehow they sensed I was the best thing that was ever gonna happen to him. Sorry, but it's TRUE!!! Anyway, in the dream I spent the night with him in his "wing", just an innocent sleepover type of thing, nothing seedy. BUT I had stayed without telling my parents where I was and they had worried about me all night. And they were furious in the morning when they found out where I was. They called and told his mom they were coming to pick me up. Pick me up????? I felt all kinds of guilt and stress and then indignation, because I kept thinking "I'm 35 years old, how can you POSSIBLY tell me what to do??" They even grounded me in the dream, and I was yelling, "That's impossible! I have my own house. How are you gonna know??" Then the scene flips to my house, only it wasn't really my house -- you know how it is in dreams. I'm frantically trying to clean it up b/c Chris is coming to visit and I want to impress him. That's about the extent of the dream, but it's much more the feelings than the actions that have been haunting me today.
Being with him again felt very comfortable. We slipped right back into our relationship, where he was like my best friend again. Only somehow we were on a level playing field now. He was really grown-up and mature and "got" me. But I didn't want to tell anyone yet that we were back together because I knew I'd have to defend the decision (as I did over and over again back in the day...over...and over...........and......over........).
The reality? Last I heard, Chris had been re-deployed into the Air Force, and lives on a base in Florida with his 3rd wife and their 2 kids. And that was pretty recent. I'm pretty confident that if we really were to bump into each other now, the attraction would be minimal. I mean, if we were in different worlds in HIGH SCHOOL, we'd really be out of sync now.
I think the main thing that has been following me today is that "safe", familiar feeling. Which is wrong, because he cheated his ass off on me pretty much all through high school. But hey, he always came back so somehow it was ok - ??? So why do I still associate him with security? Is it because we grew up together? We learned about first love and all the hurt that goes with it at such a young age? I think it is. I think that because he knew me then, he really knew me, that he somehow holds some of me still, some of that "old" Lisa I can't find anymore. Don't get me wrong, I'm fine the way things are -- but I guess I get a little nostalgic thinking about how untainted and trusting I was back then. I still believed that love could conquer everything, that love was all that mattered. In a way, Chris has been the only guy in my life to ever truly know me, the only one who got all of me, because after him I stopped trusting. After him I was always suspicious. I have always held back parts of myself since then.
It is possible, then, that he's the only guy to ever know the "real" me. Maybe that's the mystique and why he still shows up in my dreams every now and then. Maybe I imagine that if we met now, he would be able to give me a clue as to who I used to be. He might remind me of a more innocent time when I still had a lot of hope and faith in the future. (Not that I think of the future as a mind-numbing abyss now, but I no longer assume ANYTHING. It's all up for grabs.) Chris and I learned a LOT of life lessons together. He has profoundly affected me and all of my relationships since. Not in a bad way necessarily, but definitely in a way.
I wonder, is everyone's first love so intense? Does everyone pour everything they have into whoever they love first, unabashedly revelling in the pure joy of being "in love"? Holding nothing back? Foolishly believing they can feel that way forever, or that every love in the future will be as thrilling?