old friends

Hi Jill -

I agree with you that your friend’s disappearance is peculiar. While it is common to lose track of friends for a month or two - or even an entire year between high school and college - five years is a long time by anybody’s standards. What is more peculiar, and what contributes to your “obsession” - I think - is the fact that the disappearance occurred just as you two were beginning to move closer together in your friendship. It is clear that you, at least, felt your relationship had the potential to turn romantic. Naturally this makes you curious about the disappearing act. Did he run away? Did he deliberately deceive you? In your last dream especially, you sound a bit like a bride who was left waiting at the alter. What’s worse, the mystery still isn’t solved.

The fact that your dreams recur show that this relationship still is on your mind - though I don’t mean to imply that you think of your old friend romantically. (Married woman that you are - you clearly moved on to “other pastures” years ago). Rather, I genuinely believe it is the mystery of the disappearance that still causes your mind to wonder. The fact is that you have not had an ounce of closure on this relationship. You haven’t heard about his whereabouts though the grapevine; you haven’t heard that he is married and living in Detroit, say; you haven’t bumped into him at the mall or supermarket or in a bar. And apparently none of his or your friends know where he is either.

If I were you, even though my feelings were hurt by his disappearance, I would hesitate to try to “over-think” this situation. The truth of the matter is that you really don’t know what happened to your friend, and so therefore, you may as well give him the benefit of the doubt. He may have given you the wrong number by accident (it was a new number for him to remember) and then assumed you didn’t want to persue the relationship because “you never called him.” This scenario certainly is implied in your most recent dream. Also, considering the difficult circumstances at the time (him being thrown out of his parent’s house) I would also be concerned about what may have happened next in his life. Did he hit the road and start wandering? Did he move back in with his parents and get a job? Is he an artist in Italy now? You just don’t know.

It’s been a long time - long enough to let bygones be bygones. I wish to repeat that I don’t think, judging from the content of your dreams, that you are romantically interested in this man. According to what you say, in most of them you still are fighting over his disappearance - which is not exactly kissing passionately on a beach, for example. In light of this - seeing that it is the curiosity and not the passion that is driving you - why don’t you settle this question once and for all? Get on the phone and see if you can’t find out where your old friend went to. (A good place to start would be to call his parents). I think it’s worth giving him the benefit of the doubt one more time - even if it’s only to satisfy your own curiosity. If it turns out that two old friends get re-united - then so much the better.

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