The Dream Remembered



I saw you last night, someplace other than our separate lives now. In that place, we were young, together, and we loved each other. There were no obstacles binding our true feelings. For a time beyond the confines of our different realities, we were free to talk, laugh, and share companionship with one another. Nothing taboo occurred. Nothing forbidden was allowed. We simply enjoyed each other’s company.


Though your face was as young as I last remembered, your eyes reflected a deep soul bathed in the wisdom of age. Likewise, you saw not the youthful and vibrant glow of my 17 year-old skin, but the 40 years of stored knowledge within my soul. I gently touched your cheek, simultaneously timid and anxious to prove your existence, in that place. Your fingers softly lit across my arm, sending a chill up my spine.


How could this be? What was God’s plan in allowing this to happen? Was this your deep desire, or mine? Did we ask for this impromptu encounter, in our hearts? Did you pray for me recently, or is this the result of my prayers for you, years past?


 Remembering, I looked into your eyes and knew that this was real and right, for the moment. Our embrace was not that of secret lovers. No; it was the envelope of timeless, genuine, and true friendship. I held you close, and you squeezed me in kind. I could smell the familiar scent of your hair. You delicately fit into the fold of my arms and I suddenly realized…you’ve been with me all the days of my life. It was as if no time had ever passed between us. Our friendship was as fresh in this place, as it was the day we met so many years ago. We’ve never separated.


 The moment in that place existed as a split second, but lasted for a lifetime between us. Our laughter was unabashed; free. Our conversation was honest and heartfelt, as we walked along clouds side by side. We spoke of the Lord and what He’s accomplished in our separate lives. Together, we praised Him for the fantastic enigma He is. We thanked Him for this impossible moment; this ridiculously unexplainable, and fascinatingly wonderful meeting. We thanked Him for blessing our separate families; our spouses and our children.


 That’s when the atmosphere changed. I noticed the dim fading of your eyes and the translucency of your skin. Reality beckoned; it was time to return home to where we each belonged. Just before parting ways, we shared a final warm embrace bound by the love of untainted selfish desires. No more words were spoken, but our hearts exchanged an unspoken message all their own.


‘No matter where I go in life, I’m with you and you are with me. I’ll always find you and you’ll always see me, even when I’m far away. I’ll always remember you friend.’


 Your heart responds to mine, as we step back and wave to one another. As you smile goodbye, you fade away, into reality. I wake, aware of my surroundings; aware of my life. But I remember that split second of impossible joy. I remember the dream, and smile before it fades into oblivion.

Music and Memories

“Ooooh, Baby! I gotta get you home with me, tonight…”
Charles loved his classic R & B jams. Sunday afternoons spent tooling around the bike while the iPod cranked out old soul grooves, always put his mind at ease.  In truth, days like these always reminded him of a time where things weren’t so complicated in life. They were times spent with his Dad, in the old garage.
Momma used to play old school Motown hits, all day on Sundays when Charles was a kid. It was really no wonder he grew up retaining his love for classics of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Sunny skies, warm breezes, the smells of engine oil and exhaust, the sounds of Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder; ah…how they all combined in a sort of chaotic symphony that always seemed to sooth the soul.
“Have you seen her?  Tell me, have you seen her”.
Oh yeah. Modern-day music lacked the creativity and passion of the old tunes. Harmonies were tight; vocals were crisp; the instruments were live; the music made you want to spontaneously break into a choreographed spin. The music spoke of love and good times; none of the ‘bang-bang; kill-everybody’ of today’s lyrics. Dad used to spend hours tinkering around the old ’68 Charger, while he bobbed back and forth to the grooves wafting through the open windows of the old house.  Those songs would resonate off the neighbors’ brick walls, instantly transforming the backyard into a concert.
“Betcha By Golly…Wow. You’re the one that I’ve been waiting for, forever”.
Standing next to the bike, eyes closed, taking in the music and the memories, Charles could almost smell the lingering exhaust fumes of the Charger’s pipes, after Dad had fired the ignition.  Earth, Wind, and Fire began to pump through the speakers of the little bookshelf mini-stereo set up on a high shelf in his own garage. Charles was instantly taken aback. He remembered the 8 track player, Dad used to turn up in the old hot rod; EWF’s “In The Stone” was always Dad’s favorite 8 track tape.
Momma’s Sunday chili; he could almost smell the spices floating around the backyard, as powerful as they had been some twenty-three years ago. The old tunes were able to take him on a journey back through time, effortlessly.
“I’m gonna miss you…I can’t lie…”
For a moment, Charles stepped away from the Suzuki GSX-R bike, as he sailed down memory lane.
“Hey Chuck, pass me the big flathead son.”
“This one Pop?” little Chuck asked while holding the big blue screwdriver over his head. He’d ransacked the middle pullout drawer of Dad’s ancient steel toolbox, looking for what he figured was the right tool for the job.
Dad chuckled while he wiped engine grease from his fingers.  Charles could remember the look of that dirty, grimy old green mechanic’s rag. He wondered if it had ever seen the insides of a washing machine.
“Nope, that’s a Philip’s. See? Look at the cross head. The flat head you want has a flat tip.”
Lil’ Chuck sifted through the endless pile of screwdrivers, both Philip’s and flatheads, before locating the big flat heat with the bright red stock; Craftsman etched into the handle.
“This one, Pop!” Lil’ Chuck announced triumphantly.
“This one Pop,” Charles said aloud, as he opened his eyes and glanced at that very same Craftsman flathead screw driver with the red handle, held loosely in his own grease covered palm; It’s color dulled by a lifetime of gear-head work. His wide smile transformed into a sparkling grin, as he recalled his Dad’s proud look as lil’ Chuck had walked toward him holding out the screwdriver.
“That’s the one, son. Craftsman’s the best. My lil’ guy’s gonna be a wrencher like his old man!”
 “Craftsman’s the best.” The little guy repeated.
“You got it, Chuck.” Dad said, as he ruffled his son’s hair.
“…the tears of a clown…when there’s no one around”.
Charles looked skyward into the clouds. A lone tear slid down his left cheek. He took in a deep breath.
“Craftsman’s the best, and so were you. I miss you, Pop.”
He turned his attention back to the Sport Bike, as a young Michael Jackson crooned “Never can say Goodbye” through the speakers in the garage.