In the morning, I dream of water.
In my dream, I am walking down a street and I see an old building, slated for destruction.
But when I go in, it is a huge, covered swimming pool, and there are people. A cafe. Children playing. There is kind of a combined Italian cafe/pool hall/rec centre vibe. It's both very strange and perfectly normal, in the way of dreams. I meet Lucia there and we have a lovely conversation, much more intimate than we would have in real life. We talk, I think, about things that happened to us a long time ago, but it's blurry like dreams can be, and I just remember a sense of peace.
I wake up mostly feeling calm and inspired by all the turquoise water and the playing children. When I dream about eccentric architecture I often wake up with a fierce longing to actually experience the place I have just dreamed about, and I feel that now too. To spend a day surrounded by water and food and a good friend. Never mind that in real life that combination of things would be odd, and the person, although lovely, is not a close friend at all.
My Google search of dream interpretation says that dreaming of swimming pools "...suggests that you need to acknowledge and understand your feelings. It is time to dive in and deal with those emotions. You need to cleanse yourself and wash away past hurts. Consider the depth of the pool. If you were swimming on the deep end, then it means that those emotions are deeply seated and may be harder to confront.. You will need to work through it, no more matter how difficult. If you are swimming on the shallow end, then it implies that you should be able to easily deal with your feelings."
Interestingly, an old friend reached out to me last night, just before bed. What the f? he asked. You disappeared.
I did, and his message wakes thoughts and feelings I need to chew over.
I got off Facebook, because my friends' posts were making me bored, or angry, or despairing, and I wanted to remember what life felt like when my day wasn't being sucked away by the internet, and I enjoyed meeting my friends in person and knowing all their sides, not just silly memes and attention-grabbing posts (both which I was also guilty of, by the way). I got busy: I moved house; I worked in another city a lot; I had band practice and teaching and a boyfriend... In short, I was a bad friend. I thought that cutting back on social media (a move I don't regret in the slightest) would mean that I'd suddenly have dinner parties and coffee dates galore, but in reality my social life is dictated by the things and people that I love the most: my boyfriend, my band, my work. I am lucky in that my job as a musician means spending time with people I adore. Band practice is work, but it's also a social life, which is a large part of why I formed the band in the first place.
Last night as we ended our recording session (!) for the day, our recording engineer asked us if we had any plans for the evening and the other girl in the band (who is one of my best friends lately) said offhandedly "I'm going to a ball," and we all did a double take. Turns out one of her friends was having a birthday and decided to throw a ball. Just thinking about going to one, let alone throwing one, gives me acute anxiety. I thrive on performing; I can get up in front of people and perform and not even be scared about what might happen, but I cannot imagine trying to gather scores of people in a rented hall and having a celebration.
I think of the eccentric architecture of my friendships.
My bandmates, who are 3 very different people who somehow form a cohesive whole. We are tight. Even when I go away, they keep going without me, as I'd hoped would happen. When I had my birthday party/picnic this summer, they were pretty much the only people I invited.
The people I teach with. When my boss asked me if there was anyone at work I felt I could go to if I was having a problem or a bad day, I couldn't think of anyone I wouldn't go to.
My friend T, who is busy stage managing and living in the 'burbs but who keeps in touch. My Christmas Market date, my guilty-McChicken Meal-bingeing partner in crime.
My other friend T, who I met in Saskatoon; who lives in Toronto now, and with whom I carry on a surprising and delightful friendship almost exclusively over Instagram Messenger, of all things.
D, who invites me to yoga and breakfast.
J, who is my love and my best friend, and whose own friends have enthusiastically accepted me without reservation or exception.
And I think of rooms that are boarded up, maybe slated for destruction.
The friends who had families, who got preoccupied with diapers and routines and sudden illnesses and school. Maybe I wasn't always flexible enough to accept that other things were more important to them and maybe they weren't always willing to make firm plans.
The ones who live far away.
A couple of family members who didn't warm to my partner, and we haven't dealt with it because it's easier to let things drift apart than to hash it out.
My last Facebook post was also about friendship, now I think about it. These feelings run deep, and they need airing and investigating from time to time or they appear in odd ways, in dreams. The anxiety of living in this uncertain and scary world makes me want to reach out, but also hide in my little bunker. I love my world, but I never want to take my place in it for granted. I shore up the crumbling foundations and board up certain rooms and reopen other ones and find new rooms I never knew existed. Rooms with a view I never expected. And maybe a swimming pool/cafe or two as well...