I’m having those dreams again. Those dreams of being in high school, in ridiculous situations that resemble real ones, but which always turn out funnier, or just incredibly ridiculous.
Whenever they pop up it’s like being stuck on Nick at Nite, they recur night after night for maybe a week. I can usually peel away the layers until I find something that’s happening in the present that reminds me of the past, and I can turn the channel to various other cable networks for at least several months.
I haven’t gotten there yet. But I suspect they’re going to crop up more often for a while. I’ve been thinking about high school a lot lately. Mostly because this summer, in some dank bar or outdated dance club, a group of 38, 39 and a few 40-year-old people will gather for our 20th high school reunion and bitch about how far our lives have gotten off track, how fat they’ve become and how that second bass boat is just out of reach.
Class of ’87, we’re going … to … heaven? We were so lame. But what rhymes with seven?
Anyway, last night’s dream had some really weird scenes. Many of my high schools dreams include me playing basketball, because I did, but also because I always wanted to be better than I really was, and it still bugs me that Coach Jackass didn’t play me in my last game against Central. In my dream we were laughing as we dribbled down a giant court, which was a trampoline and made us fly into the air. Maybe we were high? Maybe I wished I’d gotten high in high school? Maybe I should be high now?
Then there was a scene in the locker room where I had to take a crap really bad, but there were only two toilets and they were both fully exposed in the middle of the room.
I understand that being high and crapping in public both present very deep, interrelated psychological issues that I’ll have to face one day, because I’m obviously in denial about their true meanings. Or, I could just keep having them because, you know, they were kind of funny, and I woke myself up laughing.
But there was more.
Remember in Wayne’s World when they’re in the guitar shop and Garth sees Donna Dixon, and she’s all dream-like and the wind that always blows through guitar shops when babes are present blows through her hair? I had visions like that way, way back before that movie, even back before high school, back to seventh grade, at least. But they weren’t of Donna Dixon. They were of Tammy (last name omitted to protect the innocent). Oh, man.
Michelle, I know you know who I’m talking about, and if you tell her I will fly to Dallas and track you down. I’m embarrassing myself enough as it is.
Tammy was the one girl (one of about a half dozen) who I couldn’t get up the nerve to ask out. I would talk with her, briefly, and she was always very nice. She was the all-American girl — not incredibly sexy, but just, well, like a Breck girl.
In sixth grade Adidas were popular, and of course kids thought that Adidas stood for “all day I dream about sex.” I wrote that in my notebook, and below it I scrawled All Day I Dream About Tammy. My mother picked up my notebook — the only time in history this happened — saw what I had written, thought her 13-year-old son was dreaming of having sex with this girl and unleashed hell. Well, I was, but to me, back then as close as I wanted to get to “sex” was tongue dancing, which took another year or so to accomplished. Now I know it involves a couple of hours of cajoling and pleading followed, if I’m lucky, but two or three minutes of frantic behavior, then a long nap.
When we were freshman Tammy started dating a senior, a star baseball player and known psycho badass who once in junior high got into a fight with a guy at the skating rink who had a knife, and he kicked the knife out of the guy’s hand and beat him to a pulp, so I heard. In college he once threw a guy threw a car windshield because the guy asked him what time it was, or something like that. This guy would have literally snapped my neck if he thought I was seriously thinking about maybe broaching the subject of discussing in abstract terms the possibility of even talking to Tammy. I was afraid. Very afraid.
Back then, I had lingering crushes on two women — Tammy and Amy Grant. A few years ago, in Nashville, I stood just inches away from Amy. I had the opportunity to tell her my true feelings, that she should dump Vince and find her true happiness with me (I was single). But I think she felt my presence and quickly moved toward an exit, so I passed.
Tammy married the guy and had they had kids. Now, I hear, she’s divorced. And I’m happily married. No, the moment is gone, like Vans, and big hair, and Duran Duran (thank god!).
Oh, but last night. We were in high school, sitting next to each other on the bleachers. And the wind was blowing her hair like in the movies. And we were … talking.
I don’t know if I’ll go to my reunion. I live a long way from there now, physically and otherwise, and most of the people I’d want to see are people who were outside of my immediate circle, and they probably won’t go either. But if it were 1987 again, and circumstances were different — either psycho didn’t exist or I grew some nads — and Tammy came around … oh, yeah. I’d talk to her.