The other night I had a dream. In the dream however, instead of being an active participant I was looking down on a younger me and a younger Dennis. You may remember my cousin Dennis–he was the only family member that I had come out to. In the dream, we were pulling up to his childhood home and when we got out of the car, one of his classmates was sitting with his back to garden gate. It seemed he had been waiting for quite awhile.
For the duration of the dream, I kept getting the feeling that it had really happened, that I was reliving a moment in time. Dennis walked to the classmate (his name was Jack). Jack looked distraught, upset and lost. Dennis gave him a brief hug and the two walked into the garden area. I had no idea what they talked about, but went into the house with Dennis’ younger brother.
When Dennis came into the house, I asked if everything was alright. He said yeah, that Jack was upset about some curve balls he swung at but missed. He didn’t say anything more and then we popped in the movie we had rented. It was a VHS–so that tells you the time frame of this dream.
I woke up and felt like this had happened, but because I dreamed it, the lines of reality were somewhat blurred in my mind.
Last night when I went out with Dennis for a cup of coffee, I told him about the dream. He said that it had happened. And then he asked why wouldn’t I remember something like that. I told him I wasn’t sure and that I had searched my memories and didn’t find it filed away. And I usually remember things like this.
Dennis then told me that Jack had come out to him that day. He asked why I had dreamed something like that. I told him that he never told us that Jack had come out. I asked him how he had reacted back then and he said like every other ignorant high school kid. He said that he told Jack that they would still be friends but maybe not hang out so much.
I was mortified. This from the Dennis who opened his arms and embraced me after I had told him. He saw the look on my face and gave the explanation that he was young, but it still didn’t excuse him from what he had done. He said that everyone learns from their mistakes. I told him that I was glad I hadn’t told him back then.
I’m so glad that he had matured. And I wonder how Jack is doing now. He was a nice person from the few times I had met him. Whenever my cousin had parties, Jack had seemed the life of them. I would have never known he was also in the closet and carrying the weight of if all on his shoulders. And then I think about how my cousin reacted, how I was treated by my own friend that I came out to. But I also remember how my cousin offered his shoulder for me to lean on and how strong that shoulder has been.
I asked the waiter to bring my cousin another drink and said “let’s toast to your growing up”. Dennis said that people grow up on daily basis, so let’s toast to your journey.