29 November 2010
After going to the Jersey Shore and having lunch, I didn't feel a sense of nostalgia or deja vu. You can't really feel those things for people with whom you have a current relationship. Or maybe it's just me. All I know is that these days, I don't think that much about my childhood or adolescence when I'm around Mom and Dad.
It strikes me as odd that, with the people with whom I have my longest relationships, I essentially have no past. At least, I don't feel as if I have one. It's as if the person who lived as their son, who fought with his father and cried to (and, at times, with) his mother was somebody else. In a sense, he is: I am not living his life now. Of course, that is what I wanted, and still want. But it's still strange nonetheless.
So what was so different about me during my teen years, when I lived there? Or in my early adult years, when Mom and Dad were still living there and I used to visit, at times grudgingly? Or even my early thirties, before they moved?
I remember that once I wrote a poem about not having fantasies. I have it somewhere, if not in digital form. The fact that I didn't bother to preserve it electronically probably means that it's even worse than my other poetry, or my other writing, for that matter. (If you've been reading this blog, you know that's saying something!) I think it was bad because, if I recall, I turned it into a poem for whomever I was involved with at the time: In essence, I didn't need fantasies because I had that person.
Of course almost nothing could have been further from the truth, but not through any fault of the subject of that poem. The truth was that I didn't have fantasies--of the sexual, or any other, variety. For much of my life, I didn't even dream, and when I did, those dreams--the ones I remembered, anyway--were utterly mundane or outright depressing, even more so than my waking life was.
I didn't dream of being an astronaut or pilot, or of making love to Faye Dunaway or anyone else. I didn't even daydream about any of the girls, or boys, in my classes. When anyone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I couldn't tell them. An astronaut, a doctor, an accountant: nothing appealed to me. The things people wanted from me were even less appetizing, for they included such as the aspirations of a career as a military officer that my father and a family friend had for me.
One question I don't ask is whether Dad still thinks about that--in part, because whether or not he does isn't going to change much, for me, him, Mom or anyone else. Just as I didn't have other dreams, I didn't share his dreams. And, of course, I couldn't share my mother's dreams, which included my giving her the grandchildren she wanted. At least my brothers took care of that.
Actually, I had one dream. Of course, I did not reveal it to anyone until long after Mom and Dad had moved, my brothers had kids who were in school and a few people we knew were dead. I don't think any young person could have revealed such a dream to anyone else in those days, even if he, she or I had the words for it.
I have learned that language only during the past few years. That is why I have just begun to have dreams, and why I am just starting to learn about my fantasies. I suspect that some of them will be fulfilled as I begin to have memories of my own. One can only have those things in one's own language.