Jerry Guarino is the author of four collections of short fiction and one novel (The Da Vinci Diamond); his stories have been published by literary magazines in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Great Britain. He has completed four screenplays, The Da Vinci Diamond, The Tightrope, The Sonoma Murder Mystery and Who Stole Asbury Park? More information on his website: http://cafestories.net
Dream a Little Dream
Have you ever had a great dream and were sad when you woke up because the dream was over? That happened to Joe last week. In the dream, Joe was back in high school and was very popular; this was very different from his real life high school experience. All the prettiest girls wanted to be around him; he found himself dating Connie, the prettiest girl in his class. They made out for hours in the backseat of his mustang convertible at the drive-in.
Why couldn’t he have this dream every night? If only he could start every day with this dream, the life he never had when he was 17. He would be so happy. Can you order up a dream?
Joe wished he could have Connie forever, if only in his dreams. He did some research. Apparently, there were studies that indicated you could increase your chances of having a specific, desirable dream. It’s called lucid dreaming. Some of the recommendations were:
Go to sleep an hour earlier
Control your diet
Have a relaxing bedtime routine
Put roses in your bedroom
Joe tried each one, even putting roses in his bedroom. But he was unable to recreate the dream with Connie. He wrote a long love letter to her and read it before sleeping. He put a picture of her from the yearbook on his nightstand. It was the one of her on the baton team. Her long blond hair framed her lovely face and beautiful smile. He thought about the one date he had with her, when he took her to the movies, but was too shy to do much more than an awkward kiss when he dropped her off. She was out of his league.
Joe had studied chemistry in college and worked in a pharmaceutical lab. He often wondered if they could create a pill that would allow people to have those lucid dreams. That would have to be a future discovery. We’re still waiting for those flying cars we saw on the Jetsons and in Back to the Future.
That’s where he met his wife Barbara; they had a boy and girl and in due course three grandchildren. Holidays and birthdays gave them many years of bliss. He realized that his family was his greatest source of happiness.
His family was also there for him when his wife passed away, naturally and peacefully in her sleep at the age of 60. She left him much too soon. He spent his retirement years fishing and reading. He remembered her packing a cooler for him to take on his small boat. When he returned with his catch, she would make it for dinner, as long as he cleaned it first. Now he would spend his nights reading by the fireplace, remembering the good times they had together.
He received an invitation to his high school reunion. At first, he didn’t want to go, but later decided it would be better to be with old friends than to stay home alone. He even wore his soccer letter sweater, and it still fit!
It was a warm night in May. Some of his classmates still drove cars from the 60s, a Pontiac GTO, a Dodge Charger and a few Mustangs. This jogged pleasant memories of cruising on a date. He saw his classmates entering the school gym, dressed like they did in high school. They wore bell-bottom jeans and tie-dye shirts; the girls had long straight hair with flowers. Several guys wore wigs.
The theme was “man on the moon” as this was the class of 1969. The gym was decorated in space memorabilia; there were pictures of the crew and video of that famous moon landing. Music completed the picture. Sly and the Family Stone, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Turtles and the Doors. It felt like 1969 again.
Then Joe saw her. The girl that got away. Connie’s eyes looked lovingly at Joe; he pulled her close to him. They kissed, like he wishes they had back in high school.
“Connie, I’ve wanted you my whole life.”
“Joe, I’ve wished for this too.”
After dancing with each other all night, they left the reunion together. They made love like they were eighteen again. Hours of bliss, mutual orgasms and carefree loving. It was the hottest sex he ever had. He had finally fulfilled his life goal, to have Connie forever. His only regret was that this happened so late in life. But it’s better to have your best love late, than not at all.
“Your father’s cremation is done. We just need a signature for his new columbarium. This plaque will honor his final resting place. May I ask a personal question for the service?”
“Did he have any final wishes?”
“Well, we found him in his chair by the fire holding an invitation to his high school reunion. I know he really wanted to go and reconnect with an old girlfriend.”
“Perhaps he was dreaming about it when he passed on.”
“Yes, that would be a nice way to go.”
“Thank you for choosing Clifford Scott Mortuary for his final home.”