Monday, October 12, 2009

Dream on .. OR .. Jello makes a poor conversationalist

Let me start this post with a pre-ps .. if I may.

Pre-P.S. - I do apologize for the severity of this post dear readers. I promise to get back on track and bring the funny and whimsical back to the Hollow. Just needed to share. Thanks to those of you who come here to read my ramblings.


I had a dream the other night. In it, there were these two guys from high school and we three were playing basketball on the beach.

[I may be the only guy who is nearing forty that still dreams about stuff from high school. I'm odd. Never let it be said that I'm not.]

The reason this was a dream is two-fold. I never hung out with these guys. I wasn't in their crowd or on their radar for a friend.

I certainly wasn't cool enough. Not a lot has changed really in that regard. Just being honest.

Growing up I didn't make a lot of friends. For those of you who don't know, I grew up in the country with not a lot of other folks around.

Sure I went to school and saw kids there. But most times, real friends are made during summer vacation, not on the playground. On the playground, the groups of kids who are ALREADY friends get together and hang out. That's how it was in my school at least. A new friend is a rare thing to be crafted on the playground. Kids choose sides, group up and mingle very quickly. If you aren't already in a group when that happens, well then you are left out.

It's kinda like being picked last for kick-ball but with the lovely option of not being picked at all.

And that was my world. Left out. Cause I'm not a real go-getter at making new friends. I still remember things like going home from school on the last day before summer break.

Everyone else would be making big plans ... talking with their groups of friends ... wallowing in all that companionship. I always wanted to be a part of that scene.

But for me, during that last day of school as I watched those other kids, I was thinking how that I had no big plans. Nothing great to do and no one with whom to hang out. Nobody really asked either. And I was far too shy to offer any talk.

That's how each Summer began for me.

So Summer would come and go. Those kids I wanted to be friends with all lived "in town" and not far from each other at that. So every night, during school, they got to hang out. Play basketball in the street, or baseball at a local field, or soccer or a million other things. And during summer they even vacationed together sometimes.

They literally grew up together.

I had no chance of being part of that. I grew up for the most part, alone. I got used to it. But distance somehow has always been a factor in my life when making friends.

Now kids, listen carefully. Distance blows.

To be fair, I can't entirely blame distance for my lack of friends. A lot of it was me.

So, after I woke up from my dream, I was thinking about that fact and how that in real life, I never would have played basketball with those guys.

I was cripplingly shy as I may have mentioned on here before.

My fear that they would have laughed at me when I missed a shot would have kept me from trying.

And so it went.

Then I realized a way to describe my broken socialization growing up. Well at least how it felt.

It was as if, between me and those other kids, there was this maleable yet tough, crystal clear wall. A clear-jello-wall if you will. But not as though you could just tear it down with your hands.

No that wouldn't do.

At least on my side of the wall it was strong as steel. I felt trapped by it. It frustrated my attempts to scrabble through it. From my perspective I felt as if there were no tools with which I could penetrate the wall. I felt helpless. Oh sure, I know now what would have worked.

Putting myself out there, not being afraid to fail, living large, just stop being shy ... you know all those things that parents tell kids which is a cover-up for "I'm too busy to get involved with your whining, just figure it out on your own".

And I couldn't figure out how to get through that wall. I didn't. It was simply beyond my ken.

But someone could reach through from their side to me. I knew that much was true.

I also knew that they would need some convincing. So there I was. Living the great land of helpless fear, swimming in tormenting hope.

Like that word-picture? Yeah well you shoulda tried it. Easier to read than to live, let me assure you.

Trapped behind my wall, with no way to reach through from my side, other than put on some display in hope of enticing a potential friend to open up a channel in that wall from them to me.

I never really got any takers. None that lasted.

I also thought of this great line this morning but I couldn't think of where to use it in this post. So in an effort to share it, here you go:

"The wind of regret echos in the hollows of my aging bones."

Kinda cool huh?

And perhaps in some ways, I'm still that kid that is putting on a show trying to get friendly-someone to reach through that wall.

That darn wall is tough. In all my talent to make things, I've yet to devise a lasting way through it. Yeah remember the old saying, "if walls could talk" ... there you go. If that wall could talk, we could be pals. Its been my longest companion.


Shaddy said...

Next time you sense that wall is between you and the people you'd like to reach, realize that I'm there with you, on the same side of the wall as you are.

Cat said...

I am left wondering, how did you play basketball on the beach? Was there a court, or were you playing in the sand? ;)

Rob said...

Cat - Hmm you raise a good point. I'm gonna go with that there was a court but since this was a dream, it could have been either way I suppose :)

Rob said...

Shaddy - Aw, thanks! Good to know there are others on this side of the wall!