The absence and return of dreams

My dreams came back on a Tuesday night.

It had been a long time since I had had a dream, and for a long time he had been the only one I dreamt about. For a long time, he was the only one who mattered. I spent a year waiting for him, and when he didn’t come back, I came to him.

I met him in Japan in 2014. He was 7 years older than me, and an expat who had been living in Tokyo for 4 years. He was an investment banker and had traveled everywhere in the world. I’d never met anybody like him before. He was the physical embodiment of everything I had never known I always wanted. He thrilled me.

After I came back to Sydney, we didn’t talk for a long time, besides the intermittent bump ins overseas, but I continued to dream about him (literally and figuratively).

I spent a crazy amount of time thinking about him, writing about him, trying to forget about him (and doing the complete opposite). He occupied every waking moment.

It’s been over a year since we met, over a year since the last time we actually spent time together, but I still find myself dreaming about him. Last night I dreamt about him again. In the dream, he wasn’t physically present but I found myself just wishing he would come back (again).

(Just once, I’d like to be able to say “you came back”.)

For the longest time, I puzzled and obsessed over why it didn’t work out. As a person who’s always gotten everything she’s ever wanted, I simply couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I didn’t get what I wanted this time. I thought that if only I could get back to you, things would work themselves out.

And so I kept going back to Japan, just in the hopes of seeing you (and I did) but unlike my naively thought out plans, things did not work themselves out. Sometimes, you don’t get everything you want in life, and it was hard for me to accept that I wasn’t going to have you.

I came back to Japan in July, and realised that you moved back to New York. In the lead up to my July trip to Japan, I didn’t know that you weren’t still living in Japan. I kept telling myself I was over it, that I would keep my cool if I bumped into you, but at that moment, I knew I wasn’t. I felt the same as when I found out you came to Sydney and didn’t contact me. It hurt, when I realised you weren’t there anymore. There I was, walking through the streets of my favourite city in the world, and you weren’t there.

And that’s when I knew, I had been coming back for you all those times. Japan isn’t the special place that it used to be, because there is no longer the possibility of bumping into you at every corner anymore.

Aside from puzzling over why it didn’t work out, I also spent an inordinate amount of time puzzling over why I fell for him in the first place. He wasn’t conventionally attractive or tall. All he had going for him was his enviable lifestyle.

I thought about it and thought about it some more. Sometimes you don’t get what you want in life, and there’s no good reason for it. You just have to deal with it.

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