It took me till about ten o’clock to realise it.
The day was not significant by any measure; the most regular of regular Wednesdays in the most uneventful time of year for me. Nothing was going on. My work was as steady as ever and there wasn’t anything particular to look forward to. So where did it come from then, this feeling of warmth around my heart, this unexplained giddiness?
And then it hit me. It was because of that dream.
I think I must have dreamt it sometime earlier in the night, otherwise, as it’s usually the case with my dreaming, I would have known straight away and not at bloody ten o’clock. It was quite… intense but not in any way extraordinary, if you get what I mean. Dreaming about being together with someone is probably one of the most common things in the world. You may have a dream about your celebrity crush or someone whom you used to know a long time ago or your actual life partner. But Manny was just a friend. Not even that close a friend. Sometimes we wouldn’t see each other for months. His family ran a small café in my area and that’s where I knew him from. One day I was there in my Star Trek t-shirt and he said he also liked Star Trek and that’s how we got talking. I hadn’t been there for a while, though. A mutual acquaintance told me Manny now worked in the café full time as his father was recovering from a heart attack. But that was over a week before the dream so it couldn’t have been what brought it on.
I hardly ever thought about Manny. He was a great guy and not bad looking, but I didn’t ever think about him, not in that way anyway. I don’t date. But that dream was, how should I put it, well, dreamy. It wasn’t sexual at all, but very romantic. I didn’t remember what went on in the dream, I knew only that it was the two of us together and this strong feeling of passion. Where it came from, I have no idea. Like I said, I never thought of him that way and I wasn’t interested. I imagined he wasn’t interested in me either. He once said he ended his last relationship because he had too much other shit going on in his life—of which there would be now even more. So why then?
A Wikipedia article informed me that dreaming occurs mainly during the REM stage of sleep. Not that it helped me in any way. Freud would have said that the dream was an expression of my repressed sexual feelings towards Manny. Yeah, Freud would have said that, I bet… It was emotions the dream evoked, not horniness. But I wasn’t in love with Manny, I could tell as much. I just found it intriguing. Mind you, I like things that intrigue me. Before, when I had dreamt about men, it was either a boyfriend (when I used to have those) or someone I had a crush on. This was new. In the dream, Manny was a romantic hero. In real life, he was just Manny. Not anything lesser. Just a normal dude.
It was all nonsense.
I went on with my day.
I needed to do some supermarket shopping after work. As Manny’s café was nearby, I thought I’d check it out. I didn’t intend to talk to him, unless he saw me, I just wanted to see if he was there. If he really was a romantic hero.
It’s likely they would be closed by now anyway.
So I walked over to the café, acting all inconspicuous, and looked inside. Sure enough, it was already closed. Manny was still there, closing up.
And he was, in a very prosaic and practical manner, mopping the café floor.
I almost burst out laughing right there on the street.
Well, even romantic heroes have to make their living somehow!