Driving through parts of Kentucky I hadn’t been in in a long time, or ever, has given me vivid dreams of people I had practically forgotten who walked through my life at one time or another and now are walking through my dreams. It’s almost like guest appearances.
I drove by a sign pointing to Cerulean, Kentucky. I’ve never been there, but I remember a boy named Bob I met at Murray State University my one year there. Bob was a sweet boy. We lost touch very quickly after I left Murray, but a few years later my Lexington phone rang and it was Bob. He was visiting some friends in the area and had seen me on the news because I was working as a TV reporter then.
In that way that early twenty somethings will do, and I suppose others as well, Bob called me to impress his friends that he knew someone on TV. I’m not sure how much it’s worth to know someone who’s working the weekend news as a lowly reporter in the 76th market in the country, but it was worth a long distance call to him at the time.
I had no ill will toward Bob, and I was genuinely happy to hear from him. We wrote a couple of letters after that and promptly drifted apart again because there wasn’t anything to bond us together.
It was one of my first experiences with someone making an effort to “be in my world” in some small way because of what I was doing for a living. I’m sorry to say it has happened many, many, many times since. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a real celebrity, because even on this teeny-tiny, itty-bitty, little scale you’re always wondering if people are really interested in you or just your job and what you can do for them with it. Now that I don’t work in the media anymore it’s no longer an issue. And, there are people who quickly drifted out of my life when I didn’t do that for a living anymore.
However, there are others who entered by life because I suddenly had an “important” title. There are a couple of people in town who, literally, did not speak to me prior to me taking this job. But, now that I have some title they deem worthy of note they also consider me worth noting. Can you guess how much respect I have for that? I’ll bet you can.
Bob was the first time I had that experience, although I didn’t recognize it for what it was then. We have to learn everything in life. And, he got the payoff, his friends were very impressed he knew someone on the news. Twenty year olds are easy to impress, what can I say? But, I talked with them, they were happy, and Bob was too. I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t unhappy. I guess I was indifferent that would move to indignant as the days progressed.
Seeing the sign for Cerulean, Kentucky made me think of Bob and that night he walked through my dreams – making a cameo for the first time in many, many years.
I woke up remembering something more pleasant about Bob – bumping into him on a very rainy Thursday afternoon on the Murray State campus – and him driving me back to my dorm a few blocks away. I know it was a Thursday because I had just finished my voice lesson and it was on Thursdays. I was relieved it was over and looked out to see Bob, who was not a music major, walking up the steps with an umbrella. It didn’t strike me as odd at the time that he would be a in building a business major would have no reason to ever set foot in. Obviously, it was not happenstance that he was there to rescue me from a rainy walk back to my dorm.
He drove the mile or so and pulled up in front of my dorm. We talked for a few minutes in the dry warmth of his car before he leaned over and kissed me for the first and last time. That one kiss sealed for both of us that we would never have that kind of relationship. It had never crossed my mind until that moment, and it was fleeting, but I guess it had crossed his.
It was nice to have him make a guest appearance in my dreams after seeing the sign for Cerulean. At the 20 plus year schedule my subconscious seems to be on, it will be a long time before I see him again.