Week 36 – Brian Weeks

Posted: December 4, 2011 in Brian Weeks, Week 36

Dream A Little Dream of Me

I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamt I went back in time to 1987, as I am now, knowing everything I do right now. It was a very surreal experience. I saw people I know now, but hadn’t yet met. However, it was twenty-five years ago, and they were all twenty-five years younger. It was strange to see what our world looked like, and how much we have changed. If I had the chance, I’d redo the dream a little bit, and take advantage of the resources I had around me then.

I was ten years old in 1987, so I’d have a bit of a problem when I wake up in the past. But for purposes of this dream sequence, I go to bed the night before with simple basic jeans and plain T-shirt (so I don’t look weird when I get there), a wallet full of cash and credit cards, and a set of keys to the family vehicle in May, 1987. And I’m bringing you along for the ride.

My clock radio goes off at 9:00 am, blasting Bananarama. I open my eyes to see I’m in my old bed in my old room in the house where I grew up. My feet hang over the edge, of course. I sit up in bed and look around, still groggy from last night.
After a quick shower, I get back into last night’s clothes and head out to the car. As soon as I get outside, I am stopped dead in my tracks. We haven’t gotten the cool car yet. Damn. I am facing a 1978 Dodge Aspen station wagon. Avocado green with faux-wood grain paneling. Yuck. Oh well, I’ve got to get to the mall somehow. I head down the road to the gas station on the way into town.

I pump a full tank of 85-cent-a-gallon gasoline, get myself a Jolt Cola in a glass bottle, a carton of Ring Dings, and change from a twenty-dollar bill. I am quite pleased with myself as I head to the mall in the nearest city. Were cars ALWAYS this big and boxy? I wonder as I pull into a parking space at the mall.
A teenage girl with frosted blonde hair three miles high walks by in her painted-on acid wash jeans spraying a helmet of Aqua Net onto her hair. Walking with her is a dead ringer for Tiffany; stone wash denim from head to toe, and hot pink sneakers. I had forgotten how truly ugly, yet interesting 80s fashion was.

Once in the mall, I am overcome with the urge to buy some new clothes to go out tonight. I finally narrow my choices down to a turquoise silk shirt, skinny yellow vinyl tie, and acid washed Guess? jeans. I’ll get some sneakers at Foot Locker when I go by, but I have to check out the music store first.

Synth-pop blares out of the store speakers as I pick up the latest albums by Rick Astley and Samantha Fox. I also pick up a 45 by The Smiths and another by Depeche Mode.

Oh, there’s so much I want to do while I’m still here. I see posters of Madonna when she was still, like, a virgin, and Debbie Gibson when she was still famous. The Olsen Twins can’t talk yet (Thank God) and Bill Cosby rules Thursday nights. AIDS isn’t yet the epidemic it is today, but Ronald Reagan is our President. I can still see a Grateful Dead concert, but I can’t surf the Internet. I can buy a new car for $3990, but the minimum wage is three dollars an hour. I can still purchase New Coke, but I don’t want to.

The stock market hasn’t crashed yet, and sex, power and greed are the only way to live. Drugs are everywhere, but no one is addicted, of course. Dynasty is still on the air, but then again, so is Murder, She Wrote.

I can’t stay here in 1987. As much as I’ve enjoyed my day here, I can’t live without the things I have in 2011. I need my cell phone and the Internet. Yes, it was a simpler time, but even amid the chaos we face today, I’d rather be back home.
I decide that when I go to sleep tonight, I’ll somehow return to 2011. So I need to make this last fling in the 80s last forever. I do run over to Foot Locker, but to purchase all kinds of Air Jordans to sell on eBay when I get back. Same with the LP’s I got at the record store. My last purchase in the mall is one I won’t get rid of again. An Atari 2600 and an armload of games. I got rid of one once, and have had withdrawals ever since.

I drive to Boston for one last night to party. Dancing from club to club, I see so much happening around me, and I wish that I could stay here a little longer, trapped in the beat of days past. But, unfortunately, home is calling me.

I listen quietly to the radio on the way home, announcers telling me about news events that happened long ago, and I begin to realize I can’t stay in the past very much longer. I’ve been spoiled by my surroundings and I know too much to remain here.

When I pull into the driveway at my house, it’s late and everyone is asleep. I go upstairs and down the hall to my parents’ bedroom. Did my mom always snore like that? God, she looks so young. Well, she should, she’s 5 years younger than I am now. I pass through to my sister’s room. She’s just a baby; thirteen months old. I look down at her, a peaceful smile on her face. She’s so small. I can still remember when she looked like this. I can’t believe she’s a full-grown woman now with children of her own. She wakes up, but doesn’t cry. She looks up at me.

She waves at me, and says, “Hi, B’ian.”(She couldn’t say Brian.) Holy Jesus, she recognizes me! But I’m so much bigger, so much older. Does she know what’s going on?

“Hey, babe.” I say, tears in my eyes. She’s so innocent and small. She holds out her hands, wanting me to pick her up. I do, and I hold her tightly in my arms. I whisper in her ear, “It’s hard to believe you were ever this tiny. I have a couple of things to tell you. It’s just you and me now. Mom and Dad are off in their own little worlds. They aren’t even together anymore. But here and now, you don’t know anything about that. Remember that I love you. You’re all I’ve got.”

“Wub-oo.[Love you.]” She says, falling back to sleep.

My last stop is my bedroom again. I am surprised to find sleeping there a smaller version of me, snoring away. I sit down on the chair by the desk and think to myself. Boy, there are a few things I’d like to say to you. Pay attention in school; don’t screw off like you’re going to. Take the time to get to know your oldest relatives. You’ll be sorry when they aren’t there anymore. Don’t take shit from anybody, and don’t let the kids who will make fun of you win. (But they will anyway.) Don’t make the same mistakes I did. And one last thing, little Brian. And this is SO important. Whatever you do, DON’T get that mullet haircut in 1989. You will regret it till the day you die.

There’s a brilliant flash of bright light, and I am sitting in my apartment today, the sun shining on my face. I jump up out of the recliner, knocking a $4.50 coffee drink to the floor. I breathe a deep sigh of relief. Or is it a sigh because I learned an important lesson about life?

You can’t go home again. Things were never as great as they once seemed. Live in the moment, and seize each day as though it were your last. This isn’t a dress rehearsal, folks. This is a one-shot deal. Twenty=five years have passed me by in a moment’s time, and I do regret it. But I am now more determined than ever to make the next 25 the best years I can. You should do the same.


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