This afternoon, I had a dream where I was invited to a party at a stranger’s house. It was a nice house and I was the first person to show up. I recognized the voice of the host and it turned out to be a conservative talk radio host that I had heard earlier today in real life. He was nervous because he had broadcast an open invitation on the radio to come to his house for the party.
After me, an upper 30s white woman entered alone. She had curly hair. She was followed by an overweight black woman. They meandered through the house, not talking. The white woman got some white wine and I broke the silence of the house by getting the talk radio host to begin talking about himself. I sat, and he stood, by the door More people continued to trickle in and they were accumulating awkwardly throughout the house, not talking to eachother. I wasn’t really following the conversation, but at the next opening I said something along the lines of, “That sounds pretty rough, but it would be worse if they got the government involved.”
That got the other people engaged. I knew their shared politics would ignite the fire. Someone who was listening to the conversation, continued the conversation with the host, and I used this opportunity to slip away to the kitchen. In the kitchen, I recognized someone I knew from Toastmasters, Mr. L. I was happy to see a familiar face and we started talking. I enjoyed listening to his Australian accent, but I got the feeling he wasn’t being very open or expansive with his answers. Nevertheless, I was smiling.
The climax of the dream occurred when one of my crushes, Amanda, arrived. It was later in the party, after dark. She was dressed in black and I found her passionately arguing politics with one of the bystanders. She lit up when she saw me. We ran to eachother and hugged and kissed. We grabbed some wine and sandwiches and went down to the basement to get away from the conservatives. We met up with her girlfriend Tara and we just sat around, laughing and getting drunk. At one point, some softcore hanky-panky occurred near the white basement couches – nothing scandalous. Just a little making out and rolling around on the carpet and cuddling. We talked about leaving the house and checking out the town, but Amanda and Tara were staying at the house, and apparently we were in Milwaukee on a night were nothing was going on.
Then my mother arrived. I had gone upstairs to the kitchen when I saw her enter through the door. I was passively happy to see her, but I began to see looks of shame in the guests as we passed by. We went to the book shelve area next to the kitchen, a small office library.
“How do you like the party, Peter?” she asked.
“Its alright. I ended up running into a couple of people that I knew and its made my evening.”
“Oh, and they talked to you? They weren’t supposed to do that. See, you’re disfellowshiped,” meaning that I was no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, “Not even (Mr. L) is supposed to talk to you.”
“Really? He’s a witness too?” At that moment, I saw him in the kitchen and he shamefully backed away deeper into the kitchen.
“Yes,” my mom said, “You really should come back to the witnesses, Peter. They are all waiting for you. Your true friends miss you.”
My brain was set on fire, but it made sense. She has told me these things in real life. My mom wants me to return to Jehovah. Politically, she would sympathize with a bunch of conservatives.
I woke up to the realization that this year, I am the loneliest I have been since 2006 or 2007. I can’t go back to being a Jehovah’s Witness. I just don’t believe the doctrine and to return for the succor of socialization is repulsively horrible to me. That would be selling out. I must stand alone.
The reality is that I must engage in building a new social circle. My old social circle has moved on for the most part. The benefits have been exhausted and the fruitage has been picked. They all have families and I have no family. I feel a queasy sickness in my stomach whenever I see or hear anyone say, “Family and friends are the most important part of my life.” I have failed to build a family and I feel like my friendships are shallow and passive. I know they aren’t, but I feel that way sometimes. In leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I have rejected an entire piece of my life, much like an amputee has to reject a portion of their body.
This is what my dream tells me: I must begin anew.