2024-04-04: my stress dreams are trying new lines of attack

whatever happened to ol' dependable? my teeth rotting, the foundation crumbling, the upcoming math/french exam?

last night i dreamed one of my high school band teachers, a man i haven't seen in a good quarter century, had signed me up to play with some local orchestra, one that clearly doesn't exist, though the anxiety did. i haven't picked up that instrument in years. dream-me tried to back out of it: i haven't played in years; it'll be a disaster; (him: you'll be fine!). my skills were never great. i was always the worst player in my section, at every level, so it could be said i'm not so much rusty as crumbling.

it was, in retrospect, an extremely good stress dream.

a realization after: that instrument was so important to me for a decade. then i stopped. i left the city where i grew up. i was too busy, too sure of my academic future (since abandoned), that i just stopped. and in the intervening years, i've taken up the guitar and made that central to myself in its place. it occurs to me that the version of myself that played that instrument — in that moment, in that decade, with those people — is long gone, linked only by a few commonalities: like regret, like being unable to both remember or forget, like sharing details of my life in dusty corners of the web to people that i will never, ever meet.