As a rule, most of us don’t recall the dreams we have when we wake up to start our day. Oh, you may recall a brief snippet as you stir and reach for the alarm, but by the time you see your face in the bathroom mirror, almost all is forgotten, and you go about your routine.

This is something different.

Between 2:00 and 4:00am on Friday, I had a dream that was so vivid and lifelike that I remembered all of it in minute detail. I felt like I had lived the experience, so much so that when I awoke from it, I felt a stark sense of loss.

The images and dialogue were swimming around in my head to the point of distraction all day Friday. I knew I was going to write something about it, but I wasn’t exactly sure what form it was going to take. I don’t write fiction very well. It always comes off sounding a bit forced. So, what I’ve decided to post here is the dream as I recall it. I probably will revisit this and flesh it out a bit, creating a back story of sorts, but I thought I would share what has rolled around in my head for the last 36 hours.


“Remember Angie Dutton”

The weather is late Fall/early Winter. The reason I know this is because I can see my breath as I walk. It’s still daylight but getting dark quickly.

I enter a huge farmhouse. It is drafty and cold. I’m supposed to be here but I don’t know why. The farm house is divided into many rather large rooms, and I make my way inside and sit down in the first room. It has two small couches and three tall wooden chairs. I sit on one of the couches and close my eyes.

Not sure how much time has passed, I’m awakened by the noise of kids laughing and running into the room. Two kids, maybe ages 6 and 8, are scooped up by a woman now sitting across from me, on the other couch. She kisses each of them on the cheek and they go to what appears to be a front desk.

Where am I? Is this a hotel of some sort? Am I simply waiting fir someone to arrive?

I only hear snippets of the conversation at the front desk, but I do manage to discern the phrase “…glad the visit went well!” From that, I gather I’m at a doctor’s office, but I still don’t know why.

I leave the front entrance room that had the couches, and, after walking a bit, find a kitchen. I pour a cup of coffee into a mug waiting on the counter. I make a point of drinking deeply from the mug and clasping both hands around it for warmth. I let the heat envelope my face and I close my eyes for a moment.

I open them and see…her. I don’t know who ‘she’ is yet, but, instinctively, I am drawn to her. Is ‘she’ the reason I’m here, the one I’m waiting for?

First impressions: she’s a thin, tall brunette with streaks of red in her hair that only appear when the blinking fluorescent lights of the farmhouse hit it a certain way. She’s obviously been running errands for a while because, even though night has descended, she has a pair of big-framed sunglasses resting on the top of her head. Wearing dark blue jeans, a black leather jacket unzipped to reveal a black tank top.

And then there were the tattoos.

As she entered the farmhouse, I could see from my vantage point in the kitchen that she had several tattoos. She had three green snakes, one starting on her left shoulder that ran to  just below her left clavicle, then another snake tattoo began there where the first ended, this one going from her left clavicle to her center, just below her neck. The third snake began at this point and ran over to her right clavicle, ending on the back of her right shoulder, mirroring the left so that when you saw her from the front, it appeared as if she were wearing a necklace around her neck.

In the center of her chest, below the snake tattoo, right on her sternum, she had the tattoo of the bloom of a dark red rose, its stem showed two thorns before it disappeared into her cleavage.

As she entered, she was talking loudly, seemingly to herself,  in fragments.

“I would never! No…I would NOT!”

This goes on as she walks directly to the kitchen. The counter is L-shaped, the long side of the L has the sink, coffee pot and microwave. That’s where I’m standing as she walks past and turns to lean on the short side of the counter (which is empty and clear of any appliances of any sort) to face me.

“I would never let my kid do that!” she says to me, indignantly. I don’t even know what “that” is, but I answer her.

“Wait, do you even have a kid?”

She laughs and uses her hands to lift herself onto the counter. “No, but still, I wouldn’t let my kid do that.”

Now we are face to face with very little room between us. I am locked on her deep fiery brown eyes as I answer her again.

“And, your many tattoos show that you always did what your parents wanted and ALWAYS respected authority?”

She doesn’t voice an answer. Instead she wraps her legs around my waist and pulls me in even closer. It’s at this moment that I notice she’s not wearing any makeup, yet she’s still gorgeous. She kisses me on my neck, and in a suddenly quiet voice she almost whispers, “Remember me.”  It wasn’t a question, asking “Hey, do you remember me?” This was a plea.

She lifts her head off my shoulder and we face one another again. “What’s your name?” I whisper.

“I’m Angie.” She kisses me on the left cheek. “Angie Dutton.” She kisses me on my right cheek. “Remember me,” she says, almost near tears. We share a deep long kiss. I wrap my arms around her in a hug. I then spin her around slowly, all the while transfixed on her eyes, so that our views are reversed. I’m standing with my back to the counter And she’s where I was a moment ago.

“Remember me”, she says one last time before she unwraps herself from me. She looks at me for a moment longer, then turns to go.

“WAIT! Don’t go!” Stammering, I try to make my point, all the while watching her back as she is leaving. “I’ll remember you, I swear. But I want to know more. You’re the reason I’m here….wherever ‘here’ is! STOP!”

She stops walking toward the door.

“Just turn around. Let me see your face one more time,” I ask, my voice almost breaking.

She turns around and looks at me without saying a word. She flashes me a smile then takes the sunglasses from atop her head. She puts them on and blows me a dramatic kiss before stepping out into the pitch black night.

I stand there, stunned for a moment. Then I run for the door. I make my way outside and the cold knocks me back. I can’t see anything. She’s gone. There’s no car, no sound of her boots on the frozen ground. She’s disappeared.

Was she an apparition? Was she a twisted tattooed angel? I’ll probably never know.

But I’ll always remember Angie Dutton.


[Story is almost completely from a dream I had early on Friday 05.13.11. Text was transcribed early in the morning on 05.14.11. This post was written using iPad, with final edits done using my PC before posting.]

Thanks for reading,

Remembering Mr. Heisler

The first thing I noticed about Mister Heisler, or as I always knew him, Kurt’s dad, was his booming voice. When he laughed, he truly filled the room. He had a strong presence and reminded me of Bill Kurtis, who was a host of many TV programs on A&E.

Kurt was one of Mister Heisler’s sons. More importantly, Kurt became one of my very closest friends during my senior year in high school (1992). The two of us were part of a group that we dubbed The Hearts Club, which also included high school pals Tony and Patrick. Sometimes Jenne, Becca and Kim would join in the fun, but more often than not, it was simply the four of us.

One night in the summer of 1993, The Hearts Club gathered for a very special evening, even if none of us knew it at the time. Whereas most nights when we arrived at the Heisler house, we would exchange hellos and small talk with Kurt’s parents, on this night, The Hearts Club would have a new honorary member.

I’m not sure who had the idea of asking Kurt’s dad William to sit in on our card game. It may have been his wife, Dotty, it may have even been Kurt. I do remember that it didn’t take much convincing for us to deal in a fifth player. Before the game however, we were treated to a host of card tricks and sleight of hand, with Mr. Heisler holding court, having fun showing tricks to Kurt’s friends, even though I guessed that Kurt had seen these over and over again for years.

Most memorably though, Mr. Heisler laughed loudly and heartily.

The game was fun and I remember all of us having a good time. I don’t recall who actually won at hearts that nite, only that it wasn’t me (I hardly ever won). That’s unimportant though. As we left Kurt’s house that night, everyone said “we must do this again sometime”.

But we never did.

I only knew William Heisler in the snippets of daily life that Kurt would share when we hung out all the time, and from that one might around a card table. Not surprisingly though, he made a lasting impression on me that I never forgot.

So long Mr.Heisler. You will be missed and remembered by many.

If you wish, make a donation to the American Cancer Society in memory of William Heisler.

Thanks for reading,