The lost dream


January 4, 1984


It happened last year.

She invited us all down to Philadelphia where she was taking courses as a chiropractor and was to appear in a play.

After more than a decade innocently envisioning she and Pauly as Guinevere and King Arthur, it was a shock to find her with somebody else.

I suppose I got a sense things were not well during that picnic a few years ago when she seemed remote from Pauly. Yet this is an afterthought, and did nothing to lessen the shock.

Despite the ups and downs between those two we all thought they would end up together, and seeing her with someone else seemed in appropriate if not wrong.

Hank had once tried to date her (I still don’t know how far that went although there was always a connection between the two, some unspoken bond that in looking back seems more ominous than it did at the time.)

I had intended to take pictures of the play – the way I had back when Hank did his Woody Allen production. But the mood changed once I met her new boyfriend, and I came away with a few blurry photographs of her on stage, but so blurry, you can’t tell who it is.

Since Hank, Garrick and Pauly all drove south with me to see the play, we had to drive back in a strange mood.

Normally – as was the case going south – there is a lot of chatter, mostly Pauly picking on Hank, and Garrick complaining about Pauly over recent and historic slights.

The return trip was thick with silence, Pauly’s cool exterior containing some measure of personal pain we dared not penetrate with the wrong remark.

We all knew the world had changed, and that the Camelot we had envisioned since our teens was fading away into the mists, never to be realized in the way we first imagined.

All of our Arthurian plans for land somewhere where we could create our own society became remote that last night, in accessible, and as hard as we tried, we could no longer imagine them possible.

A short time later, we learned that she had engaged this new man and was scheduled to marry him a short time later.

The fact that Pauly lived in the attic of her mother’s house did not occur to us until she asked Pauly to move out, saying that her new husband was uncomfortable having her ex-lover living there.

And so stripped of even that portion of his dream, Pauly returned to Passaic, first to live with me, and after I moved out, to live in the apartment next to mine, both of us emerging at times onto the carport together, with me wondering what thoughts went on in his head, and what dreams he created to make up for the one big dream he’d lost.

I may never find out.


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