The title is actually literal. Not like “this life is a nightmare” but like… I had a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from and it trapped me in the realm of Dream for a considerable amount of time.
The dream started fairly abstract as dreams do. I was hearing Captain Picard do a series of amazing speeches. Then it solidified that I was hanging out with friends from Best Buy in my basement as we were watching TNG. Then the conversation turned to “Who gets what when you guys separate?” I started talking to them about all of that when the doorbell sounds. I don’t go upstairs to get it because I know Martha is hosting some guests of her own up there. Turns out, unbeknownst to me, that Martha invited her new boyfriend over to show her friends. My guests go upstairs to meet him, despite my objections, to “check him out.” Turns out… the guy is perfect. Like… my friends never come back downstairs to hang out with me. They prefer his company. Ultimately what was supposed to be Martha and I sharing the house and hosting two unique get-togethers becomes… mostly just… a lonely experience for me. Sitting in the basement by myself as everyone is enjoying a wonderful time upstairs as the witty, attractive, sensitive, intelligent guy upstairs is regaling everyone with all the reasons he’s better than me.
Sinking into the depression, I begin drinking more heavily and cruising OKCupid, Bumble, Tinder, FetLife… just looking for someone that might be able to make me feel wanted… attractive… worthwhile. I wind up finding a beautiful woman with reddish-brown hair who is clearly intelligent, a good conversationalist, and very into me. We start seeing each other and I start going over to her place to have sex. Her house is large, beautiful, expensive. Meanwhile, Martha becomes something of an almost local legend because her man is so perfect and respected in our small community. Martha essentially becomes the cultural “Mrs. Universe” to this amazing guy. Meanwhile, I become the guy that leaves the county every weekend chasing tail.
Then things get worse. Martha starts to become a massive staple of the community. She becomes the woman I always knew she could be but never embraced while we were together. At the same time? My relationship becomes a huge scandal. Apparently, the woman I’d been seeing was the wife of the State Bar Association President. And she had kids she never told me about. AND is apparently an attorney who wanted my job. SO… I become a public pariah. The Homewrecker Asshole. I become a political liability and lose my job. I sink into alcoholism and have to defend myself in a lawsuit claiming that I was intentionally targeting the Bar Association’s president for my own financial and political gains. I become the poster boy in the news for “Sexual Deviant Destroys Family”.
In short… the separation led to Martha getting the best possible life she could ever hope for.... while destroying my life in every possible way.
I appreciate that the dream was likely just my mind envisioning worse possible scenarios. And that is certainly the worst possible scenario. While I would certainly love for Martha’s life to improve due to the separation… her becoming the person I always hoped she could be in our marriage… but only doing that for someone else? That would hurt. And then for my separation to lead not only to my own emotional downfall; but ruining my reputation and costing me my job? Yeah. That’s.... pretty worst case scenario all right.