Every night for the last two weeks, I have dreamed of the Hurtling Moons of Barsoom. I awake in the morning, still feeling the Martian dust, smelling the canned air of my pressure suit, with my heart still pounding from the battle against the Martians that I have just left.
I used to have dreams like that all the time, back when I was but a young lad. I was Innes, traveling with Abner Perry on his mole to the center of the earth, fighting the Mahar in Pellucidar. I was Bowen Tyler, braving the wilds of Caprona. I was Private Juan Rico, of Rasczak’s Roughnecks, dropping on Klendathu to fight the bugs.
Excitement. Thrills. Peril. These were my daily companions. Looking forward at life, I saw nothing but an endless adventure awaiting.
Somewhere along the line, however, I grew up. High School, the Military, marriage, kids, jobs, and everyday life all entered the picture, and somehow I never made it to Luna City, much less the outer reaches. I settled down to an ordinary life, a bit less spectacular.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my children, and have loved every single second of being a father. Loved every second individually, as they have passed. Even the hard ones. And, I have loved each minute of over two decades with my wife, and would not trade one second of it for a lifetime on Golden Rule as a single man.
But, I do dream of Golden Rule. It’s there that I meet Gwen, and she looks a lot like my wife. And at the end, while I bemoan the loss of my foot, and try to tend the wounds of my beloved Gwen, it is my wife’s lovely brown eyes that I am looking into.
I think this is my midlife crisis manifesting itself. I am reverting back to the adventure seeking boy that I was. Dreaming of the books I read and wishing for the thrill that I had when I would read them.
I do still experience it sometimes, even now. I have accompanied Jack Ryan on many harrowing adventures. There were a couple of times that I thought we weren’t going to pull through, but somehow we made it. I cannot count the number of lonely roads that I have walked down with Jack Reacher. He and I have made it through some extremely touchy situations, and I thank God that he had my back.
You know, it’s funny, but I am the only man I know who feels this way. I have talked to many of my friends, and coworkers, and they seem to have lost the hunger for adventure that we had when we were boys. I have asked them, and they all seem to be too old, or too grown up, to be interested in these things. But I am not. I still want to go look for Captain Flint’s treasure. What's funny about this is that sometimes I am Jim Hawkins, and sometimes I am Long John Silver. I am not sure what that says about me, but I am sure that it means something.
Anyway, I have been dreaming about these things lately, and I just wanted to get it off my chest. I think it might just be the winter setting in, and the realization that I am not going to be able to do any hunting this year, and fishing is pretty much over until spring. Maybe it’s just that my job is a bit of a grind, and this is my mind’s way of compensating for it. Or maybe it is a full blown mid life crisis, and I am anxious for the day in a few years when my wife and I are on our own, kids gone, and chuck it all away and hit the road.
I don’t know.
But, this weekend, I think I will stack a few cups and await Rufo. Perhaps he will show up, and we can wander the Glory Road together, he with his bow and me with The Lady Vivamus sheathed on my hip. I dream of this sometimes, too, and every single time, when I meet Star she has the deepest brown eyes I have ever seen, and I feel as if I am drowning in them.
And, sometimes, when I am feeling especially clever, I can make her laugh.