Dream of: 17 January 1987 (3) "Aliosha Karamazov"

While standing at the counter of what appeared to be a store, I looked down and was surprised to see a newspaper lying on the counter with an ad containing my father's name in bold letters. Seeing my father's name was all the more surprising since I was presently living and working in another state, perhaps Florida.

I looked closer at the ad, which also contained a picture of my father and Kay (my father's second ex-wife). My father looked as if he were about 40 years old and Kay looked as if she were in her late 20s. Both were only pictured from the waist up and my father looked overweight. Kay was holding something like a newspaper in front of her breasts; her picture reminded me of a pinup.

The ad was an announcement of the recent marriage of the two, and the public was invited to visit my father and Kay on a certain day at a new-cars sales room located cady-cornered to the Gay Street House (the huge Victorian house in which my father lived in Portsmouth). The ad mentioned that my father had received an expensive watch from Kay as a wedding present, and that my father had also managed to persuade the watch-company (the manufacturer of the watch) to pay for part of the cost of the ad (as an advertising expense).

I wondered if anyone would go to their reception. I thought perhaps I should write my father a letter congratulating him – but there was nothing really to congratulate. He was obviously making a terrible mistake in marrying Kay; he seemed to have chosen a path in life which would lead to certain destruction. I still cared about him and I felt sorry for him, but there didn't seem to be anything I could do.

I recalled having read three different novels where the same type of problem between fathers and sons had been explored. Dostoievsky's The Brothers Karamazov especially came to mind. I thought about Aliosha Karamazov, a character in the book, and I recalled how Aliosha's father, Fydor Karamazov had been a completely debauched man and how Aliosha, a rather saintly figure, had continued to love his father in spite of all his father's faults. Yet Aliosha, like I, had found the experience painful.

Why could my father not see that he was living like a fool? Marrying a young blonde like that (mostly for sex), placing ads about his new watch in the paper, having an ostentatious reception in a new-car sales room – all of that was certainly the road to self-destruction. However, I felt impotent in dealing with the situation.

I noticed a group of women standing not far from me, one of whom looked like Debi (my first steady girlfriend, when I was in the ninth grade). I thought about being back in high school and I wondered what had happened to all my old schoolmates. Where was Shaw (the high school classmate whom Debi married)? I hadn't seen him since high school. I thought that he had probably moved away and that I would never see him, but then I remembered I had heard he was working at a bank in Portsmouth. Perhaps someday we would meet again. Never again seeing people I had once known seemed a little sad.

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