“Dreams have only one owner at a time. That’s why dreamers are lonely.”
The room was poorly lit, and the smell of stale beer was thick in the air.
It wasn’t altogether unpleasant and took me back to the days when mum would send me down to “the local” to fetch my dad home for his supper. His mates thought I was cute and they would shout me a lemonade and tell me stories about race horses and harrowing adventures from their war service. These stories were always about their time in camp and often involved them and their mates getting back late after a night of drinking. I don’t remember a single story about combat, and I vaguely remember asking them if they had killed anyone in the war, as kids tend to do.
“You don’t want to hear about that, little one. It’s too sad, we’d rather hear about what you have been up to, that’s why we fought the buggers, so you could have adventures and not be frightened.”
I remember thinking that this was a funny thing to say. I was always frightened, so whatever they did “over there” was a waste of time as far as I was concerned.
Now I know what they meant, and I wish I could go back to that pub, back to that time and say thank you, and hug them and hope that it took the nightmares away.