Ageless Dreamer*
28 January, 1999
author: Rebecca Ditch-Hammack (aka Dreamer)


     Dreamer looked at her face in the mirror.. She stared at the slight lines that were beginning to form at the corner of her eyes.. Raising her hand she touched the skin and stretched it slightly. She pulled the lines away. She thought about how many times over the years of her life that she had done this ritual. She wondered if she was beginning to appear old to other people. Smiling and flirting with herself for a moment she tried to put the thoughts aside and enjoy the vision of what was left of her youth..

     A loose tendril of hair fell to her forehead and a curl fell loosely in front of her ear.. Picking up the nearby brush she ran a few strokes through her long wavy brown hair... She smiled to herself...

     "Well at least I still have nice hair"

     Visions of the old ladies that she had seen with really long hair and how silly they looked sometimes ran through her mind.  She hated the thought that someday she too would have to decide whether to cut it off or not..

     Again she smiled as she pushed the loose tendril from her face. Turning from the bathroom mirror, she turned off the bright light and left the room. She looked down at the sleeping form of her husband who lay in his usual position in his chair. He snored softly as she walked past him to her office.

     This was her world now. The world where age didn't matter. Where anything was possible. Safe from the reality of her self made prison.     Dreamer went through the motions of being happy.  The daily routines sometimes seemed harder  to deal with lately

     She didn't think too much of the 'what ifs' in life.  She had lived a pretty full life to this point.

     It was actually funny when she though about it. The many adventures she had had.  Her girl friends, stuck in the rut of young motherhood, used to tell her that they lived lives through hers..  It amused her slightly when they told her that. The way she had hid or tried to hide the pains of that reality of her existence.  More than once, she felt it was more like living in a soap opera.

     She always wondered if people really believed the tales of her life.  She had done so many things, been so many places, and experienced so much of life..  Once again she smiled again in her self-knowledge that her stories were all true.  Sitting there she thought about one of the stories best friend  always told:

     Dreamer picked up Tony, who was beating his wife, by the throat, his feet were dangling off the ground. She was yelling at him.

     "You want to pick on someone, why don't you pick on someone a little closer to your own size.. Go ahead hit me jerk. I'm not scared of you. I will put you in jail so fast your head will spin.. Come on show me what a real man you are now."

     Dreamer kept egging him on.. keeping him cornered away from his wife as she tried to get a few things to leave with, clothes and such.  Of course he didn't hit her.  After all, Dreamer had to be crazier than him.

     "You are a real man now huh?..Come on!..Come on... hit me.. " She yelled in his face urging him on.

     The funny part was she had been dressed in a barbarian costume for Halloween. He kept knocking her down and she kept jumping back up like a clown punching bag. Still screaming at him.  Keeping him away.. But he never hit her.

     The only part of the story was that Dreamer really didn't believe herself was that she had lifted him off the ground with one hand... Seemed a bit too super human to her, even on a good tequila night.  Then again anger can cause you to do strange things.  Michelle always forgot to tell the part of what sent Dreamer over the edge.

     Not only was Michelle only 5 foot 2 and 110 pounds, but the first thing he did, after he bashed her into a brick wall, was crush her glasses so she couldn't see to fight back. To Dreamer, that was just fighting too dirty.

     Michelle and her mother told that story as witnesses over and over to other people. Both swearing she did have him lofted in the air .. "Dreamer the Barbarian" they had dubbed her. These stories of her fight and super human strength didn't help Dreamer's love life much. Dreamer often tried to deter her friend's story telling, especially around guys, but never did. To Michelle she was some kind of hero..

     She again smiled deeply thinking about it.  That the loser had been too scared to hit her. The whole thing had been in vain though, as her friend packed her bags that night, going back to him again a couple days later. Her expression changed dramatically as she remembered the pains that man put Michelle's family though.. He beat her repeatedly as her children watched.

     A couple years later Dreamer had to testify in court that she had seen this numerous times and that she had been told by his sister, that his father had beat his mother too.  So sad, because the guy always seemed to get away with it. Even to the point of him burning his son's face with a cigarette..  No telling what things he did to her daughter.   Just too sad, she thought.  If only her friend hadn't gone back that time.

     She remembered how nervous and fidgety he became when he seen her walk into the court house, the day she was to testify.  He knew the truth, that she was the only one that really knew him and what he had done.  She alone invoked fear in the man.  This gave Dreamer and her friend Michelle, a little pleasure.  Though justice would have given them both more pleasure..  But the court's lawyers and judges seemed well paid.  The system failed.  But at least he couldn't have any contact with her son until he had counseling.  Both women, Dreamer and Michelle, knew he would never do that.  So basically Michelle's family was as close to free of him as they were ever to get.

     "Dreamer the Barbarian" she spoke aloud.  She smiled wryly and giggled softly while shaking her head slightly to herself.  The spoken words seemed to have a magical, pleasant, memory that comforted her in some way.

     Funny how domestic she had become.  How different her life was now.  She sighed heavily.  It was the first time in her life that she was void of excitement.  Her life actually seemed dull in comparison.  She was tamed.

     Dreamer sat at the keyboard of her computer in her office.  She paused for a moment and looked up to see a pair of Beanie Foxes she had bought. Yes, tamed she was.  Just like the Little Fox in the story of "The Little Prince" that a friend had sent her all the way from Israel.  It seemed that they were looking back at her just waiting for her.   Kind of like her real dogs. Always waiting for just a movement of some kind, to raise their heads and respond to.

     Dreamer had lived an interesting youth.  Not that she would ever want to go back in time, but sometimes it now left her bored and saddened. Her life seemed dull and void of any of the colorful experiences it once held..

     One thing she had learned was that you have to make your own excitement in life.. You have to find your own dragons to fight, your own crusades worth fighting for, your own love, and your own miracles.  You had to find your own peace with the world and self.  Somehow that was her meaning to life..   It reminded her of a Song she used to enjoy as a child.

     A teen-aged Dreamer sat at the organ in her parents home. Flipping through the pages of sheet music. She wished she could play as well as her mother. But she had her favorite songs. The ones she loved the best. She rummaged though the pile till she found both of her favorites. She sat the music on the music stand in front of her. These two had special meaning to her. They were her inspiration, her passion for some reason. It was reflected in the way she played them. She played them over and over. Especially when no one was around.

     She opened the first sheet of music. The starting notes of "The Impossible Dream" From Man a LaMancha sprung forth from her fingers.. She practically had it memorized.

     "....This is my quest to follow the star, no matter how hopeless no matter how far. To fight for the right with out question or pause. To be willing to march into Hell for the heavenly cause. ..."

     Her heart soared as she played it and sang it's words.

     She didn't know then how important those words were to her. How many times she would follow that impossible dream.

     Her skill on that song filled the air to a grand crescendo and then faded back to the humility of the quest.   The music swelled.. Her passion was easily heard in her voice as she sang the words . She was so talented this young girl.

     Always the Dreamer. Always battling her dragons whether invisible or not.. She knew even then that she was different that her passions would rule her life..

     Finally finished and satisfied with the song she paused.  Sitting back pleased with herself and how good it sounded that time.. Very few mistakes. That was her goal to play it through perfect..

     There were only a few songs she could do better than her mom.  Her mom was really good with the pedals.   She silently admired her talent. Dreamer would love to watch her mother play.   She would stand beside her and sing with her, as she played. Sometimes Dreamer would just listen and watch her mom's feet fly across the pedals in a rhythm she never could accomplish herself.

     She opened the other sheet of music. Exodus. It was the theme song from a movie. Again it was the words that moved her. The passion of the lyrics. God gave this land, God gave this land to me. This wide and wondrous land to me... Passion again filled her. This one too, she played with the crescendo that it deserved. She rarely sang it. This ones feeling were in the music. She didn't know it was passion driving the feeling. She just relished it and became part of the feeling of the song.

     Dreamer was always more of a spiritual person. It wasn't just her music it was her thoughts. The things she did and thought when she was alone. She always questioned life.

     She wondered why people chose to do the things they did.  While younger she always questioned why the kids in school had picked on her so bad.  Why they wanted to do the mean things they did to her. What made them that way..  Just this sort of  thinking alone, seemed to be what made her different..  Most people didn't seem  to care.  Dreamer always had very strong emotions, one of which made her cry easily..  This made her an easy target for the other kids.  They claimed the reason was always said it was the way she just looked at them...

     She was the first to admit she was a watcher.  She watched other people and what they did, how they interacted.  She always felt like she was looking in at them from somewhere else.   Scary thing was that even as a kid she knew she was different. She seen it herself in her eyes when she looked at pictures of herself.  Deep thinking even as a child.


     Dreamer sat back in her chair and looked at the computer screen. Seemed she did alot of reminiscing these days.   Could it be age creeping up on her or just the fact that she was worried about not leaving any impact in the world behind her. Making no difference in life seemed to bother her now.

     She didn't have children. Never really wanted any. This too she had decided a long time ago as a teen. She always wanted to adopt.  She wanted to help a kid that was already here in this world that needed to be guided along the way.. Why bring another life into the world. 

     Once she even bet a neighbor, when still a kid herself,  "100 bucks" she would not have children. The neighbor was so sure she would change her mind when she got older.  But she hadn't.  Dreamer had easily won that bet, not that she ever did it to prove a point or anything.  She didn't. She just always knew, even then, what she didn't want.

     She sat back and thought about that decision.  Never wishing 'what if'. But just wondering why she had chose it.

     She remembered the little girl that used to endlessly irritate the other bigger kids.  She remembered tackling her down in a game of hillbilly tackle and putting her hands to the other child's throat.  She thought to herself then as she did it, how easy it would have been to just shut her up permanently.  Of course she chose not too. But it was scary just the same.   It left an impact on her.

     Perhaps that action, and feeling it left behind, could have been the basis for her decision about having kids. Maybe it was the fact that she was afraid that she could not deal with a baby if it cried and cried for no reason, irritating her.

     It seemed strange to her how kids loved her. Kids could annoy her greatly, but she loved them just as much.  She was always the first one the kids would climb up on.  Dreamer would secretly make faces at the little ones in shopping carts at the store. When she thought no one was looking she would play peek-a-boo with them.. Kids loved her.  As did all animals. She had a knack, so to speak, with them.

     There was only one child didn't love her. The child who had picked her for a mother.  The daughter of the man whom Dreamer fell in love with and married. As much as she tried to love this child, the child rejected her. Dreamer had adopted her, emotionally, as her own.   Despite her love for the girl, the child turned on her like a rabid dog.  This still confused Dreamer.  Even though she knew the child had a mental illness she couldn't figure out why it was, the child decided to hate her. Sometimes she felt she had looked in the face of evil. Worse yet... she sometimes thought that evil had won.

     The last 3 years with her step daughter had been miserable.  She lied behind Dreamer's back accusing her of all sorts of terrible things.  Things that never happened. Things that would never happen.  She took sentences out of context of the conversations they were having and used them.  Twisting them she made her own versions of reality.  Dreamer had never been scared of anything in her life.  This child scared her.  She scared her more than any women beater or gun toting hoodlum in the streets, even more than any of the bullies she had put up with in school. This child drained her of all that was Dreamer.

     She sat there now, staring...   She felt like a used up shell... She was silent in her sadness.   A mere facade of who she had once been.  No part of the lively, sparkling eyed young girl seemed to be left.  Only once in a great while did a glimpse of that girl ever show through.  Her closest friends were the only ones who seen and understood it.  They knew her sorrow, her pain.  They knew of the nightmares that kept her from sleeping at night.  But they also knew her strengths.

     Dreamer secretly kept a list of the things that people said about her. Affirmations to herself. To remind herself of who she really was.  They held her together when she was weakest.  They were thoughts from friends online that she had met and talked to about various aspects of their lives.  To them she was special.  In this world she felt worth while and important.  People told her how valuable she was to them.  Almost to the point that she had a hard time dealing with it.  She never took the praise well.  She never saw herself the way others did.

     Friends always told her how much she meant to them.  How her kind acts of listening had done things to help them.  It made her feel uneasy because it came natural to her.  Dreamer sat and thought back.


     Dreamer sat in a her local bar called Pete's Pub. A familiar face walked in the door.  A face of a 4th grade crush.  Tom had been the funny guy in class. Guess you could have easily called him the class clown.. She loved being around him back then and wished he could be her boyfriend.   She remembered him asking her to dance in school at an assembly.  How happy it made her, even though the other kids made fun of her, and him for it.  She sat behind him in class. He had meant alot to her then.  But no one ever knew it..

     Dreamer was a bit tipsy that night he walked in and memories of the pains of the school days were still very fresh in her memories. Dreamer now felt bad about what she had done. She liked to blame it on the drinking, but now wasn't sure she was actually that drunk. Recently divorced from a violent alcoholic, she was bitter of the past, and at men in general.

     Tom came up to her and trying to talk to her.   He started the conversation with "Do you remember me?"

     At first she couldn't place him. When he told her his name, instantly she remembered him..

     "You know what I remember about you," He asked?

     He began to lay out his tale of how his father was a very violent man.. He used to beat his mother.  He remembered a particular morning when he got up for school his father and mother were in a big fight.  His father usually drove him to school but that morning Tom was scared and decided he was going to try and walk because he didn't want to be in the car alone with his father.  He skipped breakfast and grabbing his lunch and books he headed off to school.

     Being that he was only in fourth grade, he really didn't really know his way to school and got lost.  It was cold he was hungry and scared.  Feeling that way, he decided to eat his lunch while he figured out how to get to school. Finally he did but he was a few hours late.  The school gave him a hard time cause he didn't have a note from his parents on why he was late.  They had already called his house about him not being at school and he was afraid he was going to be in more trouble when he got home.

     When lunch came every one had a lunch except him..  He was hungry again while he watched the other kids eat.  He then told Dreamer he remembered that she had given him her sandwich and shared the rest of her lunch with him...  How even 13 years later, this kindness was what he remembered of her.

     Dreamer laughed and coldly told him that most of the time she threw out her sandwiches.

     Then told him the story of her memory of him..

     One day on the play ground her scariest school enemy decided she wanted to beat Dreamer up for some reason. She didn't know what she had done.  Probably glanced in her direction or something as equally silly. This girl had a really deep, froggy voice and was mean as all get up. This particular day, the girl had told Dreamer she was going to beat her up on the playground.. Dreamer, of course, was very scared of this big girl. She knew she was going to get it on the play ground just like the girl threatened, as the girl had always followed through with her threats before.

     The kids all gathered around as Dreamer backed up.  Just as this girl was going to haul off and hit her Tom, this boy that she had liked, cared for, and shared her lunch with, grabbed her arms from behind and held her so the bully girl could beat her up. Dreamer was punched repeatedly as she tried to fight back and kick.  Luckily a teacher broke it up before any real damage was done.  They all had ended up at the office over it.

     She told him this story cold and blunt . Then added "And that, is how I remember you"

     He was silent for a few seconds thinking about it said he hadn't remembered that at all. Then again he may of remembered it as she told the tale. He apologized for the behavior. He really was saddened that he had treated her so badly.

     Dreamer knew she had been rough on him after he had given her such a compliment. She seen him from time to time after that. He was still always nice to her. He asked her out occasionally though she always refused..

     She remembered one time she seen him and his future wife, in a bar that her friend's band was playing at.

     They talked and asked her to join their table. She always felt a bit bad because of the unfair way she had treated him. She was still embarrassed of her own behavior.  She sat at their table and he introduced her to his girlfriend. She felt awkward but her other choice was to sit alone.

     Her friends in the band wanted her to sing. They raved about her talent . Tom and his girlfriend wanted her to also, as they had never heard her.  Tom may have at school assemblies over the years but she hadn't known for sure. There were only about 10 people in the bar, including a blind man and his dog.

     Her friends kept begging her to sing.  This was a ritual they had to go through to get her courage up enough to sing.  Dreamer picked up a guitar and sang a song that she wrote called "Tomorrow Never Comes".

     She only sang at the table not wanting to get up to the microphone in such a small place with so few people. The blind man at the bar kept calling back in the room "turn her up.."  not knowing that Dreamer was not using a microphone.   She sang louder for him. As everyone silently was amused not only by his comments but by her effort to accommodate him.

     Dreamer didn't see Tom again for several years. When she did, it was for a last time as she was getting ready to move out of the state to a new home

     When he seen her,  his face, as always, seemed to lighten up. He told her he had married the girl that he was with that night and a little about what he was doing in life and stuff. He said that he was happy and had his own business.

     "Come out the the truck, I have something I want to show you" he said quietly as she readied to say goodbye.

     Dreamer followed him out to where his truck was parked.  He went int
o the glove compartment and pulled out his wallet and showed her a picture of a beautiful little girl.  She told him she was very pretty.

     He seemed to look at her a bit awkwardly, he hesitated. Then looking directly into Dreamer's eyes he stated,

"Her name is Dreamer"  Silently his eyes said it all with out words. He had named his daughter after her...  It brought tears to Dreamer's eyes.


     Thinking of it now refreshed the feeling.  It warmed her heart so much to think that her little act of kindness so long ago had moved him to name his child after her..  Random acts of kindness, she thought.

     Dreamer thought about this for a while and she thought of Tom and wondered how he was doing. She thought about how old the little girl would be now. Little Dreamer, her namesake would now be several years into school.

     She knew now what Tom had done when he was so young was something he didn't even know was wrong back then...   Seeing his mother beaten, he hadn't known better.  She thought that perhaps they had discussed that at some time.  She couldn't quite recall now.  She knew he was not like his dad in her heart..

     She really hoped he would tell his daughter that story one day of the good and kind little girl who had the same name as her.  And somehow her memory would live on even after she was gone.

     Dreamer looked over her shoulder into the mirror that reflected who she was and who she had become. The face that she had watched over the years. Searching for answers to unasked questions in the dark haunted eyes.

     As she looked, the little lines she had seen so clearly in the bathroom mirror's harsh light, didn't seem so prominent.  The age she seemed to feel lately was not so apparent.  She smiled again.  This time it was at the kind face that Tom saw when he looked at her.   The face behind the good deeds that the others had told her that she had done.   It was those things  that others had said. The things which made her feel uncomfortable at the time, that had made a difference.  It also made her who she was.

     Dreamer remembered the final words to the song she played as a teen so passionately....

    ...... "and the world will be better for this, that one man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable star....

     It was her quest too.  To  Dream the Impossible Dream..

     She looked into the mirror once more and smiled. Getting old, she thought to herself .... Never !

Comments on this poem/writing:

Meridian ( -- Monday, March 5 2007, 05:30 am

my stars!!

This is absolutely beautiful Dreamer! WOW girl! It must be a true story, because you are Dreamer and because...because...the details seem so real. I love how you start off looking at yourself and questioning, "what have I become?". And from then on you start to reminisce on the past about the hardships you had to overcome, how you had a different opinion than what others had thought about you...about your school days and the vibrancy you used to possess...finding friends, losing friends...discovering life itself...and just defining your purpose, your reason for being on God's green Earth.

This is absolutely remarkable! Thank God you told me about this! I am....woo...I can't even talk, it was so good!

Ageless Dreamer! I love it!
Becky ( -- Monday, March 5 2007, 05:38 am


Thank you for reading Meri.. you are right it was a true reminiscing of my own life. I remember how inspired I felt when I first wrote it 8 years ago.. I was in so much self doubt to my own worth. It almost wrote itself. I am glad you enjoyed it.. Amazing what you can find looking in a mirror ..
Meridian ( -- Tuesday, March 6 2007, 03:01 am


Just long have you been known by your pseudonym?
Becky ( -- Tuesday, March 6 2007, 05:09 am

My pseudonym

My pseudonym is and has always been Dreamer.. Since I was a child. I have a copy of on old reel to reel tape somewhere that was made when I was 6-8 where my father is talking to my little brother and he makes mention of me being a day dreamer. I did not remember bearing this tape until only a few years ago when he made me a copy. I had already been calling myself that since even before the internet. I found it easier to write in the 3rd person and reflect my real life stories and some imagined adventures. So I guess I was born a Dreamer.. and will always be Dreamer..
Name:                                           Remember Me

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