I had the weirdest dream the other night. Remember the Jimmy Stewart classic, It’s a Wonderful Life? In the film, Stewart’s character, George Bailey, questions whether the people in his life would have been better off had he never been born. Then a guardian angel named Clarence shows him how their lives would have turned out if he had never existed. Well, my dream was a bit like that. A bit….
Me (in my dream, thinking to myself): Today was a crappy day. Nothing went right. My boss chewed me out for botching an important deal. My wife is upset with me too, for – um, to be honest, I have no idea why. Something about my buying a pet yak without consulting her. Who knows? Even my kids were pissed at me again – although in fairness, that’s been their normal feeling about me since puberty. Gosh, I’m depressed. Sometimes I wonder if everybody in my life would have been better off if I’d never been born.
Angel Tyrone: Why do you say that, Tim?
Me: WHA??? WHO THE HELL ARE YOU!!!!???? AND HOW DID YOU GET IN MY BEDROOM!!!!????
Tyrone: Nice to meet you, Tim. I’m your guardian angel – Tyrone.
Me: The Hell you are. Who ARE you and how did you get in here!!?? I have a pistol under my pillow, and I’m not afraid to use it.
Tyrone: No, you don’t.
Me: Oh, yeah? Just try me. And how would you know anyway, TY-RELL, if that’s even your real name?
Tyrone: It’s Tyrone. As I said, I’m your guardian angel. So I know you don’t have a gun under there. I’ve known you your entire life, Tim. For example, I know where you stashed the Playboy magazines you stole from your brother when you were 11.
Me: Oh, you do, eh? Well, why don’t you just tell me, Tyson?
Me: Hmmm. Not sure how you knew about my hiding place, Mr. Strange, Creepy Dude standing next to my bed, wearing nothing but a long white satin gown. Okay, let’s just say for argument’s sake you are my guardian angel. Explain something to me. Why are you here – and why are you climbing into my bed? You better not try to spoon or I’ll call the cops, I swear to God.
Tyrone: No, you won’t, Tim.
Me: And exactly why won’t I, Tyrone?
Tyrone: Because, like most nights, you forgot to charge your cell phone. The battery is dead.
Me: Hmm, you really do know me, it seems. Okay, so why are you here again?
Tyrone: Like I said, I heard you asking yourself just now whether the people in your life would have been better off had you never been born.
Me: How could you possibly have heard that? I wasn’t even talking!
Tyrone: Like I said…
Me: Oh right, you’re my guardian angel. Sure. Well, I really hope this is a dream. Otherwise my wife is going to think I went off the deep end. You know, Tyrone, I recently watched a movie called It’s a Wonderful –
Tyrone: It’s a Wonderful Life. I know. One of your favorites. Right after The Sting, Love Actually, and Parent Trap.
Me: Parent Trap. I loved that movie! Okay, you are officially starting to creep me out. So let me guess. Are you here to show me how things would have been worse had I never been born, like in the movie?
Tyrone: That’s right, Tim. You’d be quite surprised to discover the impact you’ve actually made on the people in your life. Would you like to see?
Me: Sure. Why not show me this dream sequence you have in store for me, Tyrone. Because I had a feeling the dream I was having when you arrived was going to end badly. I was dressed in a clown suit and just about to have sex with Angelina Jolie; she had handcuffed me to a bed on the stage of my high school auditorium right before the entire school was about to say the Pledge of Allegiance. So sure. Anything to change my brain’s dream channel is fine by me.
Tyrone: Okay, Tim. Hold my hand and come with me.
Me: How about we frolic to Neverland without the handholding, okay, T-Bone?
Tyrone: You have to hold my hand or else you won’t be able to see what I see.
Me: Seriously? Because if you try to pull any funny business, I have a Taser in my bedside table –
Tyrone: No, you don’t.
Me: Can’t sneak anything past you, can I, Tyrone?
Me: Okay, but I should tell you, I need to be back by 6am as I have an important sales call tomorrow, and I’m going to close a $400,000 deal.
Tyrone: No, you’re not.
Me: Oh, right. You know all, oh Great and Powerful Oz.
Tyrone: I’m a guardian angel. This isn’t a Harry Potter movie. There are no wizards, Tim.
Me: I really am starting to dislike you, Tyrone. [Suddenly, things get blurry, snow begins to fall, and the winds pick up. The next thing I know, I’m looking down from the gallery at my high school graduation.] Where am I, Tyrone? Is that what I think it is? Is that my high school graduation?
Tyrone: That’s right, Tim. Only this time, you’re not there. You’re not there to give your Valedictory Address at Commencement.
Me: Where am I, then? And who’s that giving my Valedictory speech?
Tyrone: Isn’t it obvious? You aren’t there… because you were never born. The Valedictory is being given by Bill Waller. He came in second in your class. But now he’s first – because you don’t exist anymore.
Me: [Listening to his speech for a few minutes] Oh my God. His speech is incredible. It’s way more moving than the lame address I delivered.
Tyrone: That’s right. As a result of that young man’s powerful speech, half your graduating class joined the Peace Corps. That class helped a starving village in Africa by building schools and even a hospital. And one of those classmates even found a cure for Malaria – saving literally tens of thousands of lives.
Me: So what’s your point, Tyrone? That had I not been born, we would have cured Malaria thirty years ago?
Tyrone: Er, um, I see your point. Perhaps I should have used a different example. Let’s continue on our journey, shall we?
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2015