Sunday, January 24, 2016

My Life With Comic Books Part # 200

A brief introduction:
My name is Paul Howley, owner of the Eisner Award winning pop culture collector’s store known as “That’s Entertainment” in Worcester, Massachusetts and a second store in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Some people have called me the “luckiest man in the comic book business.” (I’m not) My stores have been around for over thirty years and it’s been a long and interesting combination of events and people that have brought these stores to this current place. It is not my intent to boast or brag about my store or my life. I just want to tell you my story. In many instances, my wife remembers things a little differently, but this is the truth as I remember it.

The current cast of characters:
Paul Howley: age 48
Mal Howley: age 48
Adam Howley: my son, age 21
Cassy Howley: my daughter, age 17


   I’ve never had a dream that I believed to be any more than just a dream. I know that many cultures and religions believe that some dreams are inspired by God and I’m certainly not disputing that belief. It’s just that, for me, most of my dreams seem to be the result of thoughts that have been going through my head before I fall asleep. But I did have one time that my dream seemed very real.

   I feel the need to explain something first. When Adam went off to college, there were times when I would barely think about him for several days. I knew he had started his new life away from us and our lives were quite busy. But after his accident, I really haven’t had ten minutes in a row without thinking of Adam. It’s not an obsession. I’m not haunted by the memories of him. It’s just that so many things remind me of Adam. Television, clothing, music, foods…the list seems endless. Anyway, I had this dream about a year after Adam’s accident.

   It was a very cold winter day and Adam and I were on a long wooden toboggan getting ready to slide down a huge hilly road ( to be specific, it was Kent Drive in Hudson, Massachusetts). Even though, in reality, the steep part of Kent Drive is only about a mile long, in my dream it seemed as if it was several miles long. I was holding on tightly to the edges of the toboggan and Adam was holding onto my shoulders. For some reason, Adam wasn’t the twenty-one year old Adam... he was twelve years-old and I could hear his typical stuffed-up nose while he said to me, “Dad, don’t worry, there’s no reason to cry…I’m fine.”

   We spent the rest of our ride together laughing and enjoying the thrill of the steep hill. When I woke up, I knew it was just a dream. Even though it wasn’t real, I felt relieved….Adam was safe and happy.