August 10, 1990 I had a dream about Mark-Paul Gosselaar. He was the star of the hit teen show Saved by the Bell, which I watched on Saturday mornings. Though I liked him and thought he was cute, I never expected him to lead me on a spiritual journey.
That night before I fell asleep, I drank a cup of chamomile tea and finished reading Return of the Jedi. As I drifted off to sleep, I made up a council of people in my mind. These were people I wanted to meet and talk to in real life. The council consisted of George Lucas, Val and Joanne Kilmer, Warwick Davis, Shirley MacLaine, Steven Spielberg and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
I was sitting on a couch with Jill Boroom and we were talking to Ms. Renz. Teresa, Dennette and Tiffini-Amber were on another couch sitting across from us. The second couch looked like Grandma’s love seat. Tiffini-Amber got up and left and came back to introduce us all to someone. It was a young man of 16 years. He had on light blue jeans and a light blue shirt I think. She introduced him as her son, Tiffini-Amber. Why she called him her son or called him by her own name, I do not know. Anyway, we left my house and went wind surfing or sailing.
We got to this huge building that looked like department store, but part of it looked like a library. We were in the library part talking some more. Mark-Paul and I talked to each other while others talked amongst themselves. We were leaning against a table at the end of an aisle of books. I began teasing him about having a girl’s name and he got really mad at me.
Mark-Paul walked toward the lobby at the front of the building. I followed and called after him in a mocking way, “Oh, Tiffini-Amber!”
That was the last straw. He spun around and grabbed me by the arm. He yanked me into a side room that could have been a bathroom, like at Shelby Christian Academy. He stared at me with an intense fury.
I was scared at first that he might hit me. Though shaking, I said confidently, “You aren’t going to hit me. You like me too much!”
I knew this was true. We shared a bond. We loved each other. His face softened and changed. Then he pulled me close and kissed me passionately on the lips. I melted in his arms.
When we parted, it was as if we were the best of friends.
We went to finish an experiment on Dustin Diamond. Something about oxygen and soap flakes and fruit. I ran to tell the shop keeper that something had gone horribly wrong. Not finding anyone, I hosed off the soapy fruit—peaches I think. Mark-Paul had followed me to the fruit section before disappearing.
Then the building began to flood from the inside out. Everyone was in chaos. Mythical creatures ran around trying to get out. I ran to the library part of the building and then back to the lobby. I saw Warwick Davis climbing some sort of statue. I climbed out the store window and up a few stories. There, I saw Val Kilmer and an Indian Chief. I followed Val, the Chief and some other guy down a dark passage way. We came out onto a balcony and realized we were going down with the ship—or building rather. I took Val’s hand and prepared to drown.
Then I realized something! I hopped up and waded through the rising waters. I swam around and found my friends safe up on a hill top. The water levels began to drop and we walked through the sloppy, muddy mess of a field. I apologized to my friends for my misdeeds.
Later, I was worried about causing the flood. Someone said to me, “You didn’t cause it. It was an act of God and meant to be.”
Finally, I was reunited with Mark-Paul on the hill, where we ate and then talked.
When I woke up feelings I can only describe as love filled me. I felt absolutely complete when I thought of him and then utterly incomplete in the realization that he was thousands of miles away and had no idea who I was. Everyone thought I merely had a celebrity crush on him, but I knew it was more than that. I began searching in magazines for interviews with him for clues and searching my feelings, trying to figure out what it all meant.
Years later I realized what the dream meant. Like the water that flooded the building from the inside out, I saw that love comes from the inside and radiates outward. The love that I felt for him was possible because I didn’t need him there to feel it. You can still someone who has left or died so why couldn’t you feel love for someone you’ve never met? Why can’t that energy be triggered by someone or something beyond your reach?
And make no mistake, Love is an energy and it does not need others to be felt. I was quite capable of looking inside myself and pulling out that divine love that I felt I so lacked at that time in my life. Being loved by others wasn’t half as important as getting in touch with that sense of spiritual love I already possessed inside. I could feel at one with the universe without any outside influence. Perhaps the dream was really an act of God, showing me the way to my own wholeness and divinity.
I also theorized that I knew Mark-Paul in a past life and that that love had carried over into this life. I hoped that one day I might meet him and see if that spark existed beyond my inner world, but I have yet to meet him. Rather I ever meet him or not I would like to thank him for being part of my personal empowerment. He will always have a place in my heart even if he never knows I exist.
There was an episode of Saved by the Bell where Zack is sitting on the beach sad about his love Stacy leaving him at the end of the summer. I often imaged sitting on the beach beside Mark-Paul Gosselaar one day and explaining to him the significant influence he had on my life and how much he meant to me.
It has been nearly 23 years since that fateful dream and I still celebrate the anniversary of it every year. Since the dream Mark-Paul Gosselaar has gotten married, had two kids, gotten divorced and gotten remarried. Now he is expecting his third child with his new wife. I too have gotten married, had two kids and gotten a divorce. Though not remarried, I have since entered into another relationship as well.
Now I muse that it is not he and I that will marry, but that perhaps our children will meet and marry one day. Perhaps there is still a connection to be made even if it is not directly between him and me. Our paths have not yet crossed, but I still have faith that what I felt meant something. I could never dismiss the dream as just a dream after all these years. It is a large part of my past and who I am today no matter what the eventual outcome is.
And now it is out there for the world to read and know. I feel better having been able to explain one of the more controversial aspects of my personal life. For years I had no words to explain the depth and breadth of emotions I felt. I couldn’t explain its significance, but now I can. And maybe, just maybe, I helped someone else out there feel not so alone and empowered as well.