You were in my dream. Summoned by the story workshopped in last night’s group therapy. I was lucky to have had you for a friend. That’s what they said. And I was so struck by that. I certainly didn’t know it then and I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about it in quite that way. What would have happened if you hadn’t been there? Where would I have gone? How would have I gotten along? We’ll never know. You were there, my friend, and I was lucky to have you.
In the dream I have a beach house. This is new. I’ve never had this house before. It’s not a California type setting, all white sand and blueness. No, this is the Atlantic. Windy. Foggy. Grey. Damp. Chilling. A big house. Lots of windows. Lots of curtains billowing in the wind.
In the dream you left by sea. I’m not sure where you’ve gone, but you’ve gone by boat, like Jacques Cousteau on expedition. And I’m swaddled in layers for warmth and comfort as I sit on a patio deck and search the horizon for signs of your return.
You come while I’m sleeping. Slip into the bed without warning or alarm and I roll into your big chest and smell your comforting essence. You’ve been on an adventure. You’ve found your stride. You’ve matured. God, I missed you! And I want to blurt it all out, tell you once and for all, unchain my heart and see if you want to take it for a long walk. But even as I think this you speak of leaving again.
Time is fleeting. Brief. You’ve brought someone with you. A young man. An assistant? A member of your crew? He makes me nervous with his constant movement about the house, foraging, packing, drawing maps and making calculations. Every time I try to tell you, he interrupts. It is the dawn of your departure and I’m about to watch you slip away again in ignorance. I’m afraid. I don’t want to tell you for fear that you’ll still leave me, that it’s too late.
I wait until the last possible moment. As the boy bounds down the path to the dock and you are leaning in to kiss me goodbye in the doorway. I clasp your hands and pull you inside, silence your wonder with the knowledge that this is important. You nod and sit to give me your full attention. The moment at last. I’m like a pool at your feet. I sit on the floor, leaning into your legs, resting my chin on your knees, arms draped over your thighs, clasping your hands in your lap. And I spill over. Apologies. Fears. Hopes.
You listen and when I’m done you don’t say anything for many seconds while I hold my breath and wait for sentencing or salvation. Then you smile, pull me onto your lap, kiss the tears from my eyes, my cheeks, my lips, whisper into my hair, my neck. I know. It’s ok. I knew. And I’m surprised. I’m surprised and relieved and hopeful and happy. Until I come to understand that you still intend to leave. You plan to finish this mission. And I’m to wait for your return. Again. Except I look to the ocean and all I can see is smoky clouds and grey waves, a wicked wind tossing boats in the harbour, and I know that if you leave this time I’ll never see you again.
And here it is, the crux of all my dreams about you, the piercing sadness that I’ll never see you again.
Drinking: coffee with cream
Listening To: Breathe (2am), Anna Nalick