It’s fascinating how dreams work, is it not? There I am, in an unknown town, in an unknown vehicle, driving to a house I have never seen before, yet it is all totally familiar. My mind made the whole thing up, none of what happened in the dream ever existed, except the woman, and around that one known, that one woman I haven’t seen since 1986, I’m driving to her house, in a car, in a town, and none of it ever existed but her. I know to park my car in the parking lot of the store next to her house because she likes for me to be discreet. She was married back in 1986 but estranged from her husband. I never thought she would go back to him but she did, and then left him for someone else less than a year later. But in the dream she was still married and still mine. Reality, it would seem, is not without a sense of irony.
It’s hard to describe a place you can only remember from a dream and only once at that. There are reoccurring dreamscapes and some of them I really love. Some of them are puzzles; I wonder why my subconscious would build something substandard or shabby. Some of oddities you would not see in real life, like the white house with white trim and a white mailbox. The only color anywhere near the house, except for the lawn, which is a very pretty lawn, is the red square on the mailbox flag. I stop and stare at that house every time a dream takes me there and I wonder if there is such a home.
There are also people in dreams that I have never seen before and aren’t likely to see again. There’s a dreamscape house that doubles as a daycare center, one of those unofficial businesses that is run by a woman who is good with kids. I stopped by there once to take something to her, and I never found out what it was, and there was a line of cars, five or six of them, waiting to pick up their children. I thought that was a terrible thing, to have that many cars sitting out in the street but small towns allow that sort of thing.
I’m always the same age as when we met as so is she. I loved her hair, her smile, the way she moved around the room, like a fluid and the way she laughed. We argued the last time we were in the same room and I regret that, deeply regret it, and even though we’ve spoken on the phone a half dozen times in the last three decades I think it was that last face to face conversation I regret most. I said things I didn’t mean, but worse, I didn’t say what I felt. That is always a mistake when speaking to a woman.
In the dream we are young, and together and the time we spend is endless for it feels like there will be no end to this time when you are young and in love. She gets dressed and as I am getting dressed there is a knock on the front door.
It’s odd, because the man who has come over is someone I haven’t seen since I was a teenager. It was rumored he had an affair with his boss’s wife and for years people wondered did they or didn’t they? He is likely in his eighties now and I have no idea what became of him. But she doesn’t want him to see me there. I get dressed quietly and leave out of the back door, but he’s leaving out of the front door at the same time so I think he saw me. It’s an odd feeling that is. To get caught doing something I shouldn’t be doing by someone I only remember because there were doing the same thing. Nicely placed, Sub Conscious, nicely played.
The dream ended as I left. I woke up and still felt guilty and caught. I could still feel the body buzz of really good sex and I still regret, even more deeply each time I think about it, the last time I saw her really was going to be the last time I saw her. She remarried and I lost track of her a few years ago.
So the dreams ends and I am sitting on the edge of the bed listening to Tanya the Destroyer complain about her captivity. She still sleeps in the crate at night. We tried letting her sleep on the bed with everyone else but she nibbled by nose at three in the morning and truly, no one enjoys that at any time of day. I wonder what it would be like to awaken one morning and discover that Tanya is part of a dream, or that the reality from which I draw most of my writing never really existed. Perfectly meshed, the one reality is woven around another in my dreams, and for hours on end I live in that reality much as I do the one that most people would consider to be the “real” world. Yet we already know that our memory is faulty. We know we lose keys and cannot remember what happened to them. We forget phone number and we forget names as if the very essence of names forbids perfect memories of them. We lose track of those we love out of neglect or pride. This world we have decided is real makes nearly, almost as much sense as the world we crate in dreams and for all of those who claim they cannot remember their dreams they can remember very little from this world’s day to day living. Is this not true? Do you not see this each day?
Yet here we are.
Now, I begin a day again, the end of another week, and a woman I once loved is another day further away from me, another week removed from my life, and the possibility that we will never again see one another grows stronger.
In my dreams, I have seen her. And discovered in both worlds, love never truly dies.