Friday, May 23, 2008

Vignette: Dreams

Last night I dreamt of her dancing the boogie with me at a local dance club in downtown I vaguely remember my parents bringing me to one night when I was a kid.

We were the only ones below thirty there, she and I—everyone else seemed to be these tired couples who looked old enough to have kids out of college, longing for the good old times. I had asked her to dance and to trust me, and she said yes, and we took the house down. We were absolutely great. I felt absolutely great; she was smiling and holding me tight and telling me that that was the best time she ever had in ages. And we never danced, ever—it was of those things I had just thought of doing on the spot, and she was good enough to humor me.

But as we walked back to our seats, I wanted to stop time, suddenly seeing all those aged faces looking at us like we had been just the thing they wanted to be again, all aglow in the nostalgia of remembered youth and years long gone.

The other night had me seeing all the familiar places we had been to, the restaurants and cafés and movie houses and parks—but I was always alone, like she had gone some place so far away and I couldn’t see or talk to her again. Remembering that, in the waking hours after that, I asked myself where she could have gone off too; had she died? But I did not ask these questions in my dream; I just walked and walked, one foot in front of the other, through restaurants and cafés and movie houses and parks, through the crowds, without destination, searching the faces for her.

In the night before that, I was watching her as she slept, her chest rising and falling as she slowly breathed. I had never seen something so beautiful and peaceful in my whole life. I was afraid to kiss her or touch her, lest I wake her. So I just looked at her all through the night, until neighbor’s roosters called out their morning squawks and the sun started flood through the windows, in easy, gentle rays.

0 told me off: