I find you in my dreams, caged in a realm where only I can reach. You are mine to hold and keep – away from the prying universe and their intrusive questions. You are there every night, but finding you takes effort. Some dreams, it’s as easy as calling out your name and you come to me, like you’d be waiting for me all along.. like I had been all day for the moment my eyes would dim and the darkness would lead me to your light. Some nights it’s an arduous task – running through forgotten hallways, murky alleys, surreal scapes, forbidden lands before I find you. Those nights, it’s only a few seconds it seems before someone shakes me back to reality. Few seconds of holding you. Few seconds of finding myself in you.
You come to me as a child sometimes. Your eyes sparkle all the same. Your lips gleam the same pink. But you’re a little boy, tugging at my arm, wanting me to follow you into your land. “I can’t”, I explain. “You know I can’t cross the wires. Not until I die.” I don’t know if you don’t understand me, or you don’t believe me. Your little mind full of hopes and wishful things, fooled into believing it’s as simple as walking across. But you give up eventually. Then we sit on the rocks, the desolated car, the grass – wherever we are – and talk of things you don’t remember. I tell you that you love me. That I love you. That you’re a child and I’m a woman but we’re lovers. You don’t understand, but you nod. I tell you of the time when you’re a man. When you see me for the first time. When your voice is smooth as the scent of oak. You smile back like you remember your future. I ask you if you’d come to me again tomorrow. I ask because I know time in dreams goes faster than time in life. I know time will run out like the hourglass in games of Boggle I used to play as a child. I ask you if you ever played Boggle. You say you will come again, but you can’t say when.
You came to me as an old man that once. “How can you be old”, I laughed as I saw you approach. It was so sunny that night. The sun hurt my eyes and it must hurt your face because new creases seemed to surface on your cheeks each time I watched you closely. “You died so young”, I remind you. But you looked so handsome, even with the gray streaks weaved in your hair, even with the slight limp as you sit on that bench with me. You remembered it all. You told me things I’d forgotten. The time I let you go. The goodbye that came much before you left. My face was flushed with guilt but you were happy with me still. You told me you won’t come as an old man again but had you lived as many years, you’d have wanted to grow old with me. You left me with tears snaking down my face as you left that night. The sun was still bright and I had to wait for someone to wake me just so the dream could get over.
And then you would come as you were, those nights. The dark beard, the darker eyes, the strong white hands with their pink centers. All of you the same as I remembered. The mole marking your chest, peeking from between your shirt. The hint of the scar where they cut you when you were still not a man. You’d think I’d forget but I remember too much. I don’t have to tell you stories and you don’t have to remind me things. We sit in places I don’t care to remember. We hold hands. I feel the tips of your fingers caress my palms. I hear the sound of you breathing punctuated by coughs. You’re closer to the age of your death, I know. Except here you can’t die. I ask you if you watch me beyond my dreams. You smile and I’m afraid to ask more. “It doesn’t matter”, you say. It doesn’t, I agree silently. I have a lot of questions but not even you could have all the answers.
I tell you the weight of life is unbearable sometimes and I wish I could go beyond the wires. “I can’t find you if you die. The wires have many worlds beyond it. I can find you here but never there. Would you rather lose me in the hope to find me?” I grasp your hand tighter. I am never losing you again like I once did. “I live to find you”, I whisper, not knowing if you can hear me.
The time ticks like a bomb and I know somewhere the Sun is emerging as my heart sinks. “Tomorrow?”, I ask, as I hold you tighter still. “Forever”, you say as you kiss my head. I believe you with every fiber of my being. Your lips leave a moist imprint on my skin and we both listen to the sound of bells chiming. “The alarm”, I sigh. I am still watching your face when the sound gets disruptively loud and I wake annoyed with my reality.