Steepings: Behind eyelids, an archived love now flickers
Lately, over tea, I try really hard to remember a particular kind of dream.
No. I don't think he has ever shown up in my dreams as much he does now.
To be specific, he shows up only on the nights I find my mind is in rattles, and my heart is cleaved by feeling all the feels. On such nights, he simply shows up, collects me, and dissapears the next morning.
The setting of these dreams is always familiar - the couch in my old house, his parent's car, the street where we took many long walks. Clearly, spatial aspects of our past are far well preserved. Sometimes, it's even easy to forget that this is all playing out in a dreamscape.
Interestingly, it's always balmy and blue skies. This could hardly be said for our relationship. It's also always just the two of us - two souls and spirits, meeting at familiar places in space and time.
It's been many, many years since we last met. Everything's possibly changed. Even though we appear to look the same, in my dreams he seems quieter, more patient, more willing to listen. Really listen, you know - he wasn't like that when we were together.
Last night, he asked me why I have not been more around. He hates that he hadn't heard from me in a while. He said it calmly but with an intense investment in the moment. I felt seen. Even desired. But what I felt more was an extraordinary sense of 'us' - a feeling that squarely betrayed what I knew to be true of our real-life relationship. "Of course, I'll tell you," I nearly heaved. "I'll tell you everything. You are my best friend!". And then I reached for his hand.
At first, he didn't say anything; his glassy eyes were set on mine and appeared to be peering deeply. He's never done that before. Then he came close, towering, and released his arms to collect me. All of me. He's always done this before.
His hugs are the largest and the most comforting in the world. No. That's not right. His hugs are pure restorative. And my tired subconscious remembers it. No wonder it smuggles him into my dreamscape. 'He can be trusted. He can ensure a safe landing for the parts of you that are falling apart,' it says. No. It declares. And with that, we are briefly, again, a 'we'.
Yet again, I woke up not recalling what I told him. Did I ask him to stay? Did he walk away? What was the last thing he said? I would like to remember but nothing. As I struggle to fill in the blanks, the soft weight of the dream lingers. In the wide berth of possibilities, just the memory of his touch remains. I grazed my forearm - it feels most over here. The contact is palpable. The feeling is real. And not for a moment unfamiliar.
No. I don't search for him. These moments are, after all, an invention not of my doing.
But what gets me every time is that we couldn't be more separated, territorially and temporally. Yet, he keeps my spirit intact. Whispering sweet fixes through a tin can over a string that jumps over time and space.
Leave it your mind to blur the lines between absence and presence.
I loved this. "But what gets me every time is that we couldn't be more separated, territorially and temporally. Yet, he keeps my spirit intact. Whispering sweet fixes through a tin can with a string that jumps over time and space."