A morning favourite is driving up to an open space on the street and realizing I’m 10-15 minutes early. I slide my seat back and uncurl my chair, using the pillow I normally place as a booster to now rest my heavy head. I’ll either listen to an audio-book or invite the one I am currently reading to my lap. Unroll the windows and enjoy the salty air upon my lips.
There, I linger, in my own private cove while the minutes inch toward the work day. When I glance at my phone to keep track of the time, I sometimes look out the open frame and notice other shadowy, resting figures in their respective islands- unwilling to detach themselves too soon from the comfort of their freedom. Then, it’s two minutes til and I unslump myself, check the mirror for stray hairs, and return the book to the passenger’s seat. Wind the windows back up and gather my bag-pack. That’s when we all meet, squint eyed and lazily, heavy footed strangers trudging past one another as we regain composure. We don’t wave or smile or even nod at one another, but I feel akin to them and am happy to see these waking ghosts cross my path.
John Denver - Leaving on a Jet Plane
Beautiful Lucille Ball, late 1960s
Robert Klein’s monologue
November 15th 1975
Last night I had a beautiful dream. I know, dreams are a terrible thing to have to sit through when they aren’t your own, but thankfully I am blogging for an audience of one. Unpopularity has its perks.
I have wasted my day dealing with my healthcare provider and work, so maybe this won’t be the most accurate (as accurate as details can be about dreams) retelling. Nevertheless, my dream has been swimming around my head since opening my eyes at 7 this morning.
I can’t recall exactly how it began, but I was trying to understand a complicated (albeit, made up) mathematical theory for reasons unknown. The tutor who was meant to help me had a very busy afternoon and though mine was supposed to end at 4 PM (dream time), I had to scurry behind him as he took care of his own duties all while trying to explain a theory between short breaths. Needless to say, it wasn’t going well and it was nearly an hour after class without reaching a helpful explanation. I didn’t blame him, but it was quite frustrating hobbling around with all my books and papers to keep track of while we bounced from departments and faculty members nonstop. I gave up. I had to get home and I would try to recover by some other means.
I went over to my locker and though I was aware I didn’t know my combination, I opened it anyway and a man behind me took notice. He asked me how I was able to open it without looking and I told him I could open any locker simply by feeling for the hiccups. He squinted his eyes to challenge me and I, being the scrappy woman I am, walked over to his locker and opened it without losing eye contact with him. We just smiled. The tutor ran up to me and threw a sweater at my face without warning and promised me to be a better aide at another time, but offered me a nice sweater to quell my frustrations. We said our goodbyes and I turned around to shove my things into the locker, but the new guy was still behind me. He asked me what I had been having trouble with and in my haste, I explained. He asked me to stand up and drop my things, which I did with slight hesitation, and he just delved into explaining the theory and put it in terms I could understand and appreciate. I had butterflies and was ready to sprint away, but the conversation continued and I realized that with him, all the haste and aches I’d felt earlier were nowhere to be found. I wrapped the sweater around my waist and eased my load and together we walked. We walked for a couple hours until we realized we were both hungry, without wanting to leave, we decided on a pizza place at the corner. I was mesmerized. I’d just met him and I knew that what I felt for him was something rare and enchanting. We talked about ourselves, but I was extremely quiet and shy and a bit nervous- I had a small worry that he wouldn’t like me if I became too comfortable, but I wasn’t sure. I was hungry alright, but not for pizza, for him. He was incredibly smart and witty and his skin so dark it made mine look sickly. I wanted to be the sweater that hugged his chest, arms, and back. All this while being completely engrossed in us- I was simply with him at a corner eating pizza and nothing else existed.
Something happened and I had to speak up- maybe someone approached us and was rude. Nevertheless, I spoke up a little more than I had been and I turned back to see his reaction and saw that he was glowing with pride. I knew that whatever happened after, we, in that moment, were in love. I began to grow sad as the night was winding down and I knew we’d soon have to part, but I wanted the night to go on forever and the pizza remain warm between our bites. I don’t remember where it ended, but it was my alarm that woke me and I just paused in silence trying to remember everything I could about him. The way he cocked his head to the side, his urchin grins, his comfortable demeanor, and the butterflies I felt for him throughout. I had never felt love so intensely in a dream before, not like this. I’ve dreamt about real friends and loved ones, but I’d never experienced something like him. I always hope I can return to my dream and relive them, but I didn’t realize what a yearning for that world could feel like until today. I have that love in my waking life, but to know that I could feel that incredibly rare experience in my dreams is intoxicating. What I experienced was tangible and as real as anything else I have lived through. Somewhere in my dreams lives the other man I love.