In The Dream

I had a dream I saw you. It had been several years since we’d last met up, and there you were, knocking at the back door to my house. We had a brief exchange in my porch.

You were making a simple delivery of some kind—in dreams these details reconcile themselves. Were you bringing a newspaper, or a flyer of some sort? I don’t remember, but you were at my door, we said hello for a second, you dropped off whatever it was and left.

For a moment I thought, “wow, he looks great!” And, “I wish I’d said something to him.”

But I hadn’t. And you were out the door.

Who’s controlling dreams? Who sets the scene, who recruits the characters and dresses the sets? What controls the action, the starts and stops? What’s the theme, the point, the purpose, and why are dreams written on those types of flimsy tissues that seem to float away to forgottenland?

Dreams are forgotten, but not this one.

I was left standing alone, like how I was left standing alone those years ago. When I last saw you, the real you, you didn’t say goodbye. Why would you? We had no bad blood. We were good friends. We didn’t know our end was coming.

If I had known we’d never see each other again, or never write nor call, I would have said something, at whatever gathering we’d last been at together. If I’d known that was going to be it for us, I wouldn’t have accepted it, face to face with you. I would not have let us fall out.

Because we were fine. We were friends. When I had a parting of the ways with someone mutual in our life, you too made a choice. And I burned for it. I was burned very, very badly, in losing you.

Last week’s dream had you walk away very fast, after your delivery. I stood alone on the porch, again missing you, again regretting you were gone. And then you came back.

The dream wasn’t quite over.

You came back into the porch for some little incidental thing, and that was it! I pounced. Not with actions but with words.

“I can’t let you just walk away,” I said.

“I know,” you said, and you used a nickname only my oldest friends knew.

I hugged you. I felt your ear against my cheek. I held you real tight. I blurted a bunch of things. I said, “You are one of the most important people in my life. You are very special to me.” I kept you close and said a lot more than that. Things only you could hear. Words that registered. Because I was right in your ear.

I blinked what I thought would be tears but didn’t feel any come out. I thought they should be coming out, but my eyes and face were dry. I felt betrayed by that, like my body was either faking my sadness or not acknowledging my loss.

“I couldn’t leave him,” you said.

“I know.”

That’s how the dream ended. I got to say my piece. I said a bit of the volume of love I still have for you.

I remember the handwritten note you once left for me, when you were commenting on an art piece. “You bring out something in me that is usually dormant,” you wrote.

I have to tell you. Thank you for coming back into my porch. Thank you for turning around and giving me the chance to hold you, and to gush out what I wanted to say. Because I know that was you, beyond the dream. It was your will that made it happen. The dream walked out. You came back.

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About Ara Hagopian's The LITERATE Show

For over thirty years, I have enjoyed drawing beautiful shapes and writing complementary stories. The imagery tends to focus on our place in the world—whomever or whatever we may be. I am influenced by Twentieth Century history—I read vintage magazines, books and letters. Inspiration comes from visualizing human achievement and personal interaction—derived from people, places and things which may be obscure, but never insignificant. My pen-and-ink THE MAGNIFICENT RECOVERY was selected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for their 2008 summer art auction.
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