|Photo by Marcus Cyron|
via Wikimedia Commons
I went to my "husband" first. He was grimly unhappy with me. Hurt, somber. He was a tall, blond man, wiry, with a bit of scruff along his jaw and chin. He looked like a man who hadn't slept in God knows how long. He's not anyone I know in real life. I walked up to him, gingerly hugged him. I had to stretch and get up on my tiptoes to do it. He didn't resist me, but was slow to respond. He did eventually hold me, though. It was almost as though he surrendered to the inevitability of having me back.
I apologized for not being what I ought to have been to him and our daughter. He was quiet, wary, sad. But he loved me, he wanted me, and he was prepared to do what it took to mend things because we belonged to one another. His embrace went from passive to active, he held me closer, welcoming whatever I had to offer, even if it was more pain. I pressed a kiss, like a pledge, to the area of his face between his chin and cheek, and I loved the feel of his yielding flesh beneath my lips. Then I sagged in relief against him. Over his arm, I spied a home in dire need of attention, a sink overflowing with filthy dishes. Guilt for having shirked my responsibilities to those I loved, for so very long, overwhelmed me.
I searched for my daughter next. A matronly woman appeared, a babysitter or nanny. She eyed me with grave suspicion, and I couldn't blame her. I told her why I was there. The woman said my daughter feared me seeing her, worried that I'd be disappointed by her. From what my dream self could remember, she was really just a little girl, perhaps five, and that she could harbor such concerns puzzled me. I stood firm in my wishes and the woman took me to my daughter's room. I approached a crib, I think, and a small, blanketed figure was handed to me. But it wasn't human. It was a tiny Lego figure. That was my daughter—a thumb-sized, hard, plastic figure. I felt alarm, hysteria, but also a bewildered love. Had she become that way for want of me?
|The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters|
by Francisco Goya
...or do dreams even mean anything, at all? Back in college, a psych professor told me they were nothing but electrical activity in my brain, triggering memories that flashed in my mind's eye. Maybe that's so. Maybe we'll never know, either way. Perhaps we're not meant to be satisfied on the matter, but to ever wonder at the secrets we tell ourselves as we slumber...
*In reality, I'm a divorced mother of a teenaged son.