I dreamt of you last night.
We were lying by a river (have we ever done such a thing in all our lives?) in the shade of a weeping willow. Your head was in my lap, and you wore a white dress that spread out across the grass like a bride’s train. The warmth was soothing, the sun and your heartbeat making sweet potion (as if we ever listen to each other’s hearts beat, except in dreams). Your eyes snapped open, and you seemed to know; clouds chased across the preternaturally blue sky like a time lapse photograph. Your face crumpled, and for a moment I thought you might scream, or cry. Your breath came faster, but when you opened your mouth it was only to whisper, ‘run.’
I did. I rolled to my feet and though the dream shattered, I ran from the building and down the derelict streets like a madman. It was ten blocks (maybe five) before my lungs betrayed me and I stumbled to a stop.
I have these moments, you see. Where I remember that you’re gone.
You would think it would be impossible, remembering, as forgetting seems so impossible a task. Yet I do, in tiny moments, in unconscious gestures. I will find an old power bar in the remnants of some sky scraping office tower and think, Emmy will be so happy; or I will hunt deer in the park where we used to jog on Sunday mornings, and I will turn to you to laugh and say, See, I’m finally sticking to your damn fitness routine.
The remembering steals my breath. Strange how something so fundamental to life is so fragile – breathing. How easily we can forget the mechanics of it.
There are times I curse the dreams. They leave me melancholic, and in this new world a moment of distraction can mean the end. As much as I miss you (love you love you love you) I am not quite ready to join you, something I know you will forgive me. It takes precious time for me to wipe the fog of dreams of you away. To accept once again the world as it is. They say hope can be poison, and I know dreams can be the same.
Yet there are times when the dreams are all I live for. I need them. I need to remember what I’m striving for, what life can be (the smell of your hair). Survival needs a purpose, needs more than just waking up tomorrow. Hope can be the difference between lying down in front of a rift and letting it claim you, or running til your lungs bleed (nineteen blocks) and you take in one more breath, one more that’s not your last.
Tonight I will sleep under stars grown more beautiful from the loss of us (at least we have done this much – we have returned to Earth its starry sky), and I will search for dreams of you. I lost you and the world on the same day, but I think you should know (it would make you smile) – I dream of you the most.
Image by the astounding Julia Roncesvalles! Julia is an art enthusiast from Vancouver, BC, currently adrift in the wilds of Florida (okay, she’s at school, shhh). She primarily creates figure and portrait style pieces using pens and inks.