Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The dream of Thoughtfulness

There was nothing at first but the muffled padding of my feet and a vague sense of expectation. Then there were lines as I walked, then I noticed it felt like marble under me. The vast chamber was walled with rust-tinged, coruscating glass. Deep, heavy bands of gold flowed well under the surface.

I looked down and there was no floor I could see, just an endless depth below me where the walls may have met or just seemed to... but I was calm. I looked up and, though I felt they had to be impossibly far away, there were clouds, rushing, like wisps of white smoke, dipping down between the divergent, refulgent slopes.

Then the light changed, became more brilliant... the gilded bands and wisps in the walls writhed and grew, and somehow, just as it was so luminescent that I couldn't look at it anymore, it melted and I was on a ledge of sorts, the glass now under my feet, soft but stable.

I smelled her first, the soft touch of Chanel No. 5 slipping over my nostrils. I turned and looked right into her eyes, her mouth was open and she smiled that smile, the one from her picture that I love so much, and she was young, younger than me by far suddenly.

Her lips did not move, but I heard her voice as I did so many times when thought was all she gave. It was more natural here, as it had never been when I responded to her in ways that seemed out of the blue, unbidden.

"You're on time, as usual. So let me show you what I found, and you can tell me if you like it. I hope you do," she lilted, singsong slipping into and out of a more chatty tone and back.

I walked behind her, noting her near-transparent gown and the soft lines of her lightly freckled flesh beneath. She led into a room of things I instantly recognized but could not name. She handed me a small but heavy, crystalline ball.

"Look inside," she said.

I did, and a flood of us washed over me as the ball pulled me in somehow. Marcie and I at our first Christmas, poor but besotted. Me opening a gift, a sorely-needed wallet, her opening mine, a set of scents from a bath store I had seen her smell and coo at.

It grew faster. Birthdays, more scents, perfumes, jewelry and clothes, sending her flowers, getting candy for her, delivering flowers at work... all flashed by. Then more gifts to me, years of her careful selections and agonizing gambles all rolled across my hands and heart, beads of warm glass against my skin as I broke out of the little globe and suddenly it was back in my hands.

"The reason it is the thought that counts is that holidays and birthdays and anniversaries come and go, but people stay with us for as long as we think of them. You always thought of me, I will always think of you. "

She smiled, and a little tingle played over my lips as she pulled my neck and my hands took her waist. Then the glossy, translucent bands of gold in their flowing, burnished encasements closed on me and I awoke to the cold of the early morning, 1:15 only an hour of sleep under my belt.

I closed my eyes, shedding no tears, but the lingering tingle on my lips faded gratefully slowly. Whether it was born from cold or warmth, I did not have time decide as I slipped thankfully back into another dream.

Which I will share another night.