Saturday, January 19, 2008

Marcie's Enterprise

I was almost loathe to sleep after my dream of love. Too much and too many tears for one night had come. I thought of Marcie's relics. Lists of tasks, containers of spices, a gigantic file folder chock full of cancer notes, handout materials and medical information she had decided were useful.

It was her clipped articles, some about the surviving family of victims, which I had found hard to look out, cropped and printed or torn from every source. And they sat in my mind as the pre-dawn cold tickled my exposed fingertips again.

I sighed and Seamus chose that moment to plop against me, driving his furry back into my nose. I manipulated him, pulling him purring halfway under the blanket, almost more mitten that kitten as I drifted off and he burrow into the blankets against my chest.

"Oh, honey, that is so cute," she said, rubbing my hands through Seamus's fur as he purred. "He's like a little pair of gloves. Aren't you, pooter pie?"

As she pet him, the odd, smaller Seamus with fur so loose it hanged over my hands and wrapped my fingers in his warmth began to meow softly, still purring. I remembered all of her little names for him.

Pooter pie. Cutie patootie. Honey bunny. Bunny bear. Baby bear. Lovey bear. Lambikins. Little lamb. Lovey dovey. Sweety bear. Lovesponge. Lover. Furling. Sweetling was one I made up to describe him as a little kitten, constantly trying to nurse off of Marcie and purring even as he failed. She kept it.

I heard typing as I reflected. It stopped as i looked up for her.

"Honey? Honey, I have your patent ready," her voice called out. "Go mail it before someone else does."

I started to run to the post office and she stopped me, stuffing a bundle of letters into my hand and my laptop bag, checking a list on the wall that I now noticed was covered in them.

The Seamus-glove cat slid off my hands and landed on all fours, wandering off as I read the lists of mostly crossed-off items. Take chemo... Make grocery list for Frank... Make list of bills... Call for Kathy tickets... Marcie crossed a few things off the list and turned back to me.

"Honey, I know you like your free time, but maybe you should try to make some money while you have so much of it," she said. "Little stuff, too. Don't hide behind the grand schemes. Make a list of little things and do them."

She kissed me, she whispered she was proud. I realized that I was talking to my dead wife in a dream, or simply hearing her, but that she was always full of things to do and always doing them in life, many of them for me or us.

I tried to say something but my mouth would not respond, though I was unconcerned. She took the initiative and put her hand over my mouth, shushing, then leaned back into me.

"You need to just get out and get moving, or I will never see Morocco with you," she said. "And I have some ideas for you, so just come back when you're done with these."

I started to speak again and croaked out an "I love you" before I lost the dream I was now cognizant I was in. She did not fade from view, as I feared she would. She smiled.

"I know you know again," she said. "I know, too. You can't hide anything and you don't have to, especially what you feel, honey."

Her tone was teasingly accusatory, but gentle and sweet, as she always was when she was happy. She looked down and took my hand as Seamus meowed loudly.

"It's not as loopy up here," she said, motioning behind herself as she did at a now-endless tunnel lined in notes and lists. "But I have a lot of things to do here, and a few things are for you, so you have to go."

Her kiss felt like a puff of fur against my nose and lips. I awoke, of course, to Seamus repositioning himself against my head again. He meowed low as he realized I had awoken.

I gently nudged him until he hopped down off the couch and listened to the morning wake a bit more and birds argue over their spaces in the tassel flower plant outside.