Monday, January 28, 2008

Marcie's Wisdom

I never fully woke from Marcie's passion. But I remember a distinct transition from the lingering touch of her lips on mine to a warmth all around me as I came close to waking but fought to sleep.

I woke suddenly to her voice.

"So, honey, what are you going to do?" she asked, taking my hand. her own was warm and her fingers were strong, supple my hand.

"I don't know," I said, and felt hot tears with it. "I guess I'll go see you in Europe and Africa when I can, and you can come see me."

She whispered hoarsely, "Okay, Frank, you do what you think is right."

It was a stock answer, or so I had thought over all those years. Her hand squeezed a little, and I looked at her.

She was of an age I had never known her in. She looked to be 19 or so, and she was dressed in a familiar outfit I knew I had never seen her wear, a long black lace gown that went down to her ankles.

She stood and I did as well, and looked down and saw the suit I had never worn before her memorial. She smiled and we danced.

"If you do what you think is right, you'll be fine, honey," she said.

I nodded and she went on. "I hope you do everything you want to, honey," she said. "You need to get out there and do your thing. I really meant what i said."

And I gulped. It was all old words, words she had said before. The idea that I was in a dream, asleep began to intrude on our little, fantastic reality, and then it fled.

Marcie was glaring at me.

"You need to listen to me," she said. "You need to do all these things you say you want to do. Because from now on, I am not there to blame for what you don't do with your life."

I nodded and took a deep breath. The heat of tears again on my face, and this time I imagined my vision blurred with them. She stopped dancing a moment and wiped my face, kissing me lightly.

"I love you," she said. "I told you what I wanted from you."

I nodded and she recounted her wishes for my life. She gave me oddly specific instructions about myriad events I don't clearly recall but apparently should expect.

I do recall that she told me to avoid the home in Big Sur, it was going to slide into the Pacific after an earthquake. But then she reminded me of our situation with a single sentence.

"I want you back for myself," she said.

I felt a great pain in my heart as she said it, and felt as if I could not breathe from the pain. But it soon passed and I closed my eyes in the dream, though her voice continued.

"I said I will love you forever, and you said you would love me forever, too," she said. "I'll come get you when it's time."

She looked up so sadly at me. "When you have to go, remember I am here waiting and that this all only does us part in body, sweetie."

I nodded. "I'll see you soon?"

"You come find me," she said.

And I woke to the alarm, which I let run for a while in the bedroom. After I turned it off, I slipped under the covers and slept dreamlessly. More importantly, I slept in our bed for the first time in almost two months.