I dreamt that we were around each other, but not really together. Our recent split was a wound still open, and I was trying to follow you, to get back to you, to make you see me again as yours. I knew that I had pushed you away in the first place and then raised the stakes for a reunion. I never claimed to be the complete master of my emotions. And you, being your locked-down self, said the same thing over and over, which in this case was like saying nothing at all, since I didn’t believe you wanted it to end.
All this was in the air around us when I saw the child, a young girl maybe two or three, walking around, uncertain perhaps where she was. She was small, dressed in a pink Hello Kitty onesy, carrying a stuffed animal. She bore a vague resemblance to you. It looked as if she would begin to cry at any moment.
I didn’t know whose child she was, and there were no other adults around. For reasons I don’t really understand or remember, I thought the child was with you, or that you knew where the parents were. I pursued you with the child, and I told you that we need to find the parents.
I don’t remember that you said anything, but you took the child from me.
Then we got into a car and you told me to drive. The car wasn’t yours, but I couldn’t figure out if it was stolen or rented. On the way there—a “there” that only became clear as we got closer, since I didn’t know where we were going and was only following your periodic directions—the air between us was frosty. Not much was said. You held on to the child.
We pulled into the parking lot of a drug store, one of those chain stores that all look and feel the same, regardless of the name on the sign out front. It was very white—the aisles, the light, the coats that people were wearing. You took the child back behind the pharmacy counter and began speaking to someone amid shelves of pills and ointments and jars. I couldn’t hear what you said, but you did something to divert me, something involving the car, and I left.
When I got back to the pharmacy, you were gone. I shouted into empty space, “We have to return the car! Whose is it?” Then I saw you running away.
I followed you into a massive, dark parking lot, the kind of multi-story affair you see next to stadiums, shopping malls, and airports. By the time I reached the spot, the car was gone and so were you. I thought: I must call you.
I awoke shaking and covered in sweat. I reached to the nightstand for the telephone, and that’s when I realized where I was.
Notes and Credits
This posting is fiction, but the dream was real.
Photography credit to Lara Wechsler, who let me use this photo for this posting. Lara’s work can be found on flickr, and on her own website. Her work is on exhibit with other local artists at 440 Gallery in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Her work is street photography, which mainly involves photos of street scenes and, in Lara’s case, photographs of people. The photograph I used in this posting is the rare one in her collection not of people (or even one person). In this case, it’s a shot that evokes a persona, the perfect image for this dream that made me think, over and over again, what do I want?