I dreamt about you last night.
I was throwing a party for you for some reason—even though I knew you probably wouldn’t show up. Our schizophrenic, artist friend, Daryl, was first to arrive…My brain sparked to life at the recognition of his Native American hair dusted gray…those sucked in cheeks, the dark eyes, that prominent sloped beak. It was so vivid, this dream, I could even recall the distinct smell of him—cheap, dark brown cigarettes mixed with the smell you find in an old car on a cold winter morning. He was really always your friend—even though he rather adored me and occasionally lusted after me. By now, I haven’t seen him for longer than I haven’t seen you. He may be dead for all I know…I hope not, but already having lived past junkie life expectancy, it’s possible.
In my dream, I was happy for the unexpected reunion. Daryl immediately flopped on the couch, as I saw him do a million times in real life. “Now we wait,” he said, lying flat on his back, lighting a cigarette & blowing smoke rings at the ceiling. He swung his leg listlessly off the side of the couch, his frayed boot laces making 8s on the floor. Other people were there, milling about like extras in a movie—I can’t place their roles in my real life. I remember being terrified by both the thought that you would and that you wouldn’t show up…2 sides of the same coin. People started to get bored and leave the party. I was embarrassed that I had thrown a party for nothing.
And then suddenly, I turned around and you were standing there, tall & beautiful & grinning that crooked smile. Flight kicked in first, a desire to flee from you–unsure of which version of you was standing before me…the you who called me Bunny and wrote loving inscriptions in the books you bought for me…..or the you who got dopesick and raged at me till I cried, that I drank to escape. Then I realized it didn’t matter–I was just really, really happy to see you and I started crying. I told you, tearfully, that I didn’t think you were going to show up. You said, “I know, Bunny, but here I am” and you hugged me tightly…and I let you. I can still hear your Brooklyn accent…recall the way you had to lean over to hug me…you even smelled the same. And in the timeline of this dream you still loved me…but I woke up to a different one.
I often think about how I wish I had known when our last kiss was happening. I would have kissed you with all the love and fear and hate and sadness and happiness I held in my body for you. I would have made it memorable, something weighted, substantial. Something more symbolic of what we had. As it stands, I can’t recall. I know it’s probably worse to remember the actual last time I kissed you. We were fighting a lot then—so, sadly, I know I am probably just forgetting a cold, close-mouthed peck on your stubbly cheek as I escaped out the door—not knowing I would never get another chance to do it better.
At some point I will have to accept that there is nothing I can do about any of this now…This is the ending we wrote to the story we lived…but I still can’t stand to read it…