Sometimes she dreams of him, the one long lost. Even in the dreams he never belongs to her, but she always seems to belong to him.
like a little wind-up toy, searching for a parking space and scurrying
down the road to him, while around her papers fly, and grey jets. There is always a war going on in these dreams of hers, a fight for justice and
liberty and equality. She never finds out who wins, but that is not why she is there or who she is in the dreams.
She is a doll, the war is outside but they are inside, and he holds her as one might a forgotten toy from
childhood found years later: with some tenderness, and a certain respect
for that which was once something, and a certain awkwardness at holding
something which no longer has a place in one's life.
She is a doll, and he plays with her. Gently. Or not. And his voice is still so soft when
he says her name, soft and smoky, and his hands, soft and smudged, and he is always young and whole and smiling and uncertain, and when his eyes look into hers, she feels it go all the way down to her heart.
It is a sweet
and nearly innocent tea party, with sugar water and candy for tea and
cakes. When it is over, he wraps her in tissue and lays her down in a
box and that's when her eyes open, and she finds herself lying alone and unsettled
between the fiction of the dream and its almost tangible reality.
to sleep and unable to choose, not sure if going back to sleep will return her to him; she stays awake but really, it is just a waiting and a
hoping while her heart beats ribless, so very open and in so much danger
but it beats on, unwilling to let go.
And when she
truly wakes, she sees that this is all she has of him. Memories. Old memories of what once was - moments and magic and mistakes and misunderstandings. And new
memories of dreams that mean nothing, but also something. These have to
be enough. They are not, but they have to be. All those years ago, and she
still remembers enough to dream.
It was something, to have loved him. It still is.