I dreamed this morning that there was someone else in my bed with me. I woke up quietly, slipped to the foot of the bed, brushed my alarm off, and then crept around the room, getting dressed as silently as possible in the still, quiet dark. I dreamed the details of clothing, the smooth sound of carefully opened wooden drawers, the brief blindness of pulling a dress on over my head. I could feel that he was still asleep, though I knew if he was awake he would be watching and I liked that, too. I chose earrings he had made for me and over the knee high socks with a pattern of flowers that I had worn for our last anniversary. I sat at my desk and wrote him a little note to find later, “good luck with the promotion. i love you. x” then I left it by his keys. I knew he would get up later, read the note, smile, then bike to the library to work. I kissed him before I left, nose deep in the crown of his head. I wanted to crawl back in with him, but there was a focused satisfaction in padding around so quietly, getting ready for work and knowing he was still sweetly warm in my sheets.
When I woke for real, I felt like I had traveled through time and space. Same room, different universe, worse place.
It was a memory of a time with Jon that never was, a time-line where he didn’t commit suicide.
Today’s best telescopes could see the amount of light produced by Tokyo from as far away as the Kuiper Belt.
I put the idea down, feeling like a fool as I walked down the path, dismissed from the large green house, and stepped under the arch of the overgrown hedge, a thick, living wall as solid as any made of stone. From the street, the house is hidden by its branches, as invisible as the steady burst of static that clouds my brain every time I approach it or even pass it, as I usually do, a solid block away. Something deep in my chest thudded as I walked under its shadow, wounded, let down by my own betrayal, that I had even approached that door. Why do I do these things? Why do I try? I was an echo of the spring, drained of everything worthwhile, too tired with myelf to even be angry. All that was left was to walk away.
Seattle was nice to visit. I rearranged all the furniture in Aleks’ apartment while he was at work and made a bed out of pillows in front of the fire. I enjoyed the concert, then the after concert concert, and two different movies, all of them good in distinct and lovely ways. I introduced friends to friends, met new friends of friends, spent some time chatting with Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaimen, who were gracious and sweet, had a cup of drinking chocolate while I wandered Pike Place Market, and Tony bought me a steak. It was like a teeny, tiny vacation. I no longer have any comforting intimacy there, nothing deep, it’s not my home, I still couldn’t sleep, but it was enough to feel okay on the surface, just to navigate a handful of days without any struggle.
Michael asked today if Henry & June makes a good date movie. I replied it’s too filthy for a first date, and then silently wished very much that I had someone to watch it with. It’s been a long time.
Ten or eleven years old, I had put my little brothers to bed hours ago, reading them a story of two round, identical looking policemen afflicted with green bubbles. I am in the living room – the lights are off except for the flickering TV, a window open to another world, earlier in the century, where writers flirt like fires blazing and Anias Nin is the brightest star I’ve ever seen. She’s lucent, intense, everything I suddenly want to kiss – an entirely new jet set idea. She’s sitting by a bed where two whores curl like perfect notes on sheets as white as a score and my imagination’s on a rocket-trip from rags to riches, inspired by the sly incipient grace of her character and the sweetheart face of Maria de Medeiros. Abruptly, I have a type, another map for the future desires embedded in my fingers. I want to read everything Anias has ever written, I want to fall out of the sky into the arms of a woman who looks just like her.
And, a few years later, I did.
One of these days, I have to watch that movie again.