In the early hours of the day, I floated into a morning dream. I was in a house. The house was ours, though separately. That is to say, we shared it and lived in it and owned it, but each to our own share. I was inside and I heard her car pulling up. I leaned out the window and applauded, happy for her to be home. Happy to see her smiling face through the windshield. It was her, but with a more tanned and modern look.
She came inside and began complaining, quaintly, about her current assignment. “Do you know where they sent me? To Virginia.” “Virginia?” I queried. She confirmed her statement and we began talking about why they would send her so far away. Government cutbacks, reductions and furloughs caused court administration to farm things out to distant states. I worried about how the current state of government could affect her and hoped it would not.
As we talked, we noticed the sound of water inside the house. We went to the living room to find that it was literally raining in a section of the room near an outside wall. A large section of the ceiling was perforated and water was coming in as if it was rain itself. I said, “I should have checked the attic before we bought the place. I’ll take care of it.”
As I crossed the living room, another spongy area opened up in the ceiling and I walked right through a steady trickle of rain. I headed up into the attic. Once there I could see where pieces of paper towel had been stapled to the underside of the roof, as if a paper towel would soak up all water. The paper towel, like tiny squares of toilet paper on a poorly shaven chin, clearly marked where every little hole was. I affixed a sheet of plastic over the holes, keeping the rain out until some day when I could repair the roof itself, which I hoped was within my abilities to do.
I returned downstairs. In that dreamlike way, she looked completely different and yet was still herself, her spirit shining through another body. She was younger, but not young. She had an air of youthful vitality within her mastered years. Her hair was beyond blonde, almost white, but not the white of age. It was the bright blonde of playfulness. She was thinner, but not merely smaller. She possessed the shape of activity. She was clothed in a flirtatious way, but not skimpy and revealing. Her dress was fun and outgoing. She was dancing wildly with a coatrack, almost like a 1920’s flapper as she kicked up her heels and swayed her body.
I stuttered softly, “You know I – I l-love you.” She turned her back to me in the midst of her flamboyant dance with the coatrack, and said in an unclear single breath, “I do don’t do that.” I turned from her to head into another room, saying, “I know,” expressing understanding, yet I did not really understand.
I woke. The dream was clear in my mind. I could feel that my love for her is forever and unchanging. I was aware that I could never give her what she deserved. I could not understand what she said and meant, “I do don’t do that.” I was detached with no understanding. All I knew was that I could not fix the hole where the rain comes in.