July 10, 2012
I am alone.
The dream was like most dreams. Something observed. Something I was a part of, yet detached from. It began as an odd, nonsensical musing about the American Indians battling their oppressors. Suddenly it shifted to strange, almost Dickens-like imagery. An odd series of narrow water locks, more like flumes, and youngsters fooling their betters out of cups of cream with feats of magic and escape-style trickery. Large whale-like creatures rocked the small boats that worked through the locks, each whale larger then the one before, as if Escher himself had a hand in the whales’ creation, as well as the maze like twists and turns of the locks.
Suddenly we were in a home. I say, we. While I was clearly all by myself, I could feel her. I was more than just me. I was a part of a we. She was in another room, getting ready for something. This home was not like any place I have ever been, and yet it felt familiar. Upscale, with all the flourishes that bring her comfort. She was bustling about, filling the air with her bounce, as she always did. I was in a vulnerable, prone spot in some back corner of some back room.
She appeared in the open door of the room where I lay, and said, “Well, I’m on my way. Won’t be back tonight, and then tomorrow, we’ll be off.” She had that slight English lilt that she adds when she uses her favorite British phrases. But, “we’ll be off,” did not mean we were going for some ride. As casually as she said it, the phrase was devastatingly final. Panic ran through me.
I chased after her as she stepped out of the front door. “What?” I yelled, but she did not hear or did not respond at first. Outside, the yard was strewn with the flotsam of a moving day. Neighbors and passers by were picking at the debris like crows on a carcass. Yet the sun was shining and the air was damp with morning dew. I made it to the porch where I felt the need to cower behind a pillar, in retreat from the collectors. She cheerily flipped her shawl over her head and helped a Mr. Butler to negotiate the purchase of a garden hose by one of the neighbors.
Then she turned and looked at me and responded to my earlier cry. “Oh, didn’t you know? I won’t be coming home tonight, and then tomorrow we’ll be off.” I understood it from our reality. She would be working out of town, but appended to it was that, “we’ll be off.” I felt the sorrow swell up in me. I could feel the corners of my mouth curl down, like a child about to bawl. I clung to the bit of statuary I crouched behind, hiding from the crows. I peeked out to catch a fading glimpse of her as she gave Mr. Butler a final word and began to head to her car. “I’m sorry,” I cried, the tears swelling up as I cowered and clung to the pedestal, avoiding the gaze of the neighbors, while still watching her as she drove away.
I woke, the sorrow thick. I am alone.