When I begin to dream about that house on the bluff with all the windows, I know it’s time to reach out to you. Three dreams in three weeks, each time you’re just outside of where the light ends, shadow walking, sometimes so tangible, other times not.
In the first dream I arrived by boat, rowed by a man I know and recognize – he’s a friend. We rowed through fog at night. I was lost, he was purposeful. We arrived with a long walk up the bluff to the same windswept house I’ve dreamed before. It was not abandoned but felt forgotten. It was familiar and I moved through its rooms with a sort of automatic sense, my hands knew where the banister was as we walked upstairs, the squeak in the floorboards seemed like a sound I’d heard day in and day out for years.
He led me upstairs to the big bedroom with all the windows and we stood watching the water from up there. The scenery was snowy and glittering, the room was quite cold as if no one had been there in awhile. He and I stood, both facing outward and without turning he raised his hand “I found this.” One white tulip.
Then I woke up.
The second dream was a panic. The house was still dark and cold. He was chasing me through the halls, irate, smashing things, slamming doors. I ran down an immensely long hallway hearing him coming up the stairs, trying every door, none opened. Then one was ajar, dimly lit inside. There was a key in the knob. I pulled the key out and clicked the door shut behind me. Sanctuary. A small fire in the fireplace (it’s an old house), a vase of tulips on the table. I cross the room to see them, faintly remembering something about a tulip before (maddening how dreams don’t let us remember at will). I’m reaching out to touch them when the sound of the door makes me look up. I’m a moment too late to see you leave the room. The raging violence in the hallway is silenced as you step back into the room. It’s you, unmistakably. But it’s you in your early thirties. I recognize you but I’m confused. There’s a crash, I look back, the vase is shattered on the floor, I look back to you and you’re gone.
I wake up.
The third dream begins in that same bedroom with all the windows. It feels like the deep still part of the night, 2 or three o’clock. We ( the 30 year old versions of us) are making frantic, hungry love. Biting, scratching, writhing, purely kinetic, ecstatic pleasure. The room is awash with moonlight (there seems to be a perpetually full moon there) and it’s cold beyond the blankets and our sweating forms. Our exhalations make clouds that don’t disperse so the room slowly fills with the fog of our exertion. Suddenly I’m choking, gasping for air. I feel your fingers in my mouth, my stomach heaves, gagging on your hand and my mouth tastes like metal. You pull your hand out, I can breathe again and you show me three objects in your hand: a key, a marble sphere and a small, downy feather. The marble ball is beautiful, I pick it up, admiring it. You take it from me and swallow it, laughing. The feather you brush against my neck as we begin to kiss and intertwine again. I’m conscious of the key but distracted. I hear a clink and I look towards your outstretched arm; you’ve dropped the key into a glass of water beside the bed. You’re also no longer 30.
I realize that I will later drink it down and we will repeat this scene but that chain of thoughts is disrupted by your ardent and visceral love making. I lose myself in your touch.
Then I wake up.
You can see how I may have felt compelled to write you.