Forty-seven Years

In the dream I’m looking at a photograph. It’s black and white, therefore mostly gray tones, with a white border like the Kodak photos of the 60s and 70s. 

Two forearms rest parallel to each other on a rumpled sheet. Looking closely I see that they are young arms and hands, and though the hands are close in size, spread palm open on the sheet, I can tell that the right hand is a woman’s and the left hand a man’s–thicker, stronger. It’s one of the few photos I have of him, I’m thinking, and then, as I watch, his hand reaches to mine, wraps around mine, my fingers enclosed in his grip but clasping what I can of his skin and I roll into him so that his body wraps around mine as his hand holds mine and we’re that close . . .

I’m watching this, I see myself in the dream, my back to him, my young face showing—the smile—as we roll together and apart and together, sex already had, this the after embrace . . .

And I know I’m watching myself in a dream and I don’t recall doing this before, dreaming that I’m watching me as if in a black and white homemade reel-to-reel film from the 60s or 70s—early 70s because that’s when this was us . . .

And then it’s us now. It’s Craig and me now, Craig in jeans and a plaid flannel shirt and I don’t see me but am me, looking at Craig looking at something—he’s fixing something, for a grandchild? And I’m saying but you’re dead aren’t you dead? You’ve been alive all this time and I didn’t know it? And Craig’s mother Rae is alive somewhere in the background—the kitchen? We’re at their house where I lived with them all in high school? 

And just the way it was back then my body is drawn to his with lunar force and I sit behind him and just stick to him, magnets attracting, but he’s not marveling like I am because he’s known he was alive, and he has that grin and dimples and those sparkling eyes and his hands are still busy with the kid’s project and I have to go because I’m supposed to be somewhere but my body cannot leave his and the dogs make me separate and get up and let them out and coyotes are yipping and howling the morning awake just to the east of the cabin. 

8 thoughts on “Forty-seven Years

  1. Absolutely loved this piece. The words that come to mind are poignant, powerful, profound. For some reason I could not make it take my comment, so I’m telling you directly.

    Miss you and Cachuma life. Would love to hear some stories.

    Margaret (Peg) Pierce Sent from my iPhone


  2. Sharing this dream, so beautifully real, was a wonderful gift. It reminded me that all our selves, their happiness, their sadness, their might-have-beens, abide deep inside. Today, contemplating the almost daily discoveries of new boundaries of my aging body, that reminder is a comfort.

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