It was a dream, and nothing more. My mind has been running laps while I try to call upon slumber, and by the time I awaken in the morning it is as though I have not slept at all. I’m used to not feeling rested, which does not make peace of my condition. No. In fact it worsens it. But last night…
Sleep found me quite readily, but it had come with such expediency I had no idea the reality through which I stumbled was a dream — a play put on by the troupe of my imagination which has cut its teeth on many pondered thoughts and aching desires over the years. What a performance it was.
It was winter. You were staying in a studio in Greenwich. The floor was littered with the gutted shells of Camel cartons — menthol, I believe, as even now I can taste the flavor on your breath — and scraps of canvas that were destined to find some role in any number of paintings you might never produce. If only you had the time then perhaps you might. But you knew, and I knew, that time was all you had. It ticked away; every second a millennia, every minute an eon, and every hour… there wasn’t any use in quantifying hours, as they never came. Given an eternity, still, they would not come to pass.
You were tired. Your skin had taken the tone of chalk. It had been days since you left the flat. You curled up on the mattress that laid in a corner, and with outstretched arm you bade me to join. And so I took my place behind you, arm draped over your lithe frame. You took my hand in yours. Resting my palm against your chest I could feel your heart beat. Slow, and sullen; it spoke the truth of the matter, weeping.
How many times had we found ourselves in this same position? You in my embrace, and me… turned to stone and mortified, stricken by fear to loathsome inaction. I did not forfeit to fear this time.
I pulled you closer, kissing the nape of your neck. I allowed myself to react to the fluidity with which you repositioned yourself, and we became as one. With my teeth I tugged gently on the lobe of your ear, my hand riding the length of your neck and to your jaw. I turned you to me and our eyes met, and in their reflection the moment played out in tandem across infinite planes.
I positioned my head so that your thighs held it on both sides. I pressed you to my mouth, and with my hands cradled you as you rocked and swayed. Your fingers cleaved rows into my hair, digging trenches into my scalp. You soothed each stinging scratch with a tender caress, repeating that ritual for some time.
I emerged. You cradled my head as I pressed my lips to your stomach, imparting a message to you in morse code written in playful pecks and teasing nibbles. I lifted you and placed you onto your back. You wrapped your legs around me, locking at your ankles, binding me and you into we.
Every muscle tensed and quivered; the strings of violins and cellos. Our chests aligned, hearts percussing in alternating shifts; timpani’s thundering. Our moans and cries; the waxing and waning of brass and reed.
You took the lead then. I drew you closer as our song grew to crescendo. You leaned in, and in whisper sang the chorus. You told me you loved me, and always had. In spite of everything — the years apart, the confusion and the betrayal that sent me hiding from any potential good fortune, certain that I could never trust another soul so help me God… We had weathered the storm, and the wind and the water that sheered and sanded our masses had not made lesser of our forms. On the contrary. We had been shaped into better fits, and what had resisted the wrath was all that was strong in us. Impervious.
I tasted the sweat on your skin as your chest met my lips. We lingered that way for a moment, letting the sensation wash over us both. We fell back, and you rested your head upon my shoulder. Your eyeliner bled onto me, ran like rivers carved into the earth with a razor’s edge. I traced the shape of infinity along the small of your back with my finger tip, and we lost ourselves in the poetry that spun from your victrola. It told of spanish bombs and sandinista revolution.
But, it was a dream. Nothing more. I dare to say I will never aim to sleep again.