I had a dream that we kissed. Suddenly and urgently on stone stairs that I have never seen before.
You were sitting there, by yourself, in the dark, your head down, hands together. I walked up the stairs and right by you without saying a word. But then I paused. Turned back and looked at you sitting there, alone. Saw the dim evening light reflected in your eyes. And there was a sadness there that I could not explain. That I could not understand. But that I knew. There was a sadness there that I recognized. There was a sadness there that I saw so often reflected in the mirror, that I saw so often staring back at me. And as soon as I made that connection, as soon as I felt that spark of familiarity, my heart, my rebellious heart, which I try so hard to keep closed, which I try so hard to leave stored away and shut, seemed to open. It opened.
You, with your softly illuminated eyes in the evening light, sensed it, this shift. So you grabbed my arm as you stood, and we kissed.
I remember knowing, vaguely, that it was a dream. That I was asleep in my bed, and I was dreaming. But as soon as our mouths touched, I could not only feel and hear and see it -- I could taste it. I could not only feel and hear and see you -- I could taste you. Abruptly, I stopped, pulled away, and said, "I don't think I've ever tasted in a dream before."
Other than those words, the entire dream was silent.
I didn't know it was possible. To taste, and so vividly. To feel, and so acutely. In a dream.
I woke up disoriented. Heavy and slow. My eyes seemed to be covered in net, my brain dipped in honey. I moved around my room in a haze, unsure of where I was going.
The entire time that I was walking to campus, I tried and failed at not thinking about the dream. I touched leaves and looked at the clouds and took a few pictures. I tried and failed at shaking the sadness in your eyes, the taste of your mouth, from my mind. In a way, you seemed so close, but in a way you seemed so distant. Now that I was awake, my heart was no longer open. It was safely stored away and shut. And yet.
And yet there was an ache there that I had not felt before. There was a slow beating there that I felt, vaguely, all evening.
I looked for you and thought I heard you laughing, once, briefly, in a crowd of weavers. But I did not see you for the rest of the day.
A part of me was sad. I asked about you. Where you were and what you were doing.
But most of me, the bigger, more scared and fragile part of me, was relieved.
Because none of it was real. It was only a dream. It was only a dream, and I had only been dreaming.