I dreamed of him the other night. It was so vivid and yet so detached at the same time. I dreamed we were outside in a meadow somewhere, his back against a tree, holding me against his chest/shoulder. I was rubbing his shoulder with my thumb like I always used to and he had his arms across my back like he always did when we were like that. It was peaceful and sad at the same time. I distinctly remember how soft his skin was and that the air was filled with the scent of his shampoo because I was that close to him again. And he just said “I wish I could have spent the rest of my years with you”. And I said “You are”.
We just stood there looking at each other for a few minutes. I was trying desperately to look into his eyes but he’d never meet my gaze – as usual. Alex hated direct eye contact and found it too invasive. But every now and again…I’d catch him looking at me in just a certain way..like he wasn’t sure I was totally real. The dream wasn’t like that, though. And that’s how I knew when I woke up that he wouldn’t be there.
It happens almost every day. My alarm goes off, I roll over in bed, and I keep my eyes shut – hoping that maybe, just maybe, today would be the day: I’d wake up and the whole thing would have been a nightmare. Except that I open my eyes to an empty bed, in a quiet room, with skin bereft of his touch and a home bereft of his presence.
It expands, even, on the days when I’m most struggling with my new reality: every phone call brings up feelings of momentary anxiety and hope that it’ll be him on the other end yelling at me and wondering where I’ve been for the last 4 months, every knock on the door brings the anxiety and hope back up because it might be him knowing I’d have come back here and he just needed to find me…only to have that crushing realization each time that its just me being psychotic and unable to fully accept what’s happened.
Then there are days when I’m not even sure I’m real. I look in the mirror at myself and wonder who the woman is staring back at me because she looks and feels older, sadder, and more broken than I could have ever pictured myself being. It can’t be me. Six months ago, I was happy – laughing every day, smiling every day, cooking, cleaning, working, talking, touching, BEING with him in every sense of the word. And now..its like staring into a black pond and knowing you have to reach in but not wanting to know what you’ll find.
All of my poetry and eloquence can’t save me from that.