In my dreams I have been encountering men I have lost yet their visitations have not been unqualified fantasies of reconciliation and reunion. Instead moments outside of the dream state have been ones permeated with unease as if the dreams contain enough of both reality and unreality so as to straddle a border between what is and what is not, between who I am to these men and who I am no longer. It has gotten to the point where I have questioned who I am, my own reality, my own substance, for when you suddenly find yourself living alone, who are you to anyone but the dream people that haunt you?
In the dream of my former lover who is in recovery, I receive a call that wakes me. “I am trying something new,” he says, “I am experimenting and I wanted to call you.” I am so happy to hear from him I am not absorbing what he is saying. I had always been certain he would make contact again, and for a long time would wake up having forgotten that we’d broken up. Now my predictions had been confirmed. Upon awaking from the dream, I realize that the call, after months of silence, is also a break in his recovery.
In another dream, my divorcing husband ushers me into a room of our old house, a room I’d never seen before. It is a bedroom where I am to stay. It is night and the room, well lit and appointed, opens out onto the lush Florida yard. It is clear there is some sort of intended grace in this act, that I have received more than I deserve, that I am to acknowledge the magnanimity of it. It is also clear there is significance in being led directly from the yard into the room. I do not walk through what was my own house. “The forgiveness room” I think as I am doing chores around my apartment the next day. “Some sort of purgatory,” I think to myself in this way one tries to analyze these things. There had been no other doors in the room other than the one leading out.
One afternoon I had a dream while napping, while workmen were repairing the apartment balcony. In the dream, my son was with me and that was all. It lasted but a moment. I was filled with warmth. We were laughing or smiling, and there was light and a sense of fullness, completion. He called out to me and I woke. There was only my dog beside me, no child. I hauled myself up out of the bed as if punched in the gut. The boy would be with his father for a week, starting today, that’s what I realized. My child’s call had been the workmen, announcing they were finished. They didn’t make eye contact with me as they filed through my galley kitchen. They were not as friendly as before, as when they were arrived. Maybe their attitude was due to their long, hard day. Or maybe they sensed something had happened, what may be typical, perhaps, to women of my sort, middle aged and lonely, vampirized and loved by their ghosts.