In my dreams…
There is a place where the air is clean and pure. Neighbors come from next door welcoming my family to the neighborhood. Our front door is fire engine red, and inside there are boxes waiting to be unpacked. We have moved, this is our new home. The sun is gleaming and the wind is gently caressing the palm leaves. A breeze is rocking away the fear. The ocean is unsteady and I can see the giant black tidal wave coming, but it crashes around us. It isn’t allowed to touch us. We are protected here.
We are a husband and wife. We are the family next door. We’re together and unsure about the decisions we’ve made. Then some good fortune rolls steadily in with the tide. I’m asked to sign a piece of paper, and we are the owners of a newer bigger home. The countertops are swirled with a marble appearance. The real estate lady is glowing golden in the background. I walk downstairs to a bathroom, and there is a walk-in shower tiled in beige. The shower is bigger than any walk-in closet I’ve seen in my lifetime. I’m an Appalachian woman standing in shock at what we deem to be a palace. I am a Pisces smiling with her last lifetime wonderment. It’s a good dream.
In my dreams…
The husband doesn’t come. He decides, as with all the years before, to fight me. These are not the dreams I wish to have. The waves are constantly rolling in and I am running away, trying not to drown. I hold a child on my hip. I carry him everywhere. We visit second hand stores trying to find him clothes. Sometimes, the stores are about to close but they let us shop. There are some kind people willing to help us. We’re constantly trying to get by. I take the child to big meetings with important people. I ask him to “mind his manners” because this is a big night for Mama. He is restless as children often are when they’re forced to attend boring cocktail parties. I glance down and don’t care who is at this party, I only see a little boy who is bored and asking, “Mama, can we go?” I tend to him. We leave and I see the opportunity lost, but I don’t give a damn. My child didn’t want to be there, and neither did I.
We are searching for cake. It’s a constant journey to find a savory three tiered butter cream frosted delicacy. My child and I are moving through crowded narrow streets hoping to find the cake we were promised. Instead, we’re led to a bad part of town with people I don’t trust. My gut is screaming warning alarms to get out of there, and we move on. We get out by the skin of our teeth. Years go by and we wait for our family to be reunited again. There is a constant longing for home and cake. The boy becomes grown and finds his place on a soccer field. The dream fades and reality sets in. I wake up in the bed I made.
In my dreams…
It is another time, I am not the woman I am today. I am different. My hair is darkened, black as the night fall. My waist is so tiny, I’ve never been this kind of skinny. I live with a sister and I meet a man. He is tall, slender built and wearing a fedora. His hair is dark and his olive skin is toned with an alluring appeal. We are immediately together. I look down and see my skinny waist wrapped in a satin wedding dress. The man and I are married and I am told “You’re an Aries now.” We kiss and he holds me up promising to love me through the cancer. I don’t understand this promise. I can’t understand this place.
I see his mother sitting in a track suit and she is surrounded by women, they are her family. I glide in my wedding attire and I look into her untrusting brown eyes. I say, “Thank you. Thank you for raising a good man.” I kiss her cheek, and walk away into a ballroom. I dance with the man in the fedora. We smile and love radiates throughout the room as if we are the only two people standing in that room. We are all that matters to each other. I had forgotten that feeling, the one where I feel loved. It’s a deep yearning, lustful, soul-fulfilling kind of love. It’s the love you wait your entire life to find and you want to dance with it forever. I don’t ever want to wake up from this dream. I want to twirl, spin, and dance with it for the rest of my life. Dreams are so short lived.
In my dreams…
I don’t have to remember the labels on whiskey bottles. I don’t count which one was bought last. I don’t fear the angry words when I know a bottle is drank too fast. I don’t worry about the hundreds of dollars that have been swallowed away. In my dreams I don’t worry about how I’m supposed to pay for the Christmas I charged. In my dreams there are no bottles, there is only the Pisces connection to the ocean. And I know how to run from waves. I’ve learned how to create a barrier to keep the angry saltwater from crashing in on top of me and my boy. In my dreams, there is hope and love and trust. I don’t have to remind myself of one haunting truth: you are not loved in this lifetime and that is okay.
In a few days a ball will drop, I will not pick it up again. Not this year.
There was once a time where I explained the ways of dreams:
If you look at that oak tree across the street, what do you see?
I see a trunk with roots and branches. The trunk is the definitive future you cannot change.
The branches are the choices we make which effect the outcome of our futures. They can twist and turn and bend and break. They either are or once were connected to the trunk which came from those roots. The roots never stop spreading. We are the roots, spreading and growing older. The seasons change as do the colors of the leaves. And with each passing year we lose our leaves and grow new ones. The paths we choose are our branches, and our lifeline is the trunk. I got more rings in my trunk than I care to count anymore. I do know which direction I want to branch out to.
I’ve always known that branch. I saw it in my dreams.
Author’s note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.