I had a dream about you last night.
There were many parts to the dream, most of them quite blurry and difficult for me to recall. But at one point in the dream we walked side by side; your right arm was across my shoulders and my left arm was around your waist. “Have I told you lately that I love you?” you said to me. I melted at the words. But I remember thinking, even in my dream, that it was just breadcrumbs. You knew I hadn’t heard those words from you in a while and it had been even longer since I felt from you the actual sentiment, and you were in a great mood, so you threw me a few little crumbs to make sure I would stay at your feet and wait to see what else you dropped for me.
Even in my dream my thoughts were at war with each other. “Are we getting back to where we started? Is this all going to be ok? Oh, it feels so good to feel loved by him. But I can’t keep going on weeks of feeling hated, feeling used, being belittled and shamed, just for an occasional warm touch and a mood-inspired ‘I love you.’” I knew, in the dream, I didn’t have much time to enjoy your pleasant company, your outward show of affection, your proud and protective hold of my body. I knew it would again be gone soon and told myself in my head that I would still have to say goodbye to you at some point.
Awake, I can still feel the anguish I felt in that dream. I know the feeling exactly because I lived it for months.
As I’m typing this I can hear the train blaring its horn on Grand Avenue and I think of the first night we slept in this house and awoke, on an almost flat air mattress, to the sound of it because it was cool out and we had slept with the window open. I had felt so happy then. I was sleeping next to the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. The sound of the train horn was jarring only because I had slept so soundly, so peacefully, even on the ground, and I was sore from it, and mildly annoyed at the train, as were you. But it didn’t matter much to us at the time because we were together. We were in love. Everything else was muted by that.
I didn’t know then that *that* feeling would soon be dulled to all but shadows by the months that followed. The months that scarred me so badly that now I dream about them, as if to keep them current, and remind me of why I left.
And because of it, that is what you’ll always be to me. The man that left me so scarred and bruised where even sleep offered little respite.
As petty as it may be, I want the same for you. I want it to find you in your sleep, in your peace; the way you treated me, the words you said to me. I want it to keep coming back to you, randomly, and deaden your smile a little bit.
I don’t believe it will happen to you because I don’t believe you have any remorse or regret for the way you spoke to me, for the ways you showed your “love” to me. But I’ll wish for it, nonetheless. And maybe I’ll actually dream about *that* one night. I look forward to that.