I’ve been feeling a lot of jealousy lately. I’m jealous of people’s dreams. Not everyone’s dreams, mind you, but some people’s dreams. You see, Brian has been visiting people in their sleep. Other people.
Someone wrote about the five stages of grief. I should know who it is, somewhere in the recesses of my mind I do know who it is, but I can’t think about that right now. Right now all five stages are blended into one for me, one called “Fucking Hell,” but the part of me that is still cognizant of life outside of this hole I am in knows that one of the stages this dude wrote about is bargaining. I am feeling that one. I would do anything to bring him back. I would trade my life for his. I would cut off my feet to just see his face and hear his voice one more time, even in a dream.
Am I forgetting his voice or am is it just such a part of mine that they are indecipherable? Have the sheets stopped smelling like him or do they just smell so much like us that I can’t tell the difference? Like strong magnets that have been stuck together for years, we are impossible to take apart.
Brian has been visiting people in ways that make me so jealous. He doesn’t speak, for the most part. They cannot touch him, they cannot reach out to him, but he walks toward them – and almost into them. They are left feeling loved.
I haven’t had that sort of dream. Holy shit, I want that sort of dream. Or so I thought.
My best friend was (has been?) one of Brian’s best friends for 25 years. They have (had?) a very special, unique connection. He visited her in one of these dreams. While I am so happy for her, the jealousy was almost overwhelming. WHY didn’t he come to me? Is it because he’s with me all the time and only sneaks out to visit others while I am asleep? Is it because the prescribed medication I have to help me get through all this bullshit erased my dreams? My friend suggested an option that I hadn’t even considered: he was visiting people in their dreams to tell them good-bye. He’s not telling me good-bye yet.
I hope I never have one of those dreams.
Last night, however, I did have a dream and he was in it. I couldn’t see him, I couldn’t hear him. He was just out of sight and he didn’t say a word. I was in the kitchen and just rambling on about all the annoying things: he didn’t put the dishes in the dishwasher, he left the clothes rumpled and unfolded in the laundry basket, he used the kitchen chair as a coat rack, he left cans on the counter instead of the recycling, etc. I wasn’t yelling, I wasn’t fighting, we weren’t arguing. He was just out of sight, listening to my part of this conversation (lecture?) we had a hundred thousand times over our marriage. Our marriage. Our very real marriage.
I awoke and realized what it meant. Our marriage was and IS very real, and it is still very much alive. I am still married to Brian. He hasn’t left me. He hasn’t left me. He hasn’t left me. He is still here. WE are still here.
I came out to make the coffee. His green flannel shirt was draped over a kitchen chair.