Hey. Do you remember me?
You were in my dream last night. I was surprised because as far as I know, it’s impossible to dream of someone you haven’t met before. Still, you were so vivid in my head that I was convinced that I’ve known you for quite some time.
Last night, I slept with a muddled head. I told you, right? We sat in tattered leather movie seats, just you and me. Initially, I was alone, hoping to catch a movie in a deserted theatre. Like old films, the screen counted down with that optical-scope circling the numbers: three, two, one; then it stopped. You were already beside me. I asked what was showing, but you veered the conversation.
“Yeah, yeah, I hate my job,” I remember telling you. How could I not? It’s my everyday mantra. Still, at the end of every day, I always told myself “Pay is good.” So, yeah, I could treat you to any film showing.
“You’re the show,” you telepathically told me. You stared at me, with your black unlidded eyes framed by those white-rimmed glasses. I thought you looked good, especially with your thick permed bangs, except you looked so much younger than me.
I could have been caught in your black hole eyes or your skin that looked like well-blended coffee, but the next thing I remember was that you were already kissing me. I felt your dab your smooth lips against my cheeks, drawing closer to my mouth, ready to seal it with a kiss on the lips. But your arms – oh your arms that braced me! – they were that of a child’s.
I opened my eyes and I knew I lost you forever. I couldn’t get back to sleep that night. I went to the kitchen and mixed coffee; but somehow, no matter how much milk or water I added, I couldn’t recreate you, your face, your skin.
I fumbled for anything that could remind me of you. The kitchen coffee was no good. The thick books on the shelves did nothing. The news channel only reminded me of how our company sales were descending. The longer I stayed awake, the less I remembered the dream, the less I remembered you. Then I saw the clock; it was time for work.
Work is nowhere near the best thing in life – whatever that is. Work means shaking the hands of old businessmen. Work means kissing the ass of whoever is in the executive seat. Work means having to wear heels and business suit to look older.
Work was not present in my dreams; at least, that was what I hoped. I have only been in the company for six months but it has been haunting me longer than that. Last night was different. Last night was like a misplaced dream.
Before this, I tried to think of last night’s dream, of the deserted theatre, of you. I fell asleep; but instead of seeing a young man, I met someone else. I couldn’t tell if he was older or younger; he looked ageless, endless. He had hair like static, face like the light. He wore the universe in a black cloak that reflected on his dark eyes as well. I was lost in his eyes, in his universe. There, I found you sitting in fetal position, swimming in the fluid of the universe inside this man’s eyes. I reached my arms to you, but the cloaked man grabbed my shoulders and pulled me back to the reality he created for me.
It took me a second to realize that he was you. You were holding me again. But you were not bracing my shoulders, not clasping my hands; you were shaking my hand. Your endless cloak was now a pinstripe suit. Your glasses framed dull eyes and you wore your hair pulled back with gel.
“Nice doing business with you.” You shook my hand. Your hand was not how I remembered your skin. Unlike last night, you were cold. Then you turned around and walked away from me. Your grey pinstripe suit melded with the now concrete universe.
I blinked. I was conscious. Tonight, I was treading the bridge of sleeping and waking. My hippie officemate once said that that the human soul divides during sleep. Just before man totally gives in to sleep, apparently the soul undergoes fission creating the bodily soul and the travelling soul. Sometimes the bodily soul gets the bigger half of the fission, which results to a dreamless sleep; on other times, the travelling soul overpowers the bodily soul and carries the dreamer to surreal planes of reality. Controlling both during sleep is a matter of great spirit.
That was it. The ticket to the deserted theater was to pull some acrobatic of “great spirit.” Tonight, I closed my eyes with the mission to see you again. Nobody was going to make you walk away from me. This man who wore the universe in a cloak was not going to separate us. I extended my limbs and tore his world. There was a glitch. From a tear, the stars of the universe leaked and stained my palms. The man who pretended to be you turned and looked at me accusingly. Then he was sucked into the tear. My chest cringed. I fought it.
I looked up and there was the man who wore the universe, the man who was at the same time a place. He was this universe. He stared me down with his dark eyes and let me fall down, down into the void. I woke up again. My fingers were in a grip. Tomorrow, I told myself, tomorrow I’d see you again.