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These dreams…I know they’re trying to tell me… something: It Begins.

February 22, 2014

My dreams of late have been supplanting my therapist’s role in her recent but extended absence. I am more sure of this now than I was a few days ago, now that even she makes guest appearances in them.

New York City is alive and well, and in my dreams, I manage to live in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and not in the city at all. (I didn’t say my dreams are always parallel in their expression of time and space.) Last night’s dreams should have left me feeling disturbed, but instead, I find myself content and… free, full of longing. Though I was forced to recall my sister’s final days of suffering, I also found release in knowing that my attitude has pushed others away. I realize that I have been wallowing in self-pity, and while this should have been obvious to me in my waking hours before, it was not.

In one dream, I move into an apartment I once shared with an ex, and find in it a pair of ridiculously expensive dress shoes from the Men’s Warehouse I had purchased more than a decade earlier in a pathetic attempt to mold to society’s status quo. I had been looking for the shoes for an age, and when I finally find them, I realize they are hideous. I have been hanging onto a false memory. This speaks volumes about my dinner last night with one of my shitty, alcoholic ex-boyfriends. (Yes, I went out with one again. So sue me.) In the dream, I discover a wooden stairway in my apartment that leads to a door with no door knob, but some complicated lock-latch system. When I had lived there previously, I had noticed the stairs, I had sat upon them, but never thought to try the door. When I finally do, I find a sunroom on the roof of the brownstone building with a wooden bench, and a door beyond that opens to a decrepit, wooden rooftop deck. From it, I can see the past the city’s rooftops to the trees of a small park with which I have grown thoroughly obsessed. There is a building centered there to which I keep seeking entrance, though I can’t explain why. When I next see the property manager of my apartment, I ask her about  the stairs, about the door. “You are asking me now for permission? Why, child, you have always had permission. It is simply that no one ever visits these places. You are welcome there always to seek peace and solitude. You will find the sunroom larger than it appears.” Cryptic much?

She is entirely correct, though. When I next return to the sunroom after exploring the rooftop deck and its distant view of the park, I find possessions of mine long forgotten in a white childhood desk of mine – a Cure cd (of course), my notebooks full of poetry and essays on humanity from an earlier time during which I had been entrenched in the readings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcendentalist extraordinaire. I find a milieu of scarves purchased abroad in dusty markets. I had forgotten all of these things. I find myself returning back to the deck to stare out in the direction of the park. It is not Central Park in Manhattan, nor is it Prospect Park in Brooklyn. It features elements of both parks and also of parks to which I’ve never been. I have to find a way into the park’s building. I feel like I’m trapped in a game of Riven where there are impossible puzzles to solve and impossibly cryptic messages to interpret. Unlike Myst or Riven, however, searching online for a game walkthrough is not an option. I find myself wishing I had better problem-solving skills and that I hadn’t cheated my way through all of the games.

realMyst screenshot from Cyan, Inc. Instead of water, there is more forest, and then the sprawling expanse of city.

realMyst screenshot from Cyan, Inc. Instead of water, there is more forest, and then the sprawling expanse of city.

Later, I will find myself at a party in a lush inner park full ponds and streams; at the party are both strangers and acquaintances. The inner park is only accessible through the building with which I have become so obsessed in the larger park. The hosts of the party are friends, and one pulls me aside in a kitchen to tell me that my sadness and severe depression drive others to reject me. It stings to hear the truth put forth so bluntly, but I know she is right. I would leave the party, but I am hoping that a guy I had met a previous year’s party will appear. I don’t know where else to find him. I don’t know his name. No one at the party appears to know of him. He is the one for whom I have been seeking. If he doesn’t show at the party, I have no hope of ever finding him. I leave the host and the kitchen to search for him, and I wander along a path by one of the streams. The stream is full of tiny, dazzling fish, their reflection made even more refulgent by the sun shining through the water. Along the banks are many small, brightly colored birds of all variety. At a muddier part of the bank, I crouch down and lift a tiny, dead and muddied blue jay from a small, mud-filled hole. It was only a baby, just nearly ready for first flight. After it, I find two more brightly colored birds of indeterminate variety, full grown, in the quagmire; they are soaked, muddied, and dead. The hosts look at me alarmed, as if I am somehow responsible for the death of their birds.

I have to find this mystery guy. He understands the meaning behind these birds. I have dream-memories of him, of him terrifying me as he walks into his bedroom; I am sure he is going to beat the ever-living hell out of me. From his bed, I beg him not to. “You don’t want to have some fun?” he asks me wickedly. I stare at him. He is beautiful, no doubt, but more than a little left of center. He grins at me, as if to remind me that I am not so well-balanced myself. He moves to the bed, and straddles me. I’m not restrained, but I don’t fight him off, despite my gnawing terror. He reaches out a hand to touch my hair, caress my face. “I love you,” he says softly. “I thought this was what you wanted.” I stare back at him, waiting for clarification. He sits back, resting on my thighs, to pull something out of the pockets of his black pants. He removes a condom and a deceptively innocuous box cutter. “This…” he says quietly, watching me intently as he shows me the items he holds. “No?” He’s not forcing this on me. He’s asking for my permission.

I sit up and wrap my arms around him tightly, and I bury my face in his chest. “Yes,” I sigh. “Yes… a thousand times yes.”

He places the items, symbolizing safety and danger, gently on the bed and wraps his own arms and legs around me. He kisses the top of my head. “I love you,” he tells me again, his voice a soft whisper. I can feel the strength of his words echo as I press my right ear more firmly to his chest. “I will, never ever hurt you. I will always hold you this tightly. I will love you in your darkest moments, and I will help you find a way out of them. These moments, moments like right now, are for us to share our trust in one another. They belong to no one else. Only to us. Do you trust me?”

“I love you,” I whisper.

“But do you trust me?” he asks me again.

“Completely.” I breathe the words, and I sigh happily.

We should have never been separated. I have to find him. There is so much more to my dreams from last night, but I have to stop at the end of this one. I have to find this man. I can almost see his face, and I’m pretty sure I will recognize him when I see him. We have never met in reality, but he exists. Here. In this city. We should have never been separated. I will return to the park and its strange building without seeming entrance or egress as many times as I need to in order to glean information about where to find him.

My partner exists. He is searching for me, I know.

He shares these dreams.

We should have never been separated.

We have never really been separated.

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From → fiction, These Dreams

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