[stories from a parallel universe]

You make me feel like maybe I’ve lost my mind. I’ve gone through all the scenarios. Trauma bond. Fantasy. Something to feel the void. Maybe I was just an escape. Maybe I was just one of many. So many things can feel powerful. So many people have fooled my heart. I guess I just assumed you were one of them, despite my feelings, despite the way all my atoms shifted. Despite the way you show up in the ethers seeing straight into my soul, telling me I’m not making this up. It’s the most trust I’ve ever exercised. It’s a muscle that is getting very tired. I crave real. Give me real or leave me alone. I’m angry. I was a train wreck then. I had to run. I was running from myself. I’m still angry at this life and it’s games. 

But you’re still around. Despite my best attempts to forget you. I cannot make contact anymore. The string between our soup cans wore out a long time ago. I speak only to the you who still exists in my mind, if not anywhere else. It’s not necessarily the you I knew then. It’s some essence that sometimes I am not sure you even know about. I am blessed and cursed with a gift of meeting with people’s essence. Most people don’t even know themselves. But I do. It is a sword that I get cut with often. But I’m learning to hold the sword, to stay in myself. I’m content alone. I am my own world. It’s the only thing I truly trust. Sometimes not even that. 

I remember a dream. We were traveling in an RV. We had stopped. I had been sleeping. I went looking for you. You had parked on a winding road down to the ocean. There was a beach house. Yellow with a front porch. The ocean sparkled in the midday sun. The landscape grassy and opening into sand dunes. Then water. I walked down to the house. I needed to find you. But there was peace here. I felt satisfied, except I needed to kiss you like it was my life’s mission. A singular focus. Inside the house, I went from room to room, searching for you. On fire but completely at peace. A dichotomy. 

I met your mother. She wasn’t supposed to be there since she had died a long time ago, but she needed to bless us. Then I found you in a room at the end of a big staircase. You held a book of your photographs. On the back was a picture of me. And a biography. You could not speak, but you pointed at my photograph over and over. Your eyes were fervent. You needed me to understand my place in your story. You needed me to not give up. You needed me to remember this was real and there is a story playing out. 

I was growing very tired again. My hair was orange and we went down by the water. You picked me up and laid my body in the shallow with the starfish. It was the most at peace I have ever felt. 

I don’t think you have these kinds of dreams about people that you’ve made up scenarios about. Fantasy. The not-real. The older I get, the more I believe. 

And I am still waiting for that kiss. 

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