The first time we touch each other again is over Charlie -- we call him KC -- a big, friendly black dog. He's and older fella, the hair under his chin is gone white, and white hairs speckle the rest of his body in a way that reminds us that he's old and getting older, every day. Who isn't?
KC's body is lean. He's a big dog, and petting his back and his body we can feel his ribs and his breath. Our hands and fingers touch each others by accident, and we look at each to recognize this, but never at the same time. I see her eyes as they leave me face, and my eyes leave hers just so.
Her hair is blonder, her smile as perfect. The creases around it a little deeper, her finger and toenails just as bright. Her cheeks are still so round that when she smiles (so big) her eyes look nearly shut.
Outside, I'm with my family. Adam is there too, and so is my dad. My dad is always near when I dream. My family bickers as we perform a chore. The pool deck is in a state of repair, and there's a dump truck that requires sorting. We fight and tensions build -- my mom ignores them, which enrages me, and my dad eggs them on, which enrages me. Again, this is always what happens when I'm dreaming. SJ stops us and guides us through a prayer together. Part of the prayer is the pledge of allegiance, but it still feels spiritual and not secular. It calms us and we can continue to work. This is not what always happens when I dream.
She's overwhelmed by the prayer. She cries and I hold her against me -- my hands are on her bare upper arms -- and I'm reminded of being inside, a moment when she laid on the couch and I crouched close by, and we knew we had just this day together (or just this time together), and this is nice. It's unsaid, but I feel it, and I presume she feels the same.
She lies on a couch that is also a bathtub. The water swirls down the drain, and she's worried one of her scarves will be pulled down too. I do not let it happen.
There's so much I can't put into words, except that when I woke up I wanted to know it forever. I wanted to hold her like that, once. I wanted to be known like that again.
She lives forever for me like that. She lives in Ohio now.
I don't know her anymore, not really. I don't want anything back again. But I occasionally want what was, for a moment in a dream. I want to remember the feeling when I'm awake. I want to see that it's there and that it mattered. I know that it did for me, and I want it to be true for her too. We don't need to acknowledge it, except that I assume that we do, silently and separately, but aligned.