To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

I am now going to relate to you the amazing, heartbreaking dream I had while napping today (I gotta stop napping- my dreams during them always fuck with me). I am oscillating between making this private or just leaving it here for all to see… don’t know exactly how I feel about putting this out there for the world. I’ll finish writing it and decide, I guess.

It all begins in a modified version of Bambi’s basement, where a bunch of us are sitting around, talking and joking and throwing this paper airplane around. I know only about half of the people there (in the dream- in reality, the only two people I can recognize are Bambi and Paul). I’m sitting across the room from Paul, wearing my black buckled skirt. Somebody tosses an M&M, trying to get it in my cleavage. I laugh as it bounces off my collarbone and dive to grab it and throw it back. As I do, I fall, flashing my ass and my panties to the other side of the room. Paul grins and says something. Then, he gestures for me to come sit in front of him. So I do.

Before I know it, his arm is around me. We’re all still talking and such, when one girl squeals and laughs and points. I realize Paul has stealthily moved one hand to my breast. I laugh and glare at him playfully. He just gives this lascivious grin and squeezes. I shrug and let him leave his hand there. Eventually, he pulls away completely.

I’m worried I’ve done something wrong, but then I feel him grab me under my arms and lift me up to sit by him on the couch. Again, his arm is instantly around me, pulling me so tight against him it hurts. I squirm around a bit till he loosens up, then playfully swat him.

Might I add that, in the dream, we’ve all been drinking for some time and are all pretty drunk.

Paul eventually ends up lying across the couch (which is really Bambi’s infamous futon from September). I lie beside him, hovering above him a bit to look into his face. He’s beardless here, and looks so childish, so I smile and gently tease him for being younger than me. He says he’s 21 now- that makes him a man (this is a joke from reality we made on his birthday). I’m right above his face, close enough to kiss him.

But I don’t. Because I always bitch out like that. Even in my dreams.

Don’t worry, though. That doesn’t seem to phase him. As I lie beside him on the couch, he reaches over to play with my hair. I look over at him. He starts to muse that he could get me to do anything right now. I very honestly tell him he could get me to do said anything anytime, even when I’m sober. He says he knows this, that he’s known of my feelings for a long time, and that he’s treated me poorly. He apologizes and promises to do better. I tell him it’s okay, that he’s been busy. But he looks at me with this piercing gaze and says, “No. That’s no excuse. I promise you, I’m going to make up for it.” And I feel my heart flutter in my chest.

He gets up to get another drink. I am surrounded by a few chattering girls, all asking me what my plans for the night are and if I want to go out with them. I turn them down, tell them to have fun, then look around trying to find Paul. In the process, I lock eyes with Sean (who’s appeared out of nowhere). In his eyes, I read that he’s been observing me and Paul all night. And there’s this terrible sadness there, that I know is him watching something happen for two of his friends so soon after his breakup with Amanda, but he still gives me the slightest nod. The nod that tells me he approves and that I should go for it. I smile at him, then go back to searching for Paul.

I see him on this porch, sitting in the far corner at a table with another guy. There’s an empty chair there and a drink at it. He sees me and gestures me over, smiling all the while. When I get close to the table, I see that the other man is Tyler, John’s old roommate. I hug him and ask him how he’s been. We’re chatting for a few minutes when Tyler asks me why I’m not “fucking around with my friends” tonight. He gestures vaguely toward the rest of the party. I reply with, “I don’t always fuck around with my friends.” To which Paul says, “That’s too bad.” I look over at him, and he’s still just grinning, and I realize what he means. So, in a very out-of-character move for me, I practically purr at him, “I tend to fuck around with acquaintances, though.” He asks if he’s an acquaintance, and I say, “I’d definitely say so, yes.”

Tyler leaves, and I look over to see a naked couple. I comment on the man, then see the woman. She bends over, exposing herself to us, and Paul raises his eyebrows appreciatively, then looks back at me and grins again and slips his hand on my thigh.

On the ground, I spot a folded up $1 bill, as well as a $5 bill. I grab them both, showing the dollar to Paul. I tell him I know it’s his (as he’d been folding paper earlier in the evening- this was established via a flashback to a part of the dream I hadn’t actually experienced), and he exclaims it was from him and Bambi the other night. They had been writing on these bills and folding them up and leaving them for people. The instructions on the bill were to leave it, along with their answers to the questions written on them, where they found them. Sure enough, people had done it.

Except, as I handed him the $5, they weren’t money at all, but pieces of paper. And they had drawings and personal secrets and jokes on them. Paul pulled more out of his pocket, and I marveled over the variety of styles and thoughts and voices coming through on the pages. When he saw my reaction, he grabbed my hand and pulled me after him, the papers flying through the air in a blizzard around us.

We end up in his car, where he shows me a book he keeps in the glove compartment. It’s a homemade compilation of the best of the messages him and Bambi have received. He tells me he plans to take it back to Wal-Mart, where he got all the materials from, because they would sell it. We happen to be in the parking lot, so I say I’ll run it inside. But, as I wander through the store, holding this book in my hands, I can’t bring myself to let it go. I set it down for a second, but pick it back up, hurrying back outside with it. Their stories, their messages- they’re mine now.

Back in the parking lot, I’m scared for a moment that I won’t be able to find Paul’s car, since I can’t ever remember what cars people drive. I panic, realizing my phone isn’t on me. When suddenly, I glance up, and he’s sitting in this battered gold car, smiling at me and waving me over. I get in the car, explaining about the book, when I realize my skirt is riding high on my thighs. Paul just stares down at my legs for a moment, then looks up at me.

The tension is killing me, but I can’t make the first move. Finally, after what feels like ages, he leans across the car. His left hand moves up my thigh, starting at my knee and sliding up under the hem of my skirt. His right is behind my head and pulling me into this surprisingly gentle kiss. I don’t want it to end.

When we pull apart, he leans close to my ear, his breath tickling the tiny strands of hair, and says we have to go back to Bambi’s. At least, until the party starts to wind down. I nod, and he slides back over to his seat, hand trailing across my lap, and we drive back.

On the way, Paul is singing loudly to a song on the radio. When, out of the blue, a Slingshot Dakota song starts playing. I’m surprised, then I remember that Bambi gave them to Paul (this is real, not just part of the dream). I start singing softly to the music, and Paul urges me to sing louder. At first I can’t, but eventually, I start belting along with Tom and Carly. It’s this beautiful, freeing moment. I felt inspired by the man sitting on my left. I felt like he believed in me and that I could do anything. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt like that before.

We park along Albert Street, but a more urban Albert. Like a cross between Chicago and EL. We get out of the car and start walking toward the party. On the way, we pass Sean. As soon as we see him, Paul casually throws his arm around my shoulders, pulling me against his side. For a moment, I’m awkward as shit, then I slowly slip my arm around his waist. Sean and Paul stare at each other for a moment as we pass, and I see the challenge rising in Paul’s eyes. But again, Sean gives that small, sad/happy nod, and continues on his way. And we cross the street, heading back to the party.

And then I woke up. And realized that, despite how much Paul and I have been talking, that was just a dream. A lovely lie. God, I hate when this happens. I hate waking up with that beautiful feeling weighing on my heart, an emotion that is built on smoke and mirrors in my head. It happens about once a month. Sometimes, I dream about my current crush. Sometimes about a past one. Sometimes about someone I don’t have any real romantic feelings for at all. But in the dream, it’s always that same sad, sweet emotion. And then I wake up. Fuck that shit.

You know what? I’m going to make this public. To hell with it.

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