I dreamt of you
And awoke to discover that you had died.
I looked all over to find your photograph
In boxes of yesterday’s memories
It was not necessary
Because your image is burnt into my heart.
A woman I know had a long term relationship with a man that lasted on some level in excess of thirty five years. They met when they were both in their early twenties and fell in love at first sight. When they saw each other the first time both of their hearts felt like they had fallen through their stomachs and onto the floor where they became inexorably bound for years to come. At the time the woman was in a relationship. The new man wanted to marry the woman but she did not trust the intensity of their feelings and wondered if it was some form of insanity. Their passion for one another was unquenchable. The man’s behavior was very strange almost from the start. He spent much of his free time alone in his apartment and did not go out. He had problems with addiction and as years wore on he no longer wanted to marry the woman. He only wanted to stay alone at home and get high. He had few if any friends. The woman felt horrible and heartbroken. No one ever knew how the man felt because he confided in no one at all. The woman always knew when the man was calling her on the phone. Even before caller ID and after it when his number was listed as “unknown”, she’d simply answer the phone addressing him by his name, even if she hadn’t seen him for months or later, for years. When the woman eventually married a different person the man moved far away but continued to call the woman at regular intervals entreating her to visit him, offering her the airfare and great food. They made a pact after he moved to be sure that if something happened to one of them, the other would be notified. But they were both in good health and didn’t worry. The woman did not answer one of the man’s emails because she was offended by something he had written. She did not hear from him for a year and when she did, she was embarrassed to see that he had written her something of a love letter. She didn’t know how to respond because all she could think was “too little, much too late”. She answered in a pleasant but noncommittal manner and when he wrote back again in a passionate manner she did not answer at all, because she was a wife and a mother and he had had his chance before and had continually disappointed her. About two years passed and the woman had a disturbing phenomena happen more than once. She would be lying in her bed alone in the liminal state when she would feel a large body lying next to her. She could feel/hear the body breathing. Terrified, she’d rouse herself to find no one there. Then one night she had a lucid dream in which she was with the man again. It broke off abruptly. She awoke and went straight to her computer and searched the man’s name. The breath was knocked from her gut when she saw that he had died on her birthday . Her heart hurt but no tears came forth. After much searching and pleading she discovered the cause of his death, but in her heart she knew he died of self imposed loneliness and much too young. Then she had another dream in which they were together and he spoke of the oneness of consciousness wherein they would always abide. She wants to believe that this is true and that it was really him in her dream but worries that it is all an elaborate fantasy. Now occasionally she dreams of an apartment in Secaucus NJ where she’s never been except in dreams, where they have inexplicably met for years only in dreams, though neither of them ever lived there. And he kisses her softly on the lips before he dematerializes.