All my life I have dreamt of love. I repeated scenarios in my mind until they sang pitch perfect a vibrato across an otherwise empty stage. Two particular fancies stayed in my mind often, lingering long after closing time to comfort me. I would dream of a man's confettied confession of love. He would cough it out and the blood of it, the reality of it, would slide down his chin and onto his shirt. It would be a palpable, palpitable love. He would say it to someone else and not know I was listening, and in turning our eyes would meet and the world would drain away, as a body prepped for fire.
My other dream was better. I would dream of a complicated scenario in which this man had to deny his love for me, or else I would be killed. I thought of filigree tangled emotions and situations and his looking me in the eye to tell me that he never loved me since the moment he saw me. I dreamt of knowing, and of allowing the truth to remain hidden, a seed tucked under a lung, under a rib, under the flesh. Hidden.
I never dreamt it would be like this. That he would say he doesn't want me and I would falter – that my feet would slip and I would catch myself on the rock face thinking - why?; or rather, why not?
In all those years I never considered that my childish literary games, of rehearsing futile emotion drenched circumstances with a variety of make believe characters, would come to stick in the back of my mouth, half swallowed and hard still. Hard and not quite formed, the unspoken pulpitious muscle of love, refusing to go down. Refusing to be tucked or hidden or coughed away.
All my life I have dreamt of love. Of great love; that rouses itself resolutely in the face of medicinal deaths. Of great love that shoots its arrows over the tip of the moon to set fire to the darkest parts. Of great love that would forgive me myself and find a way to wrap itself around a too too solid body. I never dreamt it would be like this, and that he would – that he ever could – turn his head, his cheek, his heart, away from me.
All my life I have dreamt of love. How foolish I was to believe in the dream.