I don’t often dream about real people.
I’ve been having a reoccurring dream about one particular woman.
She’s the object of perhaps the greatest love I’ve had for any woman. Perhaps just a great first love. We split under rather extreme circumstances. I avoided all contact with her and knowledge of her life — partly our of respect for her and partly out of necessity.
For years since, she has appeared periodically in my dreams.
Understand, I thought I would spend the rest of my life with this woman. I thought I would have children with her. There was passion and love and fierce physicality when we were together, in addition to her being, for all intents and purposes, my best friend. But for years, as she appears in my dreams, they are not sexual.
Even to bump into her accidentally in real life, I would begin to disassociate. Colors and patterns of the world around me would shift and move. Sound would muffle and my depth perception would vanish. Shapes and objects would seem equidistant. It was like being in a wind tunnel.
I was hospitalized shortly after she left me and I imagine this reaction is something akin to shock, with the heavy association and emotional distress that the events had been tied to her for my memory. I find, however, that positive emotion has a much longer shelf life than negative emotion. I have grown over the years.
Become stronger, smarter, better. I even fell in love again. The kind of love in which I thought, again, I could and would be happy forever. But here I fell victim to a similar literal insanity I had fallen upon her.
But the dreams. They were simple, or at least her part in them. Amongst the other images and dialogue I underwent, she would appear. This was similar to way I had seen her those few times by accident in life over those years. And we would talk. And we would be civil. I can hardly remember what we would say to each other.
When my rage had managed to subside and I thought I had found an actual True Love, I began to mull the idea of intentionally talking to her. I came up with the two things I wanted to say: “Thank you for everything you did for me,” and “I am sorry for any pain I caused you.”
I felt these were what I owed her. And of course, I was still in love with her. Passionately. I would never not be. But I had gotten better with dealing with it. Only time really helped that.
For years, sex with other women resulted in a hollow emptiness in the chest. A heavy gut rot that didn’t end in the stomach. The sensation felt literal and it was powerful. Only until I fell in love again did the sensation truly go away.
But that love ended too: a difficult reality of combined mental illnesses. The feelings of the other being important for recovery and hardship, despite all that seems to stand bare and exposed is the cosmic fiction of what we created together. This is something I have not yet fully been able to grasp emotionally in its entirety and I do not expect it to occur any time soon.
Yet when I thought of my first love recently, the guilt and pain and tearing depression did not accompany it. This excited me. I had been fantasizing for Earth, consciously and subconsciously, at the ability to speak to her again. And without that, I had nothing to lose.
So I reached out.
The event went well. The first few seconds and first few minutes were strange. Bearably so for me, I have practiced skill staying calm and collected and in control during the most dangerous or trying of situations.
“It’s like seeing a ghost,” she said. This was certainly accurate.
She was very beautiful. We exchanged information about our lives during the years apart. I said my two pieces, the pieces I had been thinking about for years.
“Likewise,” she had said very quietly. It was something.