i wake from a dream that i believed was real because the dream scenario was a rerun of a real-life scenario from years ago with new characters. i thought the situation had happened again. i was waiting to see if i felt sad or relieved or scared or lonely. i felt none of these. i felt anxious and confused and spent several minutes in-between dreaming and waking trying to figure out what was what and when is when, because the thing that happened in the dream that has happened before in waking life will surely happen again in waking life but hasn’t happened yet. i am suspended between now and then, mostly residing in now with part of my mind wondering if it will happen today or tomorrow or next month or next year, not knowing when it’s coming but knowing it is coming again someday, that someday is coming, but then isn’t now, isn’t yet. the it could be anything that has happened before: a recurrence of cancer, an end of a relationship, a return of the off-and-on relationship, another friend who commits suicide or dies in a car accident or drowns while surfing. any of these things can happen at any time. all of these things will happen again one day. maybe one day soon, depending on your definition of soon, depending on your luck regarding soon.
throughout the day after dreaming what i thought had happened again, after dreaming what has happened before but featuring someone new, i feel not quite here. i feel half in a dream that i know will come true again and not the kind of dream come true that little girls and boys unmarked by life dream of.
my new kitten reminds me to appreciate these months because she won’t be a kitten a year from now and cats live nearly two decades (if i’m lucky) which means it will be a long time until i have another kitten. life is long and cats live a while, but life is only long enough for a handful of kitten opportunities before i die. the point is that long-term relationships that last until death do you part end sometime and most relationships don’t last past a few months or years or decades. stuff ends. people die. pets die. eyes go bad. hair thins. skin sags. hips break. tumors grow. sometimes even the good stuff feels like a bad dream. we care too much and get hurt. we care too little and we feel nothing, the kind of nothing that feels worse than pain. so we love again, we love a new partner, we love a new friend, we love a new pet, we live another day and love as much as we can because later today might become the someday that has happened before and will happen again. someday we’ll run out of days. but right now, right this minute, you’re here. go tell someone you love them. (your dog counts.) love them harder. love them fuller. love them with every thought and breath and heatbeat you have. and hope for peaceful dreams tonight because our nights are numbered, too. i’d like for every night to bring you restful gentle dreams. sleep well. dream sweetly. love a little more. love a lot more. you’re doing it right.