So here is to a 2014 and a reality that exceeds our happiest dreams. Enjoy
He was dreaming. She was perfect again, beautiful again, stretch mark free again, slim again. She was so close and yet his hands refused to touch her even though he wanted to. He opened his mouth to breathe her in and gagged. That was when he heard a familiar sound and woke up.
The electricity was out again and no one had woken up to put on the generator. He was sweating enough for two but the light from the full moon showed him that the tears from the woman’s closed eyes were more than his sweat could hope to measure up to. She was sleeping and crying with a smile on her face. It was this silent weeping that had woken him from his dream.
He settled back on the pillows and watched her for a while, wondering what it was that felt so good and so sad at the same time. When the tears stopped, he shook her gently.
“Hey,” he said.
“Hmmm..” She moaned.
“You were doing it again.”
She turned to face him and smiled. She was beautiful in ways he could not comprehend and that he hoped he never would. Beauty was not meant to be understood; it was meant to be enjoyed, admired. It was in seeking to explain it away that left people damaged and ugly.
“My first man”
“My only woman”
“How many more minutes before she starts to cry?”
“She is taking longer these days.”
“She better. Ain’t nobody got time to be waking up at night because one child wants company.”
He laughed. The dynamics of his wife and his daughter’s relationship never failed to amuse him. He reached out to touch her skin, skin that had been without blemish 13 months ago but now looked and felt like the drawing of a river with tributaries. His hand did his bidding this time unlike in the dream.
“You think we have time before she wakes up?”
“I doubt it. If there is anything your daughter has, it is bad timing.” She replied.
He laughed again and reached to kiss her.
“Let’s try anyway; we can always continue where we leave off.”
“Hmmm…” She answered moaning.
They were halfway there when the child’s wail came piercing through the walls that divided their room from hers.
“Dammit.” He swore.
“Told ya,” She teased, reaching out for the sleep shirt she had only just taken off.
“No.” he said reaching out to stop her. “I will go get her; you rest.”
The child stopped crying the moment his shadow crossed her door.
“At least we know you didn’t get your deceptive tactics from me.” He said to her.
He reached out for her tiny body and she chuckled in a way that mended every tear in his heart.
“Did NEPA wake you up as well or was it the sounds I and your mother were making? Or are you like her; a dreamer, an angel that spends the day on earth and nighttime in heaven? What ails you, Imole, that you have chosen to return to earth? Tell me where your dreams stopped; maybe together we can finish them.”
His soft crooning and the gentle breeze that flowed in from the windows soon sent the child back to sleep.
“She asleep?” A voice called out to the man as he stood by the crib watching Imole’s eyelids flutter.
“Hmmmm…” He answered unable to tear his eyes away from beauty he could never comprehend.
“Come back to bed.” His wife said as she joined him to stand by Imole’s crib.
“Thank you.” He said to her. “Thank you.”
She didn’t ask for what. Loving a poet meant figuring out things yourself a lot. It meant baring yourself so he could see into your soul and write about it. It meant listening to words he never spoke. It meant saying ‘I love you.’ and sometimes not getting a response because his heart was too full, with nothing left for his mouth. It meant him saying ‘thank you’ and you knowing what for. It was a reality she wouldn’t give up for a thousand dreams.
They would stay that way for a while, watching beauty they couldn’t comprehend, the soft rise and fall of their creation’s chest, the clenching of the tiny fists as she reached out to touch angels, the slightly open mouth as she chuckled at heaven’s delights.
And then, they would return to bed and help each other finish from where their dreams stopped.
Photo credits: Alok Kinikar
Song of the day: Tye Tribett – What Can I Do