The Australian came to me in my sleep last night. We walked moorish hills with the sun positioned just on the horizon for hours. He held me tightly against his side every step of the way. His death was never mentioned but it hung in the air like the peircing wane of a boat whistle signaling departure.
We fell asleep together in a grassy hillside nave overlooking miles and miles of sunset cover country. As I began to wake, slowly returning to consciousness, I felt myself drifting away but could still see him resting peacefully, a soft smile on his lips.
Was it only a dream, brought on by my conversation about him with a friend yesterday? Or did the tears I shed as I listened to his recorded voice for the first time in ages call him from the beyond to meet me in the golden lit firmament between his world and mine?
You peek out from the green, leafy branches, nothing showing but your eyes and the tip of your brown nose. A beautiful wild thing you are. So brave. And a mixture of curiosity tempered by caution. Not for your safety. No.
It is your freedom that you guard with such zeal. The twigs in your hair, the dirt under your nails a badge of honor, marking you as untamed. One of the Lost Boys of Neverland.
To give chase is foolish. I could never catch you. Instead I back away, leaving you to resume your wild, roaming play.
But you do not leave. The soft sweet smelling creature you see intrigues you. You want to touch. So you come closer.
For inside the man the Lost Boy lives, forever playing tug-a-war with the opposite desires of unruly freedom and tender sanctuary.
Come. Lay your head of tangled curls on my lap for a moment. Let me gently tend your cuts, your bruises. Now, off you go. Quickly, before the comfort weakens you.
I see him you know. The Lost Boy in you. Does he see the Wendy Darling in me?
Image credits: https://www.paigeeworld.com/u/nati2015
What does it feel like when you hug a woman you’re attracted to and her breasts smash hard against your chest. I know what it’s like to be the one whose breasts are being smashed. It’s lovely. Publicly intimate. But how is it for the man? Please tell me.
He was tall, broad-shouldered, with a deep, rumbling laugh. I stood in the bedroom of his sprawling ranch house in Big Sur country wearing tawny riding breeches and a red sweater as we discussed which of his dozen horses would be my mount for the day. His three daughters and one son would be arriving for the long weekend later that day. But I didn’t have to do any planning. Mrs. Prill would see to it that dinner was served at seven, he explained. I took a deep breath and threw my arms around him.
“You make everything so simple!” I laughed.
The scene changed.
The massive kitchen with a giant fireplace is briming with conversation and savory smells. The children, all in their late teens and early twenties banter back and forth. They are affectionate with me. I sip my tea, taking it all in. It feels like home, but with a piece missing.
The scene changed.
The man and I were walking along the coast at sunset. Hand in hand. The memories of the day played through my mind. It was perfect. The house. The land. The horses. The coast. The California sun. The big family. The security. The tall, distinguished man. Too perfect. I felt a stab in my heart as I thought of Nathan. Where was he? Why had I left him?
I began to run. Faster. Faster. So fast my feet barely touched the ground. And then I was flying! I caught a current of air and let it lift me high into the sky, away from the man. It was glorious, like being inside the most iridescent opal you’ve ever seen, with a symphony of string instruments accompanying you.
I woke with a start, the room dark and the soft sound of Nathan’s breathing. What did it all mean? This dream outlined my perfect life. Down to the large, ready made family that I didn’t have to birth and raise. But when I realized it had all been a product of REM sleep, I just felt relief. Because I didn’t leave Nathan. He’s still right here. Beside me.