Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Dreaming, part 3

Part 1 ~ Part 2

She did nothing the next day. Or the next few days after that. Jason didn't ask any questions and she didn't bring it up. There was plenty to talk about, plenty of work, plenty to do. Jason, Tallie, and Striker spent the following evenings with friends and for long stretches of her days she even forgot to think about it. Occasionally the reply crossed her mind, but while she hadn't deleted it yet, she also hadn't read it again.

Her dreams in the meantime were interesting. Over and over again she dreamt of fire, of red, orange and yellow flames. Sometimes she was inside them without burning herself, but aware of being too hot to approach; sometimes, as in the last dream about Peter, she just watched the flames dance erratically in a big campfire. Out of curiosity she finally looked up the imagery in an old book of dream symbols she'd bought long ago.
"Fire: represents the dreamer's emotional life. If the fire is destructive, the dream is about the dreamer's destructive emotions."
She didn't find it helpful. But, flipping through the book, she also stumbled upon a paragraph she'd underlined at some point.
"Every person and every object in a dream represents the dreamer. If a dreamer says, 'I dreamed I saw a dead person,' we can understand the dream to mean that the dreamer is feeling deadened in some way. By giving our attention to other symbols in the dream, we may even be able to pinpoint the cause of the dreamer's feeling of lifelessness."
"Hokey," she thought.

On Cycle Day 12, according to her temperature chart, she woke from another Peter dream. The same dream as before, but this time, she didn't remember any of the dream preceding the moment of watching him have sex with some other woman they'd both grown up with (though Tallie, once awake, was not sure that the woman was a real person from her past). Again, they were across the fire from each other. But this time, and Tallie thought perhaps for the first time, he had looked at her while in the act. The alarm had rung just as their eyes met.

Tallie pulled the thermometer from her mouth and noted the temperature on the chart. Day 12 meant it was time to start peeing on sticks -- checking for impending ovulation. Jason pulled himself up on his elbows to look at the chart in her lap. After studying it a moment, he raised her eyes to her quizzically.

"Soon," she said.

He laughed lasciviously and rubbed his hands together. She had to laugh. She forgot the dream. "How soon?" he asked.

She looked over at the clock beside the bed. "Spiker might get a shorter walk this morning," she said, sliding back under the covers.

"Oh," Jason murmured into her ear. "Very, very, very soon. That's very good."

At work that afternoon she was thinking about the morning's negative ovulation predictor test result when she opened the reply from Professor Peter Wilson. She stared at it as though it had opened itself and gnawed at the inside of her cheek, wondering if she should feel guilty.

"I do not know you," it still read.

She hit reply. "I do not believe you," she said aloud as she typed.

"I'd have to be insane to send this," she whispered to herself, casting a furtive glance out her office door to see if anyone was in the hall. She stared at the screen.

"This is stupid," she said moving her cursor over the "delete" button. "He is not he. He is me," she told herself.

"I am certifiable," she said as she moved the cursor and sent her own reply.