I saw a girl on the subway this morning so beautiful that I have considered writing a Missed Connections ad on Craigslist:
Red bag, paper cup of coffee, black tank-top, silver necklace, boots with two rows of big buttons marching up the front. Tossing your slightly feathered hair, talking to your friend, then when she got off, you pulled out your compact and began applying face powder, lipgloss. It was such an intimate act, and something about it felt so familiar, like I could see you at your mirror in the morning, getting ready for the day, me pulling my tie through the knot, slipping on my jacket, sipping coffee, pretending to read the paper, legs crossed, at the kitchen table, when really I’m watching you in the reflection of the mirror in the hallway while you’re in the bathroom. And, though perhaps I don’t want to admit it, I felt a little crackle in my chest when I watched you.
Probably it was just my being half-asleep on my commute that gave more meaning to this girl than I would otherwise attach. But this is not the first time this has happened to me lately – I see sudden, recognizable familiarity in a femme and think, maybe that’s her.
I’ve been sleeping awfully this week. Every night, I’m having restless dreams, vivid and sometimes lucid, often full of imagery and messages.
Tuesday night, I dreamt I was stuck in my family’s crypt, a small mosoleum of some sort, which was above ground, walls covered in stained-glass colored mosaic windows. I couldn’t leave this crypt, though there seemed to be some sorts of tours going on, with people in small groups of twos and threes coming in and out. Some of my family was there, my maternal grandmother and her mother, I specifically remember – and things somehow began to turn horrific, and the crypt tourists were zombies, or dripping blood, or other horrible things. I had some sort of perch in a corner, somehow removed, they couldn’t see me, but I was terrified.
I woke myself up at this point, and lulled myself back to sleep only to re-enter right into the same dream, the same crypt. This time, my mother was there, talking to me through the gated door, saying that it was my responsibility, my job, to stay there, that I inhereted this, that it was passed down through generations and all culminated in me.
I awoke feeling that I had remembered something, rather than dreamed something.
Two personal asides: in my astrological chart, I have many planets – Venus, Mars, and Mercury – in the 12th house, and also in the sign of Pisces, which is the 12th house’s natural ruler. The 12th house is often spoken of as the unconscious, and also baggage. In fact, it’s specifically related to family in many ways:
The 12th house may also likely have connections with “family life issues” or “gifts” that our parents (and perhaps our parents’ parents) were given… but they refused or were emotionally unable to give expression to and/or resolve these “family life issues” during their own lifetime. And now it’s been left up to the child (you) to experience and resolve these energies for the parents. (source)
Second aside: I am the fourth generation of first-born daughters. My mother, her mother, and her mother were all the eldest child in their families, and there’s actually a word for that (which I can’t remember or find) and some sort of significance of, again, inheritance.
I spoke with a friend the other day about this, and she said, “The thing is, you don’t have to “inherit” it. You can politely decline the ancestral karmic stuff. It’s not your baggage. You can honor it and honor your ancestors, but it doesn’t have to define your life now. You don’t have to live in a tomb of their making.”
Right. If only I could remember that lesson – and, clearly, it is a big one for me. I don’t have to take on everything from everyone, I don’t have to save the world.
I do, however, have to save myself.
I slept on the plane and dreamed of us spinning, dancing on a slick floor. Heels and wing tips and she wore a light thirties dress with fringe, I was in slacks. I led her by her wrists, shoulders, neck; she twirled and brushed against my arms and body like somewinged creature barely touching down, gliding, humming next to me.
I was a better lead in the dream than I really am; in the dream it was effortless. I wore a fedora, suspenders. It must’ve ben salsa we were dancing.
Her body is smaller than mine, petite. I understand what it tells me. I read her hips like braille, bones and muscles and oh she’s strong.
She does the swing-out and a small hand flourish, crisp head snap and she gives me those eyes as I pull her back in, so I pause, she runs her hand up the buttons of my shirt, tilts her head so our mouths are close. I tip my hat onto her head and she laughs.
I twirl her fast, once-twice-threetimes and then catch her neck, turn her body, dip her one-handed, my other arm out, and my hat falls from her head to the floor as we kiss.
Also on this plane flight was, in my same row, but on the other side of the isle, the boy I first messed around with in high school, also going back for the holidays. He was traveling with his girlfriend.
He was The Casanova in high school. All the girls swooned over him, and he and his long, greasy hair, black trenchcoat, and flirting meant that he gave long back rubs to all of them in the drama studio.
As far as I knew, though, the only one he was messing around with was me. Our relationship was not public – we would not flirt or barely even acknowledge each other at school. But after school, in the park, in the cemetery, we’d be kissing, touching for hours.
I wanted to be him sometimes, wanted that kind of seductive power and desire over those girls.
And now look. Here I was, so freshly fucked I could still taste her, still feel her cock inside me, and here he was, with a sweet girlfriend, no doubt, but still doing the same things he used to, the same silly flirts and methods, I saw him do it, he was barely a grown-up version of his high school self, really he was the same, just with a better haircut.
He told me later – we went out for drinks – that he didn’t lose his virginity until college. That he had a lot of trouble with girls, with relationships.
Not that I haven’t, certainly. But I’ve had big loves, I’ve had big romance, big heartbreak, beautiful women who have shared my bed, shared my life. I’m so grateful for the influence of the women in my life, of sexuality, of exploration, of eagerness to play and learn and just be.
I wanted to tell him about my adventures, wanted to tell him how much I appreciated messing around with him and how fun and safe that was for me, how grateful I was that he showed me his soft underbelly when the other girls thought he was this tough guy, how great it was to look up to him, to wish I was him and now, to realize the ways I’ve surpassed him, the ways I am on the way to becoming my own Casanova.
I didn’t say any of that. Funny, sometimes, what you know will be too much to reveal. Thank the blog gods for, finally, a space to (over)share.
She is the fantasy, and I am the dreamer. Or perhaps it is she who is the dreamer: she is the one who is always creating meaning from metaphors and analyzing the superstitions that are coming between us: bread and butter. Knocking the tree spirits awake and away we beg for forgiveness for being so presumptuous that we would know what is to come ahead of us. What nausea will pass and what we will be doing to ring in the next new year. How much of this will we weather? I already know how and where our great downfalls will come: flattery. Consumption. The great flaw of sunshine on a winter’s day.She is the fantasy, and I am the dreamer. She is the dreamer, and I am the magician with the magic hat who watches from the edge of the room after she cries herself back to sleep, never knowing which magic spell will bring her back into herself.
I have created a swirling romance around her. Sweltering inside a coil of smoke, a glass wall such that I cannot reach her. But that I did not place around her. Did not choose to erect such a barrier between us. She did, when she chose to dream me. I did, when I discovered the fantasy of her was more real than the real skin touch of her hand, her thigh, her kiss.
Is it only the dreamer who comes up with such fantasies? Perhaps I would rather be a writer than a dreamer, so I can write myself into something as solid as stones.