soaps and strangeness

i dreamt of you. just now. the first time in almost a year. i don’t know why. it doesn’t matter, i suppose. why, that is.

in my dream, i was at work. the fellow sitting next to me was a co-worked barely known. he was telling me of a soap the bank was giving to its depositors. i laughed and told him it was so they could feel better about the bath the economy was giving us all. he didn’t get it. i sighed.

his story was about they bank had messed up and the soaps they ordered wouldn’t fit through the security glass around the drive-up trays. so it was some manner of acrobatic effort every time a customer came to the drive through and so it was in his case as well. he described it well and it made me laugh. we were sitting there, laughing together, when a small cough was heard from behind us.

i turned and asked, ‘yes, can i help you?’ and your voice softly said, ‘well, that’s what i’m hoping.’

i didn’t recognize you at first. you’d gotten thin, gaunt. your eyes didn’t shine like they did when last i saw you. you looked tired. it took me a moment to realize it WAS you.

when i did, i couldn’t move. i just stared and my mind ran in circles trying to accept that it really was you. it seemed like eternity to me, but it could only have been moments. in my eternity, my mind surged with the voices of the girls; screaming, angry, weeping, accusing, hateful, hungry for blood. i choked them all back. all but the ones who could speak gently, softly, and with care.

“hello, heath. it’s good to see you.” i reached out and took your hand. you flinched, you actually looked surprised. i didn’t laugh. instead, i simply gave that cold, still hand a small squeeze and when your eyes flashed to meet mine, an equally calm and genuine smile, “let’s go outside.” we walked out of the office in silence and the sound of it roared in my ears like a storm.

we got into my truck and i began to drive. i have no idea where we went other than that i took you to the bank that fellow was talking about and sure enough, there was a circus at the drive-through as they tried to get the awkwardly shaped soap through the tray to me. i laughed and looked to you with it full in my face and wanting you to feel it too… something to drive away that tired look in your eyes. you smiled. it was a half smile, but it was beautiful to me.

i don’t recall where else we went. the dream is beginning to fade now. but we returned to the office (long lunch?) and you hugged me goodbye and whispered “Thank you” in my ear. i remember asking what you were thanking me for, but you never did answer. i spent the rest of that day at work pondering your odd arrival and departure.

when i arrived at work the next day, there was a dark red glass vase on the desk with a single white rose in it. a small card in the plastic holder standing in the vase with six words on it, “forgive me. i love you. heath.”

and beneath it on the desk, another one of those silly soaps from the bank. the rose made me cry. the soap made me smile.

i woke up smiling.

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