Monday, October 18, 2010

Lost in my dreams

I recently took a road trip with my family (approximately 2700 miles of driving, not including city driving in our final destination) during which I did a large part of the driving. As anyone who has ever driven through West Texas can attest, there's not a whole hell of a lot to look at to keep your mind engaged. Aside from watching the sporadic traffic around me, I found my mind often playing through story ideas that have been stewing for a while. Several new ideas have presented themselves for my consideration, and I'm sure eventually I'll get to at least a couple of them, but none of them really got the grip in me I need to get writing. Then I started thinking about a story I wrote a few years back detailing one of the most intense and affecting dreams I've ever had.

The dream was about a girl with eyes of gold who took me out of my crazy head for a while, and took interest in me in a way no real world woman ever has. I'm sure we've all had dreams that felt all too real, and I'm equally sure we've all woken up from those dreams a little confused and, assuming the dream was a good one, a little sad that it was over. This was definitely one of those dreams for me. In fact, it was so real and so engaging that I found myself looking for that girl the entire following day. It was almost as though the dream were a sort of premonition, an advance notice to keep my eyes open and my senses sharp. Of course, as I'm sure you can tell from the large number of emo and almost self-hating posts I put on this blog, I never actually found her or the happiness the dream promised.

Strangely, however, the dream still pops up in my memory from time to time. It's as though my brain, without any (conscious) help from me, has established the feeling in that dream as a template for what could be. It's almost like an audio/visual representation of my hope that, no matter how much I fail or let myself and others down, that maybe one day a happiness like that could be mine. I've never dreamed about her again with such intensity (though she HAS popped up once or twice more in my dreams), but sometimes on a busy street or some other crowded place, I still look for those eyes, and a small part of me still hopes that she could be out there.

I wanted to follow the girl further from the initial dream, and imagine the life that would follow that sort of joy. As a result, I will be (attempting) to write a multi-part story of moments with the girl. So here now I am reposting the story of the original dream, (originally titled "Dream a Little Dream"), as the first in what I hope to make a five-part series, "Dreams of the Golden-Eyed Girl". Enjoy, and comment if you like.

Dreams of the Golden-Eyed Girl: Tremble

I was camping with friends who were more like family, enjoying the peace that only that sort of location seems capable of bringing. We drank, smoked, played ridiculous made-up games that would only amuse a close circle of friends, and generally made a party of life. As a general sense of well-being and joy carried me through the trip, I found myself floating through conversations and events as a detached observer. Of course I also participated, but mostly I listened and enjoyed my time with these people I loved. While listening to the third or fourth retelling of the time one of my friends almost got arrested because of being mistakenly identified as a Peeping Tom, I spied a girl that was new to me. I was instantly fascinated; maybe even, dare I say it, enamored. She sparkled and was intoxicating to me, even from a distance. I felt myself pulled to her and made my way over to the small circle of which she was a part. In the back of my mind I observed with amazement as I, normally shy and reticent, introduced myself and struck up a conversation with her about the latest music, or books, or Lindsay Lohan scandal, and she listened with seeming fascination and enjoyment. We laughed, talked, laughed some more, and generally just had a wonderful time learning about another person.

So enraptured was I, time seemed to skip in that easy way it often does in dreams. There’s no sense of having missed anything, just a natural progression or flow of time. It was quickly becoming apparent that this captivating girl and I had made one of those random connections that happen all too rarely, so I, continuing to display huevos grandes far beyond any I normally had, asked her out on a date. She smiled slightly, looked down, then met my gaze and, as I watched the moonlight play in her eyes, breathed a quiet "Yes." We sat outside that night, under that perfectly clear and starry sky you only find in unspoiled nature, making plans, deciding when and where to meet up, what to do on the date. We also were laughing, ribbing one another, and enjoying each other’s presence in a very easy and familiar way. I remember thinking “She’s the one I’ve been looking for,” which, while clichéd, felt absolutely true. Its truth made it even more special because it proved the cynic in me wrong. Proved that sometimes the cheesy clichés are truth, and it’s wonderful to be surprised by that revelation.

Plans made for the date to come, we began to head our separate ways to bed, to rest, and perhaps, in what felt like an already perfect night, weave dreams of even more perfection that we could return to at any time. She started to walk away and I, bemused, watched her go for a short while, before turning in the opposite direction toward my lodgings. I had a walk of about 100 yards back to my cabin, and I was in no hurry to get back. I wanted to walk slowly, breathe in the cool night air, and think about this new friend who already felt like so much more. The night was chilly enough that I could watch my breath plume out from my mouth like harmless dragon’s breath. The dry pine needles crunched under my feet, reminding me of the crunch of snow, which is one of my favorite sounds in the world. I was so enraptured by nature and by my thoughts of her, that at first I didn’t notice that the crunching of the needles was much more rapid than my own two feet could account for. In addition, the sound was coming from behind me as well as under me, and I knew that no matter how clear the air, I couldn’t be producing an echo that convincing.

I turned around, already preparing myself for a playful tackle from one of my other companions on the trip. So when I swiveled 180 degrees, a vulgar greeting ready to leave my lips, it’s only natural that I stumbled a little when I saw not one of my buddies but her, jogging toward me. She stopped about 3 feet from me and laughed quietly at my defensive posture, I’m sure knowing the mistake I’d made and finding it silly in a sweet sort of way. I was excited to see her back so soon, and was preparing to ask to what I owed the pleasure, when she took a couple of tentative steps toward me. Those steps brought her eyes into the light, and just as the first time I’d looked into them they took my breath away a little and made me forget what I wanted to say. She had golden eyes, ringed black and flecked with glittering reddish-copper. We watched one another, unsure but comfortable, and neither of us moved for a moment. There was an unspoken agreement in that instant, a hesitation to interrupt this all-to-brief instance of connection.

Eventually she closed the remaining distance between us. I saw nervousness and happiness play across her face in equal measure, and I marveled that this girl who so undid me could be anything less than self-aware and confident. I was being pulled tighter into her web, and I wanted nothing more in that moment. She reached out a trembling left hand (though whether from the cool air or from nervousness, I’m still not sure), and took my right hand. She simply held it for a moment, and looked into my eyes in an intense and absorbed sort of way that no one had ever looked at me before. She then lifted herself up on her toes and kissed me. It was a movie kiss, perfect in every sense. The night’s chill did not extend to that small surface area of skin that connected us in that too brief moment. The kiss was not forceful, not hurried, not lustful in any way. It was simply an acknowledgement of the bond we had formed so quickly and strongly. It was innocent, intense, and the best kiss I’ve ever had, awake or asleep. She reached up with her right hand, slightly cupped, and gently ran the back of her fingers down the side of my face. An electric chill travelled up and down my entire body, and I shivered noticeably. It felt as though the kiss could have lasted forever, and that wouldn’t be nearly long enough.

When she finally pulled back, I could see her cheeks were flushed, and the burning sensation in my face told me mine were as well. We looked into each other’s eyes again, and despite being dazed by the wonderful kiss we had just shared, I was still overwhelmed by the strength and intelligence and life I saw in her impossibly beautiful eyes. The look lingered only briefly; then with a quick squeeze of my hand, she turned and jogged back toward her cabin. Not a single word had passed between us the whole time, but we had communicated more deeply than I ever had with any other person. If I sound overly effusive, it’s only because it’s the only way I can think of to fully illustrate the beauty of that moment. I realized, once I’d regained the ability to think coherently, that my lips tingled slightly from the contact we’d shared. I carried this pleasant sensation with me back to my bed, too much in her spell to respond to entreaties for conversation or games, and fell soundly asleep, hoping to dream more about the golden-eyed girl.


Blogger Rod Cruz said...

I love the idea, and I'm looking forward to the next installment. You have a way with words, sir.

3:28 PM  

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