You will in some future time ask me what I saw in you.
I will tell you then, truthfully, that I dreamed of you that night when we first spoke and it was a kind dream, pleasant, happy. I will tell you that I had laughed in it and you had kissed my laughing mouth and we had kissed sweetly and when your lips left mine, I was still laughing though I stood on the tip of my toes and leaned into you, and you had that grin on your face that made you look young, naughty, sincere, and loving, all at once. And that’s when I knew I was dreaming but I had refused to wake up. And that’s what I saw in you. I saw you in my dream. And we were happy. And that’s how I knew we would be happy together like in that Turtles song. So happy together.
Dreams are powerful, you know, I will say. And you will understand immediately what I mean. We will be on a soft bed together and I will say this as I am drafting a mail on my phone and you will, in a rare instance of relaxation, be sprawled at my right thigh, your head on a pillow reading a book that you have been trying to finish now for the past eight months. I would have stopped mocking you about that and in any case, I would have read the book and forgotten it too by the time you finish it and decide to discuss it with me. Yes, I had loved your body at least five times in my dreams before we even kissed, I will say. Is that all? you will joke. And just like in a sleek romance, you will say, we have to up such counts at least in real life, no? and you will put that book aside again and reach over to kiss the underside of my bare feet.
See, there I go dreaming again. But this is what I mean.
If you have had sex with someone in your dreams repeatedly, does that count as having a lover? I ask you one day. You are busy again now and this time my whimsy annoys you. You ignore my question, you ignore my presence, and continue with your work. The thought lingers and I remember all the conversations I have already had with you in my own head. You have such balanced, progressive views always. I always appear gauche or pretentious. And when I begin to irritate you, you brush me away saying I don’t know you well enough. You say you are too complicated for me to understand. I know, though, that you like the fact that I used the word gauche. Astoundingly, you even know how to pronounce it correctly. Don’t you think that’s enough for now? But I don’t speak. Instead I dream. But even in my dreams, it worries me that our ideas don’t always match. You like to always toe the line. You will never even look at me with desire in your eyes when there are people around. You frown at the laughing lilt in my voice as I humour you by being proper around people. You will not ever interrupt a boring man in his conversation. You will hear him out patiently because you fear somewhere you are a lot like him. And when I chuckle impertinently and utter something charming that will stem his flow, you breathe sharply at my audacity. Now, you no longer try to control me and make me behave because you have given up. Now, you will never message me and tell me not to be rude. You never tell me to be patient anymore. Not since I told you it’s been a year since our first date and that we have been speaking over three years now. You know you have played hard to get.
I have the patience of a saint. But I dream of doing distinctly unholy things with you. What would you do if I played footsie with you in a conference hall as people around us busily discuss figures and costs and plans? Would you clear your throat or be visibly disturbed? But no, you ignore me, the feel of my feet on your body, and carry on a conversation about why basic paper is a better material to use than anything more elaborately organic. Only the far off, measured look in your eyes will tell me that I do have your attention. See? This is how you surprise me. This is how you keep me on my toes. Even in my dreams.
What girl has resisted a challenge? I ask you one day sitting next to you in your car. This time, you have decided to patiently explain things to me. You think if you spoke to me reasonably, calmly, I would get over this obsession I have for you. That’s the way you see it. This time you say, I am a simple man. Not at all what you think.
I fold my leg on the passenger seat and sit facing you. I reach out, stroke your cheek, and say, I like simple men. Honey, that’s why I like you, don’t you see?
My fingers will trace your lips softly, gently.
When we kiss, you already dread the next few weeks, whereas I float happily in victory.
It will never work, you say again trying one last time. I will never make you happy you promise. No, seriously, if I were more dramatic, I would fall at your feet and beg you to forget me, you will say.
All the while, I sit caressing your hand, drawing tiny circles on your palm. I laugh at your helplessness. Honey, don’t fret, I will assure you. See, it’s like this. Every girl must have a romance where she can slip into dreams easily, where there’s an entire world waiting to distract her from the tedium or even the excitement of her life. Sweetheart, don’t you see, you are that romance for me? You are not real. You don’t exist. How can you end what has begun only in a dream? I will ask you. My toes nudge your thigh for emphasis.
But why me? What is it that you see in me? you will whimper helplessly.