My friend Susan used to talk to me late into the night. We would push the twin beds closer, me on the one that her older sister Annie usually slept in. When I slept over Annie got to sleep in the sleeping porch upstairs, which she liked.
We would start whispering, usually about our future husbands who all looked like movie stars or were actual movie stars but bolder, braver, swashbuckling men who would rescue us from terrible situations which were perilous but somehow very, very exciting.
We would think the rescuing out in great detail. We wanted risk, even a little very bearable pain, some emotional sacrifice but eventual rescue and love. We knew that something came after the kisses, we felt it already in our little girl bodies, it seemed like there was something very important that happened between those robust petting sessions and the long white dress we would eventually wear to marry that same hero. That part was considerably more fuzzy.
I often fell sleep listening to her. I wanted to keep listening, wanted to respond, but the world of my dreams pulled me back like a dolphin into the ocean. Sometimes I thought I heard her voice while I slept, so seamless was the transition from fantasy to dream.
In the night I would waken, surprised not to be in my own bed in my own room in my own house just two blocks down. I wondered how my dreams could find me here but they always did. In the night the hump of Susan’s body beneath the sheets looked weird to me, unfamiliar, and the smell she emanated was so specifically her own that I wondered why I had not been aware of it in normal, daytime hours.
In the night the strangeness of our conversations seemed normal. I was in a holding pattern between the future and the present, the world of fantasy and the world of real life. I knew I probably could not bring my dream back just by falling back asleep, it never worked. I stared at the ceiling and wished that I could find him again, my rescuer, my rock and that we would fly over the clouds like Superman, locked in an embrace that cemented our bodies in ways I could not yet even being to imagine.