It was a little boy and he had deeper red hair than the girl had had, but he had a brown nose just like she. He was a wee bit smaller too, but so cute and very much the same body type that she had loved to pick up, hold and smooch. He just appeared from nowhere and she decided to invite him in. She asked her favorite man if he thought it was okay and did he want to name him?
“Shall we call him Hernandy?” she asked. His middle name was related to it, so her thinking was that that would delight him and enjoin him to consider her plea, not that he could deter her and not that he didn’t love dogs as much. She was just trying to be considerate.
Hernandy’s new father pulled her in to dance a bit. He was tall and tubby, warm and friendly and they danced awhile around the room. She loved him, but things never seemed to go as planned. He was effervescent, she not so much. He needed to talk, talk, talk and be listened to. She needed to be quiet and contemplative, but yet, opposites are known to attract.
When she awoke, she spent the day with feelings of fulfillment, sated emotionally from the story she had conjured while she slept. It was a bright beautiful day and even though he was hundreds of miles and emotions away, she felt like he was right there with her even though he likely never would be.
As the day went on and she further thought, she realized that things always turn out as they should, eventually. Maybe eventually one comes to realize that what they want, they already have.
It was nice that they were still friends, but it hadn’t worked because it wouldn’t work other than how it was working. She wondered if she could ever be happy with someone in her space. Probably not. You have to learn that when you are young, just like a language — much more difficult to do as you get older. But still, she would love to dance with his tubby self that wasn’t tubby anymore except in her dream.
Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends on knowing that secret; that secrets can only be know in orderly successions; and that only teachers can reveal these secrets. An individual with a schooled mind conceives of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessible only to those who carry the proper tag.. ~ Ivan Illich
She wanted to know all of the secrets of life. He just wanted to live slaphappily — “cheerfully irresponsible”, “happy-go-lucky” — yet he loved to know what she knew and oddly enough, he usually came to the same conclusions just by his osmotic way of existing. As with learning a language, how to learn or how to have other people in your space, it’s a matter of upbringing and culture as much as an individual’s preference. He had been raised in a huge family, she in an insulated/isolated one.
“Where are you, Jean?” he called from the living room where he was surrounded by his kids and their friends. She was in the garage doing all the laundry just so she wouldn’t have to engage but could listen and love it just the same.
He came looking for her and they touched in the hallway, just like feathers falling in the air. “You don’t have to do that.” he said. She didn’t mind. The next time he came looking for her, she was sitting on the floor in the walk-in closet in his room reading a book because it had all gotten to be too much for her emotions. “What are you doing in here!”
Later that night, they all sat in the living room, she next to him on the couch. He had a bowl of peanuts handing them out – one for her, one for him, shelling them as he went. He was generous and caring. When she spoke, they all stopped to listen. She felt important — “When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen,” kind of thing.
They were both just barely 40. He was raising his children alone but they had a mother and she was always in the periphery. They hadn’t been divorced for long, but the mother had remarried and the children didn’t like anyone new in his life — it was enough that she had left them.
They worked together, so there was no escaping it. Fortunately, he had a private business that just happened to reside where she had to spend the whole day confined — she was grateful that he came and went. There were years and years of on-again, off-again. They kept trying but just couldn’t seem to work things out.
She would finally move store locations and eventually leave the state thinking she could sever the tie. It didn’t work.
“Some people come into your life…”
They say it lasts until the lesson is learned. In the meantime, dogs come and go and many dreams too. She wonders what the lesson is and there isn’t a teacher near. She shall have to keep digging and digging, mostly in her garden where the thoughts are free and floating, like the feathers or their touch. Sooner or later it will come to her and maybe Hernandy too.