Last night I dreamed that I was connected with a woman I once secretly loved. Or thought I did. She was moving to the city and had enrolled in the Master’s in Creative Writing program that I am just completing now. She was single and she confessed to loving me too.
I was at first surpised to hear that she wrote, because she hadn’t before – not in a serious way, anyway – but I reasoned that she must be good at it and thought I could see some proof of it in our previous interactions, some of which involved writing and some of which did not.
I defended her against a crowd that was ill-defined and vaguely accusatory: I told them they had no idea who she had been and what she had done, that on that basis alone they had no right to judge her. This was in private. I think she was visiting the research library at the time. There was some uncertainty about whether she was going to accept the program’s offer – but she couldn’t deny the obvious merits of the library and made visiting it her top priority.
A network of concrete offices and arboretums built into a hill that would prove at times difficult to scale. The library – its huge, menacing exterior – was somewhere within that compound which does not at all resemble the actual university. My apartment, too.
I’m not sure if she actually confessed to loving me. It might have been only that she missed me, and that I missed her too – a different kind of love. It might have actually been that she felt relieved to see me, which is another thing altogether. In any case I invited her to come back with me to my apartment. She accepted. I was forced to walk or carry my bicycle, instead of riding it, which proved difficult while navigating the concrete labyrinth that was the university grounds. I think there was also an elevator.
She’d written a beautiful skit about two Irish children that was somehow also about black leather, single buckle shoes. That’s what I remembered her writing and what I thought of as proof of her skill. She wanted to come with me to my apartment and I had wanted that too but I felt suddenly uncertain or hesitant because I realised my partner would be home.
We weren’t dating any longer but we still lived together and I realized it would be awkward to explain. I no longer wanted my friend to visit and tried to think of ways in which I could tactfully put it off, while still ensuring that I be able to see her again sometime in the future when things were more clear. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been able to figure it out and was still wondering what to do when I woke up that morning, to an empty bed and a cat nipping my chin.