An Apple for Love

I had decided to tell him good-bye. Perhaps it was the dream. In the dream I had also come to tell him I was leaving. Arriving at the vestibule of his office, I met a woman who was leaving. Not an ordinary woman, she was confined to a wheel-bed. It looked like a combination wheel chair and chaise lounge, with her lying flat upon her back. She was a friend of mine and so I wheeled her to her car.

Never mind how the woman was going to drive the car. This was a dream after all. There was a basket; was it a basket of apples?  Bright, ripe apples denoting a path clear of all obstacles and the realization of dreams come true. Anyway, the woman left the basket on the table outside his office. Left for someone, I knew not whom.

Awakening, I lay in bed, adjusting to the dim, crumpled light of dawn. What did it mean, that dream? Was it prescient? Am I the woman in the wheel-bed? After all, I do at times feel paralyzed and as if my life is suspended.

It wasn’t always this way. I had dreams, big dreams, dreams of love and marriage and children and happily every after. I was, after all, a product of the hope that comes from a childhood where happy lived across the street while we heard the discordant tones of a violin in the hands of an untrained child.

“Someone always has their nose out of joint,” my mother’s favorite line whenever we embarked on a family outing. I would do it differently, I had thought. And so I had. Yet, somehow my life to this point was not the different I had envisioned.

As I fell back into slumber, the dream picked up where it had left off. I turned back toward the basket of apples and felt resolved as I embarked upon a path that brought me to his office and the moment of good-bye. He walked by, a counter separating us, heading for a ringing phone across the room, nodding his acknowledgement of my presence.

As he responded to his caller, I looked at him as if to analyze my allure. He is older than I; a lot. And, in the manner of middle-age men, his waist is widening. Yet he is still virile and alive, in the peak of his life. It is that aliveness that I suckle. Will I always love him thus? He smiles in response to his caller, yet his eyes sparkle in my direction and I know the smile is mine. He talks on and I am left to myself to watch and dream and imagine.

Suddenly, I know that I will wait forever, that his phone call will never end, that his smile when we are alone will always be different than the smile when we are with others. I rise to leave, a wave in his direction.

Outside, the basket of apples, shiny and perfect, awaits me. I take one and feel the fearless path of the resolved.

I awake a second time. I know what I must do.