I was about five years old, and I was laying in my bed, thinking about and trying to imagine what my life would be like as a grownup. My parents had gone out that night, leaving us with an over-zealous babysitter who was studying for her degree in child psychology. She was as annoying as fuck. She came with all these prepared games, to challenge and engage us. My brother Jesse and I weren’t prepared for this sort of thing. We’d spent our five and seven years entertaining ourselves and her scavenger hunt list felt …. invasive. In hindsight she was probably really wonderful. And underpaid.
Anyway, I remember my mother saying something about that night being a “grownup thing,” and that fired up my imagination. (My imagination being a lot like an oven with it’s pilot light out, in a word COMBUSTIBLE.) I dreamed a dream.
In my dream, I was there in a bed with a man. My face was the face of a grownup but I apparently coudn’t picture myself taller so I had the stature of a midget. (This is where we see foreshadowing, as I am a woman of dimuntive dimensions.) The man and I were looking at each other, we were eating ice cream and laughing.
Eating ice cream in bed, and laughing, I think this was the closest I could picture at the age of five, of sex. Think about it for bit. It’s pretty darn accurate. He had light-ish, thick hair, and a very square jaw. His eyes were closed in laughter, and his hands felt warm.
As I grew up, I wondered about that man. Now, I’ve always been a very practical girl. Dreams were the result of things you saw and weren’t immediatly sure how to file away. Your brain is a filing cabinet, and dreams are the file that is labeled ‘not sure how to file, need second look.’ So when I wondered, I just assumed that I’d seen a man, an adult man, and something about his face engaged me, something he’d done had made him stand for something in my memory, perhaps he’d laughed easily? It was so clear in my mind because the dream reoccured.
And when his face flashed into my mind I always smiled indulgently, because I thought of him as some nice man who’d done something to make my little girl self think of him as perfect. A symbol. A masthead for my ship of dreams. A nice idea. But of course, nothing more, because nobody is made for anybody. There are no soulmates. There are only independantly evolved humans who choose to make a life with another independant human being. I resented the idea that THAT is unromantic. And despite all, I think the idea of deciding every day to be with someone is pretty fucking sweet. I have it figured out, relationships. I navigated them like a pro.
So …………. you can understand my confusion when I walked into work one day and was suddenly face to face with the face I’d dreamed. It was like finding a unicorn in your kitchen.