Monday, July 24, 2006

Husbands, Dreams

Last night, I dreamed about Dimarc, my ex-husband. I dreamed we were at some sort of corporate team-building event, where they break you into groups and you have to say positive things about yourself, and everyone feels ridiculous.

We were waiting for the event to start, and we were sitting on a raked stage with about 20 or 30 other people. Yep, a raked stage, tilted at about a 20-degree angle. I didn't feel that we were slipping, though.

There was a gal named JAckie sitting not too far away. She was single, in her early twenties, with long, blonde hair, wearing size two jeans and a serene smile. Some guys were flirting with her and she was modestly laughing, a very sweet, sensible-looking girl. The thing with Jackie was that she was a virgin, and everyone knew it.

I asked Dimarc if he wanted to be with her. He looked surprised, and asked why I would say that. "Well, I don't know where we are right now. I don't want anyone else, but..." Dimarc smiled at me and said something to the effect that she was pretty, but he wasn't interested. I wasn't comfortable with that. Seeing my discomfort, Dimarc took my hand and said "We're here. We're together. I don't want anyone else."

I laid down on my side, with my head in his lap, looking out over the rows of chairs in front of us, and the people milling about. I realized that we were only about a foot off the ground. I still didn't feel the rake in the stage. Dimarc rested his hand on my shoulder, and I wrapped my arms around his knee. I just snuggled comfortably there. I felt incredibly safe, and secure.

Suddenly I was on my feet in the middle of the crowd. The team-building event had begun, but this one was for married couples, rather than business teams. The person leading the show instructed us to inform the person standing behind us of our spouse's name, favorite song, and date of birth.

I turned to a tall, thin, blondish man behind me and said, "Dimarc. Birthday February 9th, 1967. Favorite song is..." I thought. "He's a singer, he doesn't have just one. IF he had to pick a favorite, it would be something by Billy Joel, or maybe the Bealtes, or a Broadway Showtune." This wasn't good enough. "Maybe The Stranger or Running on Ice?" I stammered. "Or The Ballad of Booth or Molasses to Rum? He likes songs he can really sing."

At some point I looked across the room and one of the other groups of people was jumping up and down. They had moved on to the next part of the exercise. I realized with a panic that I had no idea what Dimarc would choose as his favorite song. I woke up.

I didn't open my eyes. I knew that I would not see Dimarc if I did, and a deep, profound sadness washed through me. I rolled over and reached for G. G was sleeping on his side, his back to me. I curled myself and around him and tried to re-orient myself, and lose the sadness. It took a while.

Not too many minutes later, G stirred. It was 5:45. "You're not getting up yet, are you?" I asked him. I squinted up at him. "I need snuggles." G chuckled a bit and snuggled back down with me. I laid my head on his chest and we wrapped our arms around each other, and I felt better. "I was dreaming about my ex-husband," I mumbled. "It was very upsetting." G squeezed my shoulders just once, and we drifted back to sleep.

Far too short a time later, G extricated himself from my clutches, and dug around in his drawer for some clean underwear. "What's your favorite song?" I asked him sleepily. "What?" He asked, giving me the "Youcrazy?" look. "There are so many," he said."

"You have to pick one!" I said, eyes, still closed, struggling under the covers between sleeping and waking. "I need to know..."

I drifted off again.

When G came in to give me my good-bye wake-up kiss, I grabbed him and held on. He made the "Poor Baby" face at me. I knew I'd have to tell him about this later. "Have a good day," he said. "You too," I said, like every morning.

After I heard the door close and lock, I stayed in bed a few minutes. I continued to mull over what Dimarc's favorite song might be. I thought about a sweet love song by Billy Joel that had been one of our special songs, and wondered if, during the good times, it might have qualified. That song played in my head and I was surprised I still knew the lyrics:

When I raise my weary head
and you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
you say "Use my body for your bed"
And I feel my withered roots begin to grow
Well I've never had a place that I could call my very own
I want you in my house, 'cause you're my home

Or something like that.

It's a beautiful song, and more than a little cheesy, but Dimarc used to sing it to me, and I'd weep with love. We were both dramatic people. And I think, for awhile, we really felt that way about each other. Sometimes I get immensely sad, realizing how horrifically things turned, and how we eventually did a complete 180 from those concepts. It's like we seemed to have so much, and we lost it all. All because of simple human flaws, things that I still think were preventable, repairable, but that just required more effort than either of us could bring ourselves to make.

It took me no time at all to come up with a favorite song candidate for G: More than a Feeling by Boston. He and I both like upbeat, energetic songs. That says a lot about our relationship. He has been a major force in my life, and I've been more cheerful and upbeat since I've been with him than at any previous time in my life. It's one of the things I most love about being with him. So much laughter, so much energy! It's ironic - because I used to feel like an emotional albatross. I don't anymore.

On Dimarc's 40th birthday, it will have been almost 10 years since we met. We met in the summer of his 30th year, my 25th. I will be 35 soon. God, it's Ten Years he's been a figure in my life. In some ways, he still is very much in my life.

G and I hosted a visit from Trip and Slam yesterday. Lots of laughing and board game playing and screeching and general good times. And plenty of talk about having kids, and the cost of weddings, and buying homes big enough to raise a family.

I am in such an entirely different place with this marriage than I was with the last one, and it feels so wonderful. And so very necessary in some ways. I'm becoming impatient. At this rate I'll be 37 when we have our first kid, and I'm sweating it. My first marriage contained nothing of this element whatsoever. Having a family was just not on our radar screen. Dimarc wanted to buy an apartment, but I didn't want to commit to a mortgage, something in me sensing that we be in a whole lot of financial trouble if we did. G and I both, on the other hand, want a home of our own, as soon as we can get one, knowing that it will be around two years. I want a condo in the city, or at least a short train ride from the city. He'd prefer a house in a nice area of North Jersey, but I'm not having that. But we both know we need a shit-load of money for it, and we're planning.

I don't have time to finish writing down all my thoughts. It's now 8AM and I have to drive away, to my temp job. The dream is over. And life is... frankly, it's better.

My life is better than my dreams.


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