The Mastery of Dissonance

I dreamed of him again last night. I awoke as I was packing the children’s and my things in a panic, desperate to get out the short time he was gone because in the dream I knew what lay ahead for us.

It began with seeing him in the middle of a large grassy park, boxed in by buildings. He wore his navy blue wool sweater, the collar of his white oxford cotton shirt slightly above the sweater’s neckline, his perfectly pressed khakis and brown Weejun loafers. We came towards one another and I felt enormous love for him before remembering why I was there.

I told him I loved him, but I couldn’t do it anymore. In my heart knowing that I had to stay strong and leave him, there was no other choice. He drew me in close and held me. The feel of his body, how we fit together, elicited deep familiar feelings of loving him.

He put his cheek against mine as he whispered into my ear, so no one could hear him, “I won’t let you leave.” then tightened his hold until it became painful. I knew exactly what his words meant. His friend appeared and I pushed away to break the embrace. As they went off together he stopped and turned, saying “I’ll be back, don’t worry.” I hurried into the house and frantically began throwing things into suitcases, telling the children to get their stuffed animals and blankets, fearing we’d run out of time before he came back.

Drowsily awakening to the silence of the early morning I tell myself over and over it was just a bad dream. It is not the panic or fear in the dream, it is the tender love I felt for him in that brief second that is soul crushing. He destroyed us. It isn’t just a bad dream.

I suspect the dream is a result of a doctor visit yesterday for a tendon injury that is resistant to therapy. Once again, I had to disclose the inadvisability of a recommended MRI. He asked how I came to have a bullet in my liver and I explained.

By now I should be accustomed to the one on one inquiry, but I am not. He was very empathetic, saying when I first told it he hoped it had been an accident then went on to note he was certain that my husband had a nervous breakdown, which I corrected.

Still trying to make it tidy, or logical in some way, he asked was my husband in prison. I told him of the suicide to which he immediately responded “Oh, he had a psychotic break then. I am so sorry it must have been terrible for you.”

I explained the calmness with which it was all carried out, the thwarted earlier attempts, and that likely the failure to actually kill me led to his awareness he had no other choice given his need to be seen as a good guy. Though the doctor seems terribly insensitive as I write it, I understood that he needed to understand it. Some people process silently to themselves; many grasp details to have it make sense aloud, as though I will affirm their hypothesis so they can store it in the corresponding file in their brain.

The dreams still come. I can’t stop these mournful tears that remind me of such extraordinary loss, so I just sit with them until it’s over. I am keenly aware this numbered day is a gift I do not have the luxury of squandering and wait it out so as to get on with living.

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