My fingers slipped in his grasp as he flung me gently from him in our kitchen big enough for only two. We clenched fingertips, olive oil and garlic clove residue holding us together while he led me twirling back into his embrace, wrapped up like a ringlet curl. His whisper tickled my ear, which he kissed, and my neck. Then we danced. To no music, we danced. Starchy bubbles cracking from ziti tubes, we danced. Wiping the kitchen titles with our socks, we danced like this until the subway grumbled and screeched and announced my stop and the end to my half sleep daydream. I walked home with light feet in the misty rainfall.
I woke up every three hours last night. Maybe that’s my karma for wishing, before I went to bed, for the nervous feeling from childhood. The feeling that kept me locked in my room, having to desperately use the bathroom, for fear of accidentally seeing Santa. I miss that, just a little bit.
But in my intermittent wake-ups, I hear the deep bowel-rumbling of probably a snowblower from outside in the driveway, or on the sidewalk, blowing only a few inches of fresh snow into the lawn. The noise crept through the windowpanes, as a stream of Grr’s into my ear, and shaped my dream as four kids roared up to my Michigan home on four-wheelers in the snow.
Three were my students; one was a kid I worked with over the summer at a youth camp. The four of them are all friends in the life out of dreams. Guthrie and Jonathan, Mitchy and Kayla came bounding in the sliding back door from the snowy porch, leaving their four wheelers swallowed in exhaust and the idled growl of diesel engines out back.
The room began to bubble over with excitement, a pot of water left to boil with no supervision. The kids could hardly wait their turn to hug me, each of them. They were hollering my name, excitement beaming from their open smiles and wide eyes. The story was spilling from their pores, soaking the floor, my head was switching this way and that trying to pick up syllables of their fast-forward words, but I couldn’t hear the details, only the rumbling of the snowblower in out-of-dream life.
Wake up! Wait on the stairs with me, Lin, my sister said. It’s Christmas morning and my dream is over.