Untouched

My emotions are a blur. I can’t get a firm grasp on the ideas and sensations that lived in my dream. Is it because ideas, which are represented by words, do not hold the same passion for me as a touch, a look, a friendship, an understanding, a history,  a scent, or a color? Or is it what so many poets have claimed, that words for certain experiences, simply do not exist. Or is it that there were no ideas, and only feelings in my dream? I have dreamed of her before, in others. There is a separation, a reunion, and a hope of picking up and carrying on as before, and a realization that it can’t happen. There is a longing, to remain always near to each other, but never crossing over into that territory of love that changes from infatuation to something more real. Reality is the enemy of the dream. It lurks on the outskirts of the subconscious, threatening to pop the bubble of wonder and false hopes. All dreams are false in my experience. Reality is to love what the conscious mind is to a dream. It awakens, it solidifies, it replaces astonished joy into a relaxed state of peaceful enjoyment. In order to make something that can survive life and at the same time, as a natural reaction and defense against life, the thrill of flirtations and obsessive infatuations is transformed into the more nutritious if less appetizing fruits of fidelity, service,  longsuffering, and forgiveness. But I live in an almost constant awareness of the paradox of love. The truer and stronger bonds of love are exactly what drive away the excitements and fantasies that first lured me to it. I don’t believe that denying fidelity and forsaking true love can bring the excitement and fantasies back. Or if it does, the pain that accompanies it is more than the joy derived from it. Besides, my excitement and fantasies of the highest heights can’t be satisfied by something that is untrue or sinful. My dreams are impossible. Namely, to be able to love every woman I have ever loved in a constant state of fantastical perfection, and as I said before, never crossing over into something that would transform us into mortal, natural, binding love. I had no fear of commitment. I don’t begrudge commitment for its lack of freedom. I only hold against it the simple fact that it has made our love into something so predictable, and void of the fear and uncertainty we had before. But the impossibility of my dream is not only due to the changing nature of affection to love. It is also a contradiction that each woman that I loved must remain good and I myself remain good, while at the same time choosing none of them. I am a hopeless romantic. Romantic and hopeless mean the same thing, and that is an impossible dream. The impossibility of wanting the thrill of never knowing, but the gratification of always inching towards a knowledge that she is mine. The impossibility of not giving up marriage, a family, a life, for some other life of innocence and affectionate companionship with the one that was the focal point of all my dreams, my friendship, my love, my fascination, my thrills, our inside jokes, our walks, our notes, our dates, and our dances. I don’t think you can ever stop loving someone. You only choose to forget and try to love again. I will always love you, and the time and space you took up in my life, you filled me with hopes and love not only for you but for myself, like I had never experienced before. You were a friend, you were my greatest desire and when I began to lose you I never mourned because I was unwilling to let you go, and unwilling to realize what that meant, and what feelings of loss would suffocate me. You were mine and I was yours without ever saying or promising, but we would promise things to each other in token of ourselves. I promised to dance with you and you with me. We will never die, and yet we are separated by more than distance, more than time, and more than circumstances. And separation is death. We are separated by marriages to wonderful people. We are separated by choices, and lives. And so we are dead. But at the same time, not dead. If we had truly ever died, I would not be dreaming, and then things would be easier. I’m grateful for the pain that comes after a dream because the whole thing is beautiful. And I know that if our choices were different and if our paths had merged instead of remaining so short a time parallel to one another, that I would now be writing this to the love that never was after you. I would feel the same sense of loss, but for something I never had. And I would feel the same duties and respect and true love to you that I now bear to my wife. But the passion and the beauty would have gone out from us, just like every commitment to true love ever has. Is it really true that every new experience I had after you was disillusionment? In some ways, yes. I remember spending time with you talking about confusing things in the scriptures. I remember sitting by you on the bus for some band trip. I remember sitting by you whenever I could. I remember you invited me to the swing class you and your friend were taking, that was the first time I thought maybe you liked me. I remember the day we spent together at the marathon, me playing music and you helping kids with art. I remember the songs I would listen to every night falling asleep thinking of you. I remember taking your friend to the fashion show because I was afraid to take you. I remember the way you always made me feel. I remember our history class where I started to realize I was smart, and you were just as smart and excited about things. I remember our study groups and our game nights and our chalking expeditions and our huge group by senior year. And even though we dated other people, I remember holding you at the prom and feeling like we were made for each other and that we had never been more majestic and high. I remember always sitting next to you and talking, at lunch, at parties, at assemblies, at football games, at bonfires.
In my dream last night, you came to the party with your husband and children, and I with my wife and children. We talked about old times and our kids and how adorable they are. We recreated in part what we used to feel for each other. That familiar thrill of realizing that you are speaking to a kindred soul, that  fondness of the differences and that expectation that the other person feels exactly the same way, and that fear to the contrary. That was what we both felt in the at the party in the dream. But we also both knew that at the end of the party we’d each go home and not see each other for another 8 years or so. As we said good bye, I knew it would only be until the next dream. I joked with mad hope that you and your husband would move back to Utah someday and our kids could be best friends. We both secretly hoped that they would live out our adolescent dreams to grow up and marry each other, and never change.  Maybe this part of my dream can come true, and we can both live vicariously through our children as is the duty and unavoidable pain and pleasure of every parent. Maybe that is the only consolation to my heart that is now finally starting to break from not seeing you my friend and love for over 8 years. I love you and I miss you. I wish I would have at least reached out and held your hand a time or two. But we both knew it wouldn’t have stopped there, and maybe that’s why we never let it happen. Some part of us must have known that secret of the universe that one touch transforms a relationship forever, and that our greatest desire was to remain untouched by the universe, and so untouched by each other.
madjon madjon
22-25
Sep 14, 2012