Tired stars stare down
upon the dreamer on the ground,
lost among the witless joys
of childhood toys.
For this is the day that dreams die.
I woke up with foreboding.
“What was I dreaming about?” I muttered.
I wiped sleep from my face with a warm towel from the silver dispenser by the bed.
“What’s what, King?” She peeked around the corner, hair brush in hand.
“Oh hi, Carolyn," I said. "Why are you up so early?”
“I have to fly to Paris for the opening of the Giacommetti exhibit.”
“Really? I wish I could go. ”
"You're not missing much, other than the art. But the art's the least of it. It's just a social scene and every day society seems a little more thread bare. It seems to be getting worse. I get out of touch with the world so I started listening to FAXFEED and WORLDNET but they don't tell me anything new. They’re making the news not reporting. Even GLORYNET can get a bias. Oh well...” she yawned, “I had a good time last night. How about you cutie?”
She came over to the bed, bent over and kissed me. I reached out and pulled her to me. I cradled her head and stroked her hair. My lips brushed her silky forehead. The ever fascinating smoky perfume of her engulfed me.
“Hay dreamer,” she taped me on the head. “Where did you go?”
She cradled my cheek with her finger tips.
“What? Oh I’m just feeling vulnerable.”
“Because I’m in love.”
“Yes me, bitch! What do you think. That I’ve been like this all my life? Thanks a lot.”
“Oh King, don’t be so sensitive. I’m sorry. Who’s the lucky girl?”
“I am? Oh...”
She sat up on the bed and brushed her hair back from her eyes. Her eyes were dark and clouded.
“What’s the matter Carolyn?”
She shook her head in silent, pensive response, lost in thought. Finally, she focused on me again.
“We have to talk about this.”
She got up and stood with her back to me.
“Because we have to talk about this. It’s complex territory.”
“It’s not that complex Carolyn. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl are fascinated by each other. Love happens. Do you think I want to be a loner all my life? I hate being this defenseless.”
“What about Dominique?” She asked as she turned toward me. Her eyes were troubled.
“I’ll never be rid of Dominique.”
“That’s what I mean.” She turned away, walked to the curtains and opened them. Bright mid-morning sun pierced the shadows.
“So what’s that supposed to mean?”
I fluffed up the pillows behind my head and rang for coffee. Carolyn shook her head back and forth slowly. Arrows of light flashed in her hair. A relentless rod of will stiffened her spine as, finally she turned toward me and forced back her shoulders. She looked me in the eye.
“It means that I don’t want you to love me. At least not how you mean. At least not now.”
“What do you mean ‘how I mean’?”
“As anything other than what we are.”
“It would never work. I’ve got my own things to work out. I need the freedom to do what I need to do. What you’re asking would complicate that.”
“Because you would want too much from me King. Because if I love you like that I would lose myself. I wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation once I took that step. I’d be lost. Not that the thought hasn’t overcome me at times.”
“Oh...you and I in our little rose covered cottage, living together, loving...you know...” She searched my eyes for a safe harbor to weather the storm of emotions that tensed her face.
“I’m not sure I like the way you say that.”
“I know. Me neither. All I know is that it can’t happen. Not like that. Not right now. I love you, King. You know that. But I love you as what we are. Whatever that becomes needs to develop in it’s own time, in it’s own way. We can’t force it. God knows, we can barely guide it. Plus, there’s Dominique to consider.”
“So? We continue just like we have been. It’s only my feelings for you that have changed Carolyn, not the entire world. Don’t bring Dominique into this. This isn’t about Dominique. It’s about you and me.”
“That’s just it. We can’t have what you want in quite that way. Not as long as these conflicts exist within me. What we have works because it’s a balance. I don’t feel threatened. If that balance is upset there’s too much weight on me and I can’t deal with it.”
“OHHHHH...my head aches. Now I am depressed. See what I mean about my being vulnerable. Should I pretend that I don’t feel the way I do? I feel like I’ve become your love slave.”
“Oh King.” She laughed. “You’re so sweet but sometimes you’re so childish.”
She sat down again, picked up my hand and kissed my palm. She sighed.
“Don’t let that happen King.”
“All it takes is strength of character, right Carolyn. That’s a quality I’m short on unfortunately.”
“Yes, that and to really care about what we do have between us. To work hard to nurture it and make it grow strong. That I know you know how to do. Nothing can take that away from us. That’s our security, and our commitment. I’m sure you’ve heard that one thing leads to another.” She smiled and reached down to tickle me.
“Now let’s talk more about this ‘love slave’ fantasy of yours.”
“Stop it! I hate that!”
“I know.” She giggled. “I like to torture you."
"That's what slaves are for."