"Can I be done?" I asked as we entered hour 3 of the meeting I was attending by phone. I'd mustered my energy and gathered my wits between gentle encouraging comments to Chienne to be careful or curl up next to me to rest. But I was weary - ever so sick of the same conversations with the same people.
I'm so tired. Of the arguments at work. Of the appointments at home. Of questions without good answers. Of projects without purpose. Where I look forward - more than anything - to my escape into sweet sleep and deep dreams.
I walked in this weird field that was forbidden - all dirt and barbed wire and weird fences that rested flat on the ground. I was with a friend from my childhood - I hadn't wanted to go in the field as I knew it wasn't for me - but she insisted so I followed, warning her all the while. A man moved outside the building in the background and chased us but only caught me, taking ruthless advantage of my stumbling attempt to flee with a smooth tackle. Yet I was unharmed when I landed in the soft soil, the color a rich brown. I remember thinking that it felt almost fluffy.
Acknowledging defeat in the face of the larger, stronger man who'd pinned my wrists while his body rested atop mine, I curled my fingers into the ground and waited. I merely closed my eyes when he called me fatty - taunting my inability to escape in a deep voice. Defenseless and guilty, I waited, slowly catching my breath as I rested my cheek on the ground and wondered what he'd do to me as I felt his breath on the nape of my neck.
The light changed, glowing softly as it emerged from the scary shadows around the field, as his grip on my wrists changed. He tickled the inside of my palms with his fingertips, allowing me to lace my fingers with his and relax into the small comfort. As I did, we suddenly stood together inside a home as coffee brewed on a counter nearby.
I was blissfully unconcerned - felt gently happy and peaceful - and smiled into green eyes before cuddling into his side and sighing with the relief of feeling safe and loved. Eventually I tilted my head back, disturbing the quiet of the moment with only the sound of my lips as they touched his. The caress lingered as I explored the corner of his mouth before he licked my lower lip. The lights around us grew brighter as I moved my arms to encircle him, clinging to all the lovely things he represented.
I smiled upon waking, bathed in the bright sunlight streaming through the east-facing window at the head of my bed. I leaned to pat Chienne, smiling and offering a 'good morning' greeting when she lifted her head, turning her face toward me with a couple wags of her tail.
"I had happy dreams," I told her. "Did you have happy dreams, pretty girl?"
But when the mental images faded in the face of back-to-back meetings I took from home in the face of Chienne's whimpering neediness, I grew sad once again. Heavy. Dark.
So when reality's version of the man from my dream sent an email, I eagerly responded, so wanting him to save me for just a little while.
[I could note that while I'm pretty unimpressive in person, sexually speaking, I do well online. Within the lifetime of this blog, I've exchanged my first sexy email (2005), indulged in delightful sex chats (2008), sent racy photos (2010) and even had satisfying experiences with phone sex (2011). So my online resume doesn't extend to nudity, nor have I done any webcam activities, but I'm otherwise pretty comfortable. So when nudged to try the camera thing again today, I winced. And delayed. And finally panicked into outright refusal.]
You won't think I'm pretty, I typed. And he disagreed.
It doesn't add value and will ruin what we do have, I protested. And he disagreed.
I can't, I offered. You won't, he countered.
Frowning, I took my hair from its ponytail and applied more lip gloss. I fussed with make-up and removed my oversized t-shirt, immediately cuddling a pillow in front of me. I got as far as opening the camera line in Yahoo Messenger - with its silly logo of a ridiculously happy face - before panic set in and I frantically jabbed the 'end call' button and closed the cover of my iPad. I even buried it under a pillow for good measure.
But I did manage a few photos later on. Pretty lace and tousled hair and thoughtful expression behind ever-present glasses. I reviewed them, looking carefully at the expanse of pale skin and tried not to catalog flaws.
"I still look sad," I said to myself after sending a couple to Jack. "So trying for sexy works about as well as trying for busy."