Those dreams would sometimes wake him up in the middle of the night. Otherwise, he’d have a déjà vu moment during the work day and remember her having visited during the night. It would almost seem real for a moment, like he forgot some triviality of their long ago history that was only imagined but played back from a mental record during the REM cycle.
The minutia retained was incredible and came back to him in a sweeping flood. Kind words she expressed, seductively subtle looks she gave him. He knew those were fantasy, as such things had been few and far between in reality. Demonstrative affection was cherished but rare in that life they shared such a very long time ago.
Here it was, 20 years or more later, and Mara still crept back into Trip’s dreams like a hungry stray cat that can only find one place offering it something to eat. The timing of how Mara slunk back into his subconscious usually coincided with stressful points in his life, as if that scraggly feline knew just when to howl from the top of a moonlit fence.
Nebulous memories floated around his subconscious, linking his dreamscape to an original attraction to Mara. He wondered what superficial attribute she must have possessed to first gain his misguided loyalty. A Freudian would probably tell him it all went back to his mother, considering the way one tiny morsel of Mara’s attention made up for their lack of intimacy. His want for passion. The topic was a veritable psychoanalyst’s heyday. Knowing the cause would give Trip no solace.
Once they got to know each other better, Trip realized how Mara liked to stay in a semi-permanent state of self-medication. She jokingly referred to it as being “Super Stupid,” like it was all a fun game, this business of substance abuse and self-absorption. They say ego and vanity go along with addiction, much like a parasite living off its host.
Some corpuscle of goodness drew him to Mara, though, and was resurrected in those nightly transmissions. Her ethereal face with its coy smile pulled him closer in the world of slumber, where no apologies are necessary. Time was suspended there – she had no other lover, no children, just him. She just wanted him and would make up for past transgressions. Damned if the next morning didn’t launch in surrealism as if the exchange could’ve just happened.
Lucky for Trip he didn’t think Mara personified all women, or he’d forever be alone. A common personality trait in the human population unfortunately includes a striking similarity to a chapped ass. Mara’s was proof positive. Certain women hide it better at first glance and then just mask it with whiskey and a smattering of charm here and there. Much like some men, Trip acquiesced.
Awaking in a lingering fog, the latest dream slowly released Trip from its wispy tendrils, their loose grip finally let go. He shook off the residual haze, as if to shoo away the feral cat and send it to feed elsewhere, and realized his luck at being alone in the bed. It was just a dream … not a nightmare … but not the fantasy he’d always wanted their relationship to be. Only in a state of repose could it meet his expectations, and only there was she tame.
Leaving was one of the best things he’d ever done, if only his sleep would realize so.
*This post was prompted by parasite at Studio 30 Plus.