Soon It Will Be Cold Enough To Build Fires

i’ve been dreaming of repairing friendships,
and have begun acting out those dreams in my less-chaotic reality.
the latest one involved a massive, crowded, noisy stadium.
recognizing where i was, suddenly, i sprinted away from that re-connection
[i somehow knew who was in that stadium, holding a beer, cheering on the Cubs]
and, of course, he followed [chased?] me up the stairs, saw me bolting.
not quite angry, not quite sad, dream-he asked me why i was there.

i wanted to hug him, but i didn’t,
just said nothing [sometimes my mouth stops working when i dream and in life]
and looked at him, and wondered the same thing.
waking up, it hit me that i want to be friends
[typical me, fixated on mending]
but don’t know how to bridge that gap,
unsure how to neutralize that anger/vintage-feeling love.

dream-me so strongly believes in molding one love into another [more gentle love],
annoyingly positive and amusingly naive. i like her.

should i share music with him? but
i don’t want to be responsible for re-opening an already-gaping wound,
his sad and manic eyes jumping to conclusions.
the first song he ever showed me comes up on my playlist.
I almost never heard it, but he ran back
[breathless, it was cold out]
to press a CD into my hand of songs he wanted me to listen to,
my heart warmed at the old-school “mix tape” gesture
[even as my toes started to freeze over], and it was the first on the list.

as i tap my foot to the beat i’m reminded of
how i never skipped past it when things ended [as they often do]
and instead of connecting it to the pain we caused one another,
the messy nights full of resentment and finger-pointing,
moments that would replay in my mind as i washed the dishes at 1am
because i couldn’t sleep anymore
– sitting on my couch and never coming closer,
stiffened body language as we traded barbs,
pain reflected in our irises because we couldn’t stop that flow.
assigning blame with our lack of eye contact, and then forced eye contact –
instead of thinking of the bitterness, i rebuilt it into my own version of nostalgic inspiration.

I use it when my real-life me is happy, a gentle reminder to stay present,
keep breathing, allow memories to just be memories.
odd that as the seasons change and nature sleeps/waits in a coma,
dream-me is thinking of rebirth.
so it goes, as vonnegut says.
we wait, build a steel foundation around our impatience,
resist the impulse to touch the cast-iron
though we think it should’ve cooled by now.
sometimes it’s worth waiting.

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