An unsettling dream stirs up old feelings.
I dreamed about my husband again last night.
It was the first dream about him in a while. In this dream, he’d managed to get permission to come to the house. I wanted to demand that he leave his girlfriend/mommy behind, but got my request in too late. He pulled up the driveway in his Mercedes with her in the front seat and some guy I didn’t know in the back. When I told him that I would not let him in with her on the property, she tried to argue it but, in the end, drove away with the other man.
In the dream, my husband had his camera with him and immediately began taking photos around the outside of the house. When I reminded him that he was wasting his time and that the pictures could not be used as evidence in court later in the week, he started to talk to me. You know — communicate. The thing we hadn’t been able to do for years. I have no idea what he was saying, but I remember feeling so sad that he was finally talking to me. When it was too late to fix anything. And I felt sorry for him. Again.
And then I woke up, feeling frustrated and sad.
A while later, I was in the kitchen making breakfast. An omelet with bacon and onions.
I remembered all the times either he or I would make omelets for breakfast. We each had our own method and pretty much stuck to them for the 29 years we were together. Both methods made good omelets.
Now I make a smaller omelet, an omelet for one. And oddly, I find myself using his method.
Over the 29 years of our relationship, we spent a lot of time apart. First, it was when I traveled extensively for business, sometimes being away for two or three weeks at a time. Then, it was after we moved to Arizona and he went back to New Jersey, to live in the apartment he kept there for a week at a time every single month. Then it was when I started doing summer work, first at the Grand Canyon and then in Washington State. And then it was when he began living in our Phoenix condo every weekday, week after week.
During all those times apart, there have been other breakfasts made and eaten alone. But for some reason, today’s breakfast was different. Today I really felt the absence of the man I love.
I imagined the conversation we’d be having. Talking about our plans for the day — or lack of plans. One of us making toast. Letting the dog out (or in). Him brewing his Earl Grey tea. Cutting the omelet in half and placing the halves on the two plates he’d warmed in the toaster oven. Using placemats so as not to damage the table with the hot plates. Or maybe, on a nice morning like this, bringing breakfast out to the table on the back patio to enjoy it while the desert comes to life around us.
As I sit here typing this, I wonder whether he’s awake yet. I wonder whether he’ll make an omelet with the woman he’s chosen to replace me. I wonder if she cooks for him or he cooks for her or they share the task, as we always did. I wonder whether they both make omelets the same way. Or maybe she’s some kind of health nut — God knows she left enough vitamins in my house — and only eats egg whites or won’t eat bacon. Maybe they don’t eat omelets together at all.
And I wonder whether he ever thinks of me and the omelets we made together during all those years.