The Place Between Dreams

Watch the Gap
Photo: Courtesy of Michael V. Kelly

There’s a space inside that unhinges when I’m asleep. Where all my unresolved moments, suppressed feelings and unthinkable thoughts announce themselves in the dark, always in the quiet. The gathered residue hangs humid in the air long after the day has, reminding me of life left unfinished.

In the place that’s called a dream, I was surrounded by people on the floor of a basketball game. When I saw him, my friend, a switch flipped on deep inside of me–radiant, beaming love. He made me laugh and held out his hand so that we could walk across the crowded court. When I took his hand, I could feel the soft and calloused places. I knew I could know him. I knew what we were. I kept stopping to look at the broad sight of him to my left, to make sure it was really happening wondering if all the people around us could see how much was happening between us. These two people holding hands. My rib-caged heart could not contain everything that I was feeling. I let go.

He took my hand again and said, “It looks like someone has a problem with commitment.” With that I was swept into the ongoing basketball game while trying to put on a hideous pink dress that stretched like silly putty. I didn’t want him to see me like that, so I grabbed the basketball and pushed it up through the bottom of the basket and held it there, inside the hoop, un-scored. I hear him yell my name. I called back for him to wait for me. I told him I wasn’t ready but I was on my way. I had something to take care of first. But then the court filled up with so many people, who wanted to know why I wouldn’t let the ball drop. But I couldn’t, I wouldn’t. I was finally committed to something. When I gave up on the ball to run in the direction of his voice, he was only a shadow. I yelled for him to call for me so that I could find him, but I woke up instead.

If I were in the space inside that dream, where consciousness can change the way things were to the way I want them to be, I would drop the ball and take his calloused hand. I could let go of all the things in my life that don’t matter for just one of the things that does because at least in the space inside dreams, the hope of him, the hope of us exists, instead of the wide-awake world where we do not.

But I live in the place between dreams, where I have more to give than I’m currently giving. And, I know, it’s only a passing thought. Any moment now, another thought will come and take its place. It doesn’t define me. I am undefinable. I am a chosen place. I choose what I am in each moment, and in each moment something changes, something shifts and I will let go until I cannot.

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