In my dream, I found myself in your bedroom. It did not occur to the mind which I had been given in this dream to wonder how precisely I had arrived in your bedroom. It was as if a director’s voice had pronounced that, “you are in the bedroom” and then a pair of hands had clapped to start the dream.
Perhaps I had been wandering around the rooms of an abandoned house, until I had turned a corner to surprise an open door and the awaiting interior of your room. There was a matter of minutes. I stepped noiselessly into your room and paused to marvel at my luck, my triumph. Exhilaration seemed to dance on my shoulders like a monkey.
It was as if I had stolen into your own mind, for you were surely just at home in all of the particulars of this room as you were in your own thoughts. This room, which had watched everything about you, now seemed to stand to attention. Every drawer was prepared to jump open, every item on your desk was ready to be picked up and inspected. My eye shot to the letter rack – a jumble of correspondence packed into a crude wooden jaw – and I was then immediately rifling through your letters.
I stood stunned when I found your name. Finally, it was mine. For months, I had wondered which exact combination of syllables represented you and everything about you on this Earth. Now the mystery was solved, the suspense was over. I smiled with satisfaction, swirling your name around in my mind, savouring its rich, musical cadence.
But as I laughed and sang out your name, it unpeeled from my consciousness. Light was now tearing open the fabric of my dream, until its scenery was being pulled down around me like a tent in the daylight. I looked hastily back at the letter and it was a piece of blank paper, a pool of light. For a fraction of a second, your name was on the tip of my tongue and then it was nothing. Only the faintest taste of ashes.
It was morning. I cuddled my duvet, kicking in the cold and exasperated that I still did not know your name.
My shift started at ten today, and so I thought that I would be too late to catch you. Yet you swept into the car park not long after I had sat down on my plastic stool for the morning. You blandly waved your security pass, without looking at me. As with every day, I still could not catch the name.
In my next dream, you accosted me. The mind which I had been given in this dream did not comprehend where we were meeting. There was just an airy white background scrabbling around us – we could have been in a corridor or on a plain. I turned to look at you, and as you gazed intently into my face, our eyes met for the very first time.
When I woke up, our eyes still had not ever met. I still did not know your name. I glanced at you later in the week, as you passed in your Hyundai, and I had the odd, uncertain impression that your eyes were brown. In the reality outside of my dream, however, they could be equally blue.