Are you O.K.? I don't hear from you and I worry. You came to me in my dreams last night, to tell me you are not O.K..
That's exactly how you said it too, you said:
"I am not O.K. right now."
You looked thin and battered. You coughed a little after you spoke. I saw purple circles under your eyes and your skin was ghostly pale. You had not shaven and your shoulders were stooped.
"This has something to do with Carmilla," I thought.
And sure enough, later, in the dream, you told me Carmilla had left you, and I could see right away that she had taken something from you. Something intangible, and important. Something small, yet vital to your health.
I knew it would come to this, but how could I rebuke you, when we both have made such big mistakes?
Perhaps there is nothing to be alarmed about. Perhaps my dream means nothing, and my imagination is on fire. Not all of my dreams are prophetic, and my ability to interpret them is not perfect, I know. There was that one time, for example, my girlfriend Sariah and I had the same dream on the same night predicting that her daughter would be kidnapped. It was an identical dream right down to the method with which the perpetrator would carry Alexandria away. He was to come through her bedroom window, when everybody was sleeping at night.
Needless to say we both took this as a frightful omen and we kept a vigilant watch over Alexandria for both day and night for several weeks. We couldn't help feeling the twin dreams were a premonition, but after several months, when nothing happened, we let the idea go.
And yet, who is to say that our extra care didn't prevent a catastrophe from happening? Surely that is something we will never know.
But I think you will agree that my dreams have been accurate more times than not, for that was a big problem in our relationship, and ultimately, I feel, it was why we broke up.
You couldn't hide your affairs from me because I kept dreaming about who you were having sex with.
It would start off very simply. We'd eat dinner at a restaurant. I would have no idea that you slipped the waitress your phone number with her tip.
But then the dreams would come, and I would turn to you and say, "Who is this Ellen?", and you would deny vehemently that you knew anyone by this name. But at last the truth would come out.....she was the waitress at the restaurant we ate at several weeks ago.....your after-dinner "dessert".
Then there was the time you got the sixteen year old girl pregnant. I kept having dreams with the number sixteen in them, and later, sixteen plus one. Luckily, for all of us she decided to get an abortion, but even then in the throes of living with the consequences of your actions, you couldn't give up your addictive behaviours. Even there, at the abortion clinic, you were eyeing the buxom nurse and staring at her legs.
Still, I remember all the good things about you, too.
Do you remember the time that you saved me from Victor, and subsequently, the first time we made love?
I was an artist living on Waldorf street, and you were a writer living upstairs. You came down frequently to get my opinion about your latest story, and you gave me feedback on all of my art work. You always hated Victor, and you asked why I let him hang around. I told you laughingly that he was my insurance policy against the day that I could no longer afford to buy myself food. But you did not laugh with me. You gave me a dirty look and said Victor was a dangerous man.
Then one day it happened. You came over and Victor was sitting there on the sofa with his arm around me, and I was in no mood for laughing about it on that night. To this day I don't know how you knew I was desperate.
You must have opened my ice box when I was in the rest room and seen how empty it was. Soon after your arrival, you announced abruptly that you were leaving for an appointment you had forgotten about.
Victor walked you to the door, only too eager to get rid of you, and you left so quickly, that you didn't even say good-bye.
But you came back an hour or so later, and you came back not a moment too soon, for already Victor was easing himself down on top of me, kissing me with his hateful mouth. His lurid cologne filled my senses and clouded my thinking, like some mind controlling drug, it seemed to steal all of my options and had me handcuffed to the bed.
You put the grocery bags on the kitchen table and calmly walked into the bedroom as if Victor and I were not naked and having sex. It felt natural to have you standing there, as if you have been watching over me, all of my life.
Quietly, very quietly, you told Victor to leave.
"Victor,... Go Home!" you said, as if you were giving a dog a command. It wasn't until later I realized your hands had been clenched in fists.
He must of sensed your seriousness, because he listened to you and he was visibly shaking as he put back on his pants. There was something scary in the tone of your voice, something other-worldly that frightened all of us. And as for me, I was wiping away the tears that had already started to accumulate in the corners of my eyes. That was the first time I realized you loved me, although the words were never spoken out loud.
You had my lasting allegiance after that and I pledged my undying love to you, but it was not enough. It was never enough.
I wanted to make love to you that evening, if you would have let me, but you got a cold wash cloth and wiped my face instead. Then you put me into my bath robe, and put away the groceries and tucked me into bed.
A week later I invited you down to see my latest painting. I was standing in front of the kitchen sink, washing my supper dishes, when you walked in.
You came over and watched me rinsing the silverware, and then you moved behind me, and kissed me on the back of my neck. As you pressed yourself into me, I had to hold on to the kitchen counter to steady myself, for I felt like I was leaving my body, and I had to concentrate hard to reel my soul back in. I turned around, my hands dripping with soap suds, and water, and it seemed like I had been waiting to kiss you back for millions of years.
Our love making that night was passionate and hungry. All my sensations were amplified, but above all else, I remember how your eyes were like corridors I was walking through to find the lost pieces of myself. Your eyes gave me the permission I needed to do this thing, like there was all the time in the world. At times, I panicked, but you pulled me back into the right direction, and made me sure of myself. Making love to you was like being able to breathe underwater. I never had to come up for air.
I remember how you smelled of musk and jasmine, and how you tasted like warm butter-milk in my mouth.
After that, we were officially a "couple", but I was no match for your addiction to sex.
There were always the Tiffanys and Staceys and Debbies and Carries in your life. And then, of course, in the end there was Carmilla, who eventually owned your soul.
We both knew when it was over. It was too hard for you to be with your equal. The one who pushed you and challenged you to work toward your highest potential. With Carmilla it was easy. She encouraged your addictions. But with me the relationship was always hard work.
Carmilla never said to you, "Oh, this sentence is lousy"; or, "I think you need to re-write that story over with more feeling."
Carmilla would never push you to be your best.
I was the one who challenged your ideas, and made you think. I forced you to examine your past, your present and your future, and to examine yourself, as well.
But, in the end you took the path of least resistance, and I knew Carmilla would pull you down.
And yet, I always loved you, dear Eric! I loved you from the very first word of the very first sentence of the first story you ever wrote. I loved you before you were a writer. I loved you before I even knew who you were.
You came to me in my dreams, when I was a young girl. Did I ever tell you about that? How you came to me at night and whispered my name softly, "Gabriella.....Gabriella", until I would wake up confused and alone in my room.
"Gabriella, you were restless in your
sleep again," my mother would say in the morning, and I
would shiver with the memory of you calling my name.
And so, dear Eric, it seems our bond has not been broken, because you are still coming to me, in my dreams. I see you are in trouble, and I know you need my help.
If you are O.K. when this letter reaches you, please call me, and let me know. If I don't hear anything from you, I will worry, and after a week's time, I will come and find you if it's the last thing I do.
But this was always the problem before in our relationship.
The timing was all off --- the rhythm all wrong. If I became too concerned you said I was interfering. If I left you alone, you accused me of not being there for you.
In spite of everything, I loved you,.....although I'm not sure anymore what you want me to do.
But please know this, I love you from the
bottom of my soul, dear Eric, I have always loved you, and I