I had a dream about you last night.
I didn’t know it was about you at first, but as it unfolded, I could tell.
We were outside waiting for fireworks. You were cold. I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
And we were happy.
I was hugging you from behind.
We found a place to be alone, away from the crowd and their talk that never gets beyond small.
I pointed out fireflies.
You took out your phone and tried to capture pics.
I squeezed you tighter.
And then I saw your face.
You were someone I know. And immediately, even in the dream, I realized how unlikely it was.
Though, I suppose, possible.
Maybe she was just a placeholder because I don’t know what you look like yet. Maybe you’re some other girl with darkish hair and a butt that makes my inner voice giggle.
The dream kept going.
Soon after I drove a regular car onto a racetrack and tried to catch up with a race car. I’m sure that’s symbolic of something or other that I don’t want to know about.
After the track, we were hanging out in our house and our little twerp – she was only about two years old – informed us it was bath time.
I filled the tub while she sat on the bed with you, as you checked your work email.
I tested the water temperature with my hand. Then the back of my hand. Then my wrist. Then pretty much up to my elbow. I was glad you weren’t watching with the mocking peepers.
I put in some yellow bubble bath. I put in some toys.
I said, “Bath’s ready!” and she sprung from the bed, tossing her clothes in every direction and arrived in the bathroom naked.
I said, “She got that from you.”
You, for a brief moment, forgot how spectacularly funny I am and gave me the stinkiest of eyes.
She said, “Crane!”
So I held out my arms, she put up her hands, I took them in mine and swung her slowly, making crane sounds. (Which I am sure sound like my forklift, truck backing up, tug boat, and your mother sounds.)
I lowered her gently into the bath.
She splashed me immediately and laughed.
I told you that you were missing the fun.
You arrived with tears in your eyes, holding your laptop.
You said, “Some hackers got my credit card and ran up charges.”
I smiled and said, “That’s okay. We’ll fix it… AFTER bath time.”
You managed a little smile, put your laptop on the counter thingy with the dual sinks, and kneeled down beside the tub with us.
I saw some of the yellow bubble bath gathering at the bottom of the tub, I agitated it with my hand because, you know, bubbles.
Then I said, “Hmmm. I hope that yellow stuff was bubble bath and not peeeeeeee.”
And she smiled a disconcerting smile.
And you laughed right out loud.
And I thought, “Man, I like it here.”