I had a dream about love.
There was a boy in a wheelchair and a canvas tent, a safari and holiday lights. Someone died, and I didn't know them until they were risen.
This dream with its youth and desperate whispering, with its contraptions and mechanized body parts, with a crow and a carcass; cream colored fabric draped over everything, I don't know how to explain why, but it is evidence that I am on my way out of this thing.
The sound of a train in the distance scared me, last night. I woke up with my heart thudding in my ears. I couldn't tell my life apart from the pistons and steam. Something inside of me was threatening to rupture.
These are old fears. Veins that bulge and blood that pools under my skin. A ticking heartbeat and a whistle blowing. I asked for the day to myself, today.
I ate lunch with my mom, distracted by a soft white loaf of bread in her bag, its crackling wrapper and the shine of a watery, rainy day sun reflected there. She told me a story about woman having an affair with a pharmacist at work. It was a story full of selfishness and tears, and my mom laughed out of gladness. I felt good. I felt happy for her that other people live terrible lives, and we were having seaweed salad and yellow tomatoes, glasses of sparkling soda and tiny, clinking ice cubes.
It was Saturday, and I had nowhere to be. I didn't start gathering my things early. Nobody spilled anything or asked to go home.
I felt happy for me, too.
I drove to a coffee shop to write, but it was so cold, inside. I started my period in the bathroom. I couldn't get warm in the corner booth, but I didn't say to myself, "I'd better just get home. I'd better just get back to my life because I wasn't expecting this cold." This was my life, too and the world was open in front of me, for a while. I wasn't feeling any pain.
I thought about how resourceful I am, folding up a paper towel and placing it neatly into my underwear. I thought that I might take a weekend away, sometime. I might ride my bike along the shore of Lake Erie in the fall. I thought about how glaciers form there in the winter, how there are bodies of water that intimidate me with their banks and swells; there are many types of bodies. I liked the heft of a lake that could become glacial.
In my dream, I was a teenager and my love was an ugly boy with glasses and teeth that jutted over his lip. He came back from the dead and didn't know why. I bought him a necklace with a figurine of the Matterhorn. I knew everything, I was the only one. There were no walls, only heavy cloth that slumped onto the floor. "You'll be dead again by morning," I said. "Hold my hands."
I've been directing myself through the dark. I've been walking with a pin in my heel; another in my lungs, but I dreamed of love, last night. I woke up with my heart beating in the dark, and it is beating still, where I sit. It can be a terrible thing to be dead in the morning, but you'll come back to life, too. It can be a terrible thing, but there can be love in it.
This is the summer where I overwintered.
I can get up now without limping.