Celebration Dinner

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.

The man is back in my dreams. Has been all week. Every now and then, like last Tuesday morning, I wake feeling that he’s been sleeping next to me all night—not in a sexual way but in a sense of closeness—and has left the bed ahead of me, gone on to work and left  me to slumber peacefully. It’s a strange, contented feeling, but then, the  energy  in the house  is really  quite  wonderful right now.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

Sometimes, like last night, I feel him reaching out to me, and I  invite him into my dreams to share with me since dreams have always been my easiest way of commu- nicating with the unseen world. Last night, he had a lot to show me.

My favorite was the second to last dream of the night.

He’d asked me to dinner. No more sitting at the table speechless and  wanting to reach out and touch. He had news, big news, about his career and he was eager to tell me over dinner. Whatever it was, the results  were  won- derful for him. A promotion of some sort, some higher version of the job he was already doing.

He picks me up at my house, all smiles. He has a really nice smile(!) and he was so different in demeanor from the last couple  of  times when he’s been so somber and shut off and wounded. And I think his eyes are green. I’d thought  they were blue, but he’s close  enough and the light is good and he’s sitting still long enough that I can see the color  behind the crinkle of his cheeks when he smiles.

We’re going out to celebrate—and  it’s definitely  job- related. We go to some fancy little restaurant over in Des- tin or Seaside. I don’t think  I’ve been there before, and it’s a chance for me to get dressed in a way I don’t dress for work or conferences,  and rarely even for socializing. It’s a dress, and I feel more feminine than usual in it. Or maybe it’s just him and the way he is this night, and the way I feel like a woman around him.

We sit inside the restaurant,  glasses of wine between us. There’s  candlelight  around  and  low  music  and  the hum of other patrons talking. But there’s such a wonder- ful sparkle in his eyes. We still don’t touch physically but there’s a genuine intimacy in our conversation, and that touches me deeply.

Two hours into the dinner,  I excuse myself for the bathroom  and  realize  that  we’ve  been  so  busy  talking about so many things that he has yet to tell me the news about his career. The buzz of excitement between us has kept us from settling on any one topic, including the one we’re here to celebrate.

When I get back to our table, he’s gone. But it’s okay. I see him outside the restaurant,  on the patio, talking to some diners at a table. Rather than wait for him, I saunter outside  to  join  him  and  he  introduces me  right  away. They’re friendly to me and whatever they feel toward him is automatically extended to me. These are all “beautiful” people, young and wealthy. Most in their mid-30’s except for one man  who’s older and gray, like a father-figure. They’re all friends and family  to  each other, but not to the man I’m with. I don’t know them.

He knows them either socially or professionally.  He’s smiling  at  times  and  somber  at  times,  matching  their moods as they speak to him. Very sensitive to their needs.

He’s seen them here on the periphery and sought them out to say hello.

A brunette at the table makes small talk with me while a blonde, somewhat shorter and a little heavier, thick hair to her shoulders, is very intent on him as are most of the diners. She’s expressing gratitude. It’s a death—a physical death—that joins them in whatever their relationship is.

He did something  for the  person  dying  or  for  the family,  something  special.  He  doesn’t  understand  how special it was. It was  just  him, just the thing to do. But they feel indebted for his kindness.

When the conversation  is over, the blonde and the older man follow us back into the restaurant, holding the door as we walk through. He’s still chattering  away with the two. I’m silent but very much present, listening, ob- serving.

Even though we’ve spent 2 hours wrapped up in conversation, I’d hoped for a few more moments alone with him. He has big news to tell me, and he will, but first he must smooth  the  edges  related  to  this  death  and  give comfort elsewhere.

It’s often this way when he shows up in my dreams. A total  immersion  in each  other  and sharing  the  craziest things. I think the  depth is important  because we’re so often interrupted—by people, activities, life—that a shallow connection could not survive it.