Had a dream with Karen in it last night. We were sitting together along a street. Our bodies, from the waist up, were empty and translucent, and there was a light bulb in our stomachs. Our heads were white, rounded wheel-like shapes and detachable, hung to our necks on pins, like the lid of a trashcan, or a roll of tape. She wanted to try my head on, so I gave it to her. She handed hers to me, and put mine on, but she missed the pins, and it fell down into her body. I said, “Be careful! Don’t break my bulb,” even though it was her bulb. I helped her pull my head out of her body, and get it set right on the pins. I put her head on, and she gave me her hand. The feeling I got was so exquisite. I could feel the smoothness, the coolness of her hand. She smiled at me. The pleasure spread through my hand, and up my arm to my brain. Oddly, it didn’t matter which head we had on, my thoughts were still my thoughts, and I was still looking at her. I woke up. I was erect. Despite the best efforts of my conscious super-ego, Karen is still roaming my subconscious Id, somewhere near my libido.
We had lunch Friday. It had been four or five weeks, I think. She’s been busy, at work, and with her aunt’s illness. She was visiting her aunt several times a week during lunch at the hospital right there alongside where we both work. She always let me know when she couldn’t make lunch.
Lunch was uneventful. When I saw her I said it was nice to see her. She nodded her head without saying anything, but her smile remained. OK to say that, I guess. She told me about her aunt. I asked about her aunt’s sisters who are in town, whether or not they were around much, but she said they spent most of their time at the hospital. Her aunt has been moved to a nursing home now. She is recovering from surgery, so that the doctors can then treat her cancer. I couldn’t tell how this affects Karen. She didn’t seem sad, just distracted. She did say that, “I don’t know why these things always happen to the nice ones.” So, she likes her aunt. I asked her if they talked much, and she said they didn’t. I was trying to find out how much this meant to Karen, but I guess she didn’t want to say. Too personal. I wanted to express my sympathy, but I don’t know what to say if I don’t know what someone is feeling. She was hard to talk to about other things. I mentioned the small gathering, the Obamarama party I hosted at my house to watch his acceptance speech. That got a small smile.
She brought a book with her. I guess she wasn’t sure I’d show up. It was a collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories. I couldn’t remember if I’d read any. I know the name, and often come across references to him in science fiction magazines. His Cthulhu Mythos stories have a cult following. According to Wikipedia, “His works are deeply pessimistic and cynical, challenging the values of Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Christian humanism.” He is sometimes compared to Edgar Allan Poe, one of my all-time favorite authors. I guess I’d better try some of his works. Karen knows a lot about him. She told me he never wrote anything but short stories, and I didn’t know that. She was surprised I thought he had written novels too.
She got anxious towards the end of lunch. She wasn’t checking the time on her phone, but she became visibly tense. She hadn’t been sure she’d get to go to lunch because there was so much going on at work. She has an interesting job which involves children’s health programs. She sometimes has to travel now, so that’s why she’s not always around. She only had time for lunch Friday because she didn’t have to travel.
Karen looked at me, I felt, expectantly, like she was waiting for me to say something. There isn’t much to say. I could talk about how lonely I am at times, or how I’m adjusting to living alone so well that I’m staying away from gatherings of people. I could tell her how little I can stand people anymore. I could tell her how much she means to me. I could tell her I’d visit her aunt with her. Unfortunately, these are things she doesn’t want to hear. Too personal. I told her instead about my new digital TV, and how I’ve joined the 21st Century by going wireless on my internet connection. She didn’t seem interested.
I asked her about Halloween, but she said this thing with her aunt has her too preoccupied to give it much thought. She is already prepared anyway, since she spent about half the year or more thinking about it and getting things together. She seemed disinterested, which was too bad, as I thought it might make her happy to talk about how soon Halloween will be here. Perhaps her aunt’s illness is really bothering her deeply.
I wish I knew how to talk to people, how to talk to Karen, how to be a friend to her. I think my dream means that I can’t keep my emotional and sexual hangups from interfering with any possible friendship. I think she knows this.