By Chase Duffy
There she is. She keeps walking back and forth between beautiful, translucent pieces of purple silk. All I can focus on is the distorted outline of her glorious figure. Her hips sway irresistibly as she turns to me. The gaze she fixes upon my body would have frozen 10 million charging armies dead in their tracks; I don’t stand a chance. She pushes her braids aside and gives me a small smile. I feel my entire body below my collarbone melting into the floor as my head bursts with fireworks. I start to ask what I can do for her, anything for her, but she speaks before I can say anything and I am frozen.
“Come,” she says, then turns and walks away.
My mind and body in unison immediately, I start to run after her. But when I reach out to push the silk aside, I trip. The next thing I know I’m falling… and falling… and falling… Every so often I catch a glimpse of her, falling along with me, but whenever I try to reach out to her she disappears. The fall goes on for what seems like forever to me. My chest begins to burn and burst with sounds like heavy artillery shells exploding. I feel an overwhelming mixture of love, excitement, terror, and confusion as I continue to spiral endlessly down. And then, just as quickly as I started falling, I land scraping my elbows on the coarse ground as I do.
I stagger to my feet and look around, getting blinded by the sun. Surrounded by miles and miles of sand dunes, the sun beats down strong and hot on my shoulders. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth like the first bite of a peanut butter Wonder Bread sandwich, and I feel my primal survival instincts kick in. “Water” my body screams to me. And yet, my heart is whispering for something, someone, else. The wind picks up and with it comes my answer. The faint yet irresistible smell of lavender and her fills my nose; I follow it, manifestly. As I top the first dune, another gust of wind blasts me with the sweet scent. Staggering back, I reach up and find my nose bleeding. “_______!” My mind screams as I take off sprinting in the direction the wind came from, panting and wheezing up the next dune. As I crest the top, I feel all the hurt of the heat and my dehydration falling away. I am a snake shedding all of my old, unneeded skin, born anew. And there she is. My muse, my love, my baby. She stands expectantly at the bottom of the second dune, waiting. Her eyes on me is all I need. My heart feel like its pumping rocket fuel through my veins as I hurdle down to her. My head throbs, I feel like I’m going to lose my mind if I don’t reach her soon.
Then as suddenly as I began falling and found myself in the desert, I was there with her, next to her, close enough to touch her. “I was looking for you, babygirl” I say. “I know” she coos back. I can’t control myself any longer, and she knows it. The next moment I’m kissing her, gripping her body, never wanting to let go. I drink her entire being in, savoring every drop. In between my worship, I pause and tell her “I was falling forever, girl.” “You’ve never stopped” she whispers back to me. I should be confused, I know I should be, but every word she speaks resonates in my body and mind as true. I nod in agreement and return my attention to loving her. But as I kiss down her neck, her body turns to water and falls through my arms. Within seconds, the water is all around me. I’m floating, no sight of the ground or sky. Just water for as far as I can see. I look around and search for the panic that I know I should feel, but I can’t find it. The only emotion I feel is a deep and lasting sense of calm. Realizing that I can still breathe, I take a deep inhale through my mouth and let my exhale reverberate throughout the water. My heartbeat is low and slow in my ears. Every muscle releases its tension. As I sink deeper and deeper into the calm, I’m jostled by something that brings me closer to the surface.
I feel my subconscious try to begin sinking again as my conscious brain stirs. One more bump takes all of the water away. The only thing I can see now is darkness. I open my eyes and there she is, crawling into bed with me. “How was work baby” I muster, groggily. “Okay” she says, “not nearly as nice as here though.” I put my arms around her, kiss her shoulders and tell her how much I love her. And as I fall asleep, I smile. I have finally found the woman of my dreams.