A Valentine’s Dream

Years ago this dream was so powerful, I wrote it down, although I didn’t understand it then. I do now.

Two women sat on one side of a San Francisco Moulin Rouge outdoor cafe’s iron wrought table and chairs.  Although one was young, her battered face and dimmed eyes enhanced the relaxed calm of the much older woman who sat beside her.  Across from both of them was their lover.  He pulled a large acrylic heart pillow from his backpack, then licked a small red candy heart to its center, where two wavy broken lines met, like surgeon stitches.

The three chatted. Yes, he was still at the Greystone Hotel after all these years later. Yes, this was his….. he stumbled for words and settled on ‘friend’ as his palm opened towards both of the women and then pointed to the younger woman.  But now he was the manager of the hotel.  “And you?” he asked the other woman.

She sat, stultified.  A waiter came and threw open a plastic holiday table cover, letting it flow in the breeze before it settled onto the iron table top.  She stared at the tablecloth’s dancing red hearts. The waiter next placed three valentine cupcakes before them, each lit with one candle.  She wondered how many holidays she had lived without him, how many had passed without their shared love.

Her gut clenched. She bent over the table, nearly kissing the hearts on the plastic tablecloth. Pain radiated from her gut. It flew across her body and into her mind.

When she looked up, the two of them were gone.  Again, all she was left with was 30 years of memories lived without him.

The man in the dream was one of two guitar players (who coincidentally both had the same first name) that I created as “The Guitar Player” in my second novel.