Life as an Extreme Sport


I wake. You’ve haunted my waking, and now you haunt my dreaming.

I reached down from the bed, my parents bed, the bed we started with in the best tradition of stereotypes. I squeeze your foot. We talk. We talk about the last six weeks. We talk about why we can’t be friends. I ask the question I don’t want to hear the answer to – how many people have you been with since me, were there any sharing time with me? No to the later, many to the former. You tell me who, and why. All the details I don’t want to know flood into my mind. And I feel punched. I don’t have the right to, but I do. And I cry. And we know we cannot be friends because I cannot bear to share you with anyone else.

I wake. I am shaking, trembling. Is it because of my dreams – of realizing that you’re so likely no longer faithful to our vows? Is it because I am not? Is it because of the late night, the caffeine, something else entirely? I feel the ghost of sterling wrapped around my finger, and panic. Did I sleep walk? Could I have possibly dug my ring out from its hiding place? Has it all just been a bad dream, and you’re downstairs?

No. The ring is not there. Only a faint tracing etched on the inside of my finger; my only tangible reminder of what once was. Will this too fade? Will I have nothing?

It has all been a bad dream, and you’re not downstairs.