When darkness lured me up the staircase to his bedroom later, it was like crossing the threshold into another man’s home. His bed was an unruly mess; the blankets and sheets were strewn everywhere, pieces of clothing were dropped like Hansel’s bread in a line leading to the bathroom. A large framed print of a graphic black and white typescript hung over the bed. It read, “You must learn to Be Bad before you can Be Good.” I tiptoed out of there as if I were exiting a crime scene, leaving none of my own traces behind. I guess I won’t be sleeping in this bed tonight. It is probably too hard anyway.
As I proceeded down the hall, I came upon the guest bedroom. The bed there was exceedingly better—carefully made and tended, sheets tucked in, corners neatly folded. There was a note on the bedside table. It read: Samantha-I hope you can be comfortable here. Enjoy your stay.-J. I think I can take this note as a confirmation that this room is where I should be sleeping. The room was lovely with its own private bathroom, complete with claw foot tub and lavender oil resting on the window ledge. I brought my bag in the room and proceeded to fill the empty drawers with my things. Everything thing fit just perfectly-almost too perfectly, and I pulled out my nightgown to change. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted, through the closet door slightly ajar, a long black string; kind of out of character for the neatness and primness of the room. I walked over to the door and peered inside. The string was apparently coming from the literally packed in clothing on a much-too-small garment rack. I pulled the string, and something fell from off the top of the rack. This strange string led me to a very small lovingly hand-knit sweater that was quickly unraveling, and if I had pulled harder, would have quickly disappeared. Now, I’ve seen everything. I simply cannot figure this guy out. What in the world, in his unpredictable world, could he possibly use this for? I stood there simply stunned as I felt something brush across my leg and froze. Something black and furry---a cat? Joe, Joe, Joe, you could have told me you had a cat. But then, I’d have to charge you more. I caress the cat for awhile, until he lies back down on top of his little plaid cushion in the corner of the closet. I lie on my own new-found bed, and close my eyes at last, remaining lucid for at least a short while.
Don’t get sucked in, I repeat to myself. That’s what the guy outside, Roc, told me. It’s funny. Now I am starting to wonder about my new client. I have never seen him (I only know him from his home and his dog), but somehow he is intriguing me. So many contradictions all around, the dog for one (such a cutie) certainly doesn’t fit. I would picture, from what I know of this man, him having a Doberman pincher, ready and on guard to attack and consume any intruders. This man, a fancy architect with presumably money to spare, is living so simply in a bungalow with a non-pedigreed dog. Something is, to put it simply, just not quite right here.
I drift off to sleep and immediately, so it seems, begin a vivid, very intense dream. I dream, from what I can remember, of meeting a man in a strange place that I have never been to or recalled. Almost like a warehouse/artist’s loft, I encounter someone in a dark, empty hallway waiting for a large delivery elevator. I remember asking, “Is this the only way down?” and he responds, “No, but it is the largest.” We both enter the elevator. Next thing I remember, we are driving in his car, at least I think it’s his car, in a strange, almost desolate part of a city. He has one hand on the wheel, the other on my leg. I can almost feel the warmth from his hand. He turns carefully into a narrow driveway, and a man opens the door for me. The original man escorts me into an obscure doorway underground (we descended three steps down), his arm grasping mine thoughtfully, almost caringly. We enter a place filled with people, but it is not a bar or a club. It is more like a large, sophisticated party with people who I have never seen before, but I seem to know them all. They do seem very familiar to me, and I remember having a feeling of affection and being part of this group of beautiful, lustrous people. Lustrous is a good word for them. They have an almost iridescent quality in the light of this underground space. I do not remember much about the man next to me, only this: his eyes were intensely dark blue, not navy but more like the color of the sky the moment before it gets dark, and loving. Somehow I knew that he loved me and knew me quite well. A loud scratching sound wakes me from this dream, and I quickly realize that I should have kept my door open for Harvey. I open the door to let him in, notice the clock says 2:37 and immediately wish to go right back to sleep where I had left off. I can honestly say that it was the most fascinating, warm, heavenly dream I have ever experienced. I wish it had been my waking life, but no, I cannot say I have ever felt so loved, free, so accepted.
Those eyes, though. They are what haunt me now after that dream. There was something about his eyes that remind me of someone I used to know, briefly. He had told me once. He said it only once, but I will always remember that one moment. He had loved me and told me, and I knew that he spoke the truth when he said it. I remember that moment, especially his eyes, as he spoke those words: his eyes shed innocence and need, fighting back, through his composure, passion and desperation. I was privileged with the knowledge to grasp that those eyes had only known loneliness, and he wished me to be his cure, his future, his last attempt at happiness. To me, his eyes were a symbol of the momentary, the feeling that change and renewal is possible and can happen at any time. Just one look into such sincerity would give one the feeling that, if just one person could be true to themselves, then others will follow. He was the universal hero, the lost idealist without a quest.
This is where this most curious dream had taken me, far away from that strange but quietly accepting, party. Somewhere, deep within some hidden plan of our world, there is a system, and this system is disorderly, chaotic, and forcibly intentional. Is there room for my old hero within this plan? There seems only to be room for difference and puzzles without solutions. Therefore, he and my dream will remain lost and irretrievable. This person from my past will remain nameless now (it is much too painful to remember fully those days), the missing piece of this unsolvable puzzle. I reflect on how interesting it is that my current job presents itself as a tiny glimpse into just how cryptic and totally unsatisfying life can really be.