The first time I met him was in a dream. He was standing near the back door, preparing to leave. My dream suggested I had met him earlier at the party which served it as a backdrop.
The man was in casual dress, wearing a light-colored jacket with a faint check pattern, no tie. He would be in his late thirties. His hair was blond, his head balding. He had a short-trimmed beard on a smooth, well-groomed face. He was of medium length, slim, well-proportioned. He was homeless. He said he was going to look for a place to sleep, under a bridge, in a street, a shelter maybe. He was beautiful. He was clean and fresh. Only a dream, in mere seconds, can hand you other facts which an entire life does not suffice to establish: his soul was untainted; capacity for evil, dishonesty or dissimulation he did not possess; he was unambiguous; he was safe for me.
Taken with a deep love for him, which the dream suggested had announced itself earlier during the party, I kissed him. I kissed him once, on his right cheek. His perfection made my kiss the purest act, an act of purest love. A kiss more chaste, no one, dreaming or awake, may ever have given. Oh, I felt the giving of it was fundamental and in giving it I felt my being pour out in my love for him, so that nothing was left of me but the love I had given him.
I wanted to explain how ridiculous the idea of his going out on the streets was, that surely I could find a solution. That is where my dream ended. This man, whose face I could have drawn on a sheet of paper, his pureness and the pureness of my love for him, my kissing him, it all felt so real that, awake, I just could not, did not want to, believe that he was not with me.
– The second time we met, I said to my friend of recent times with whom I was having afternoon tea in the splendid gardens around my house,
– Ah, give me a break! she half-laughingly cut in.
– and every next time, I continued unperturbed, was in my recollection of that dream. I remember him as he was in my dream. Remembering his dreamt image, I feel love for him as I had felt love for him in my dream. The image of him does not fade. The feeling of love does not wear off. The enduring image and the feeling that comes with it, they are not a dream.
– How long ago did you have the dream?
– I was 22.
– I don’t believe you!
– Wait, I said, I’ll not be ten minutes. I walked up to the house. Inside I collected a sketchbook, a soft pencil, chalk, charcoal.
– I have done this so often, I murmured sitting down with my friend again. Less than 10 minutes later I showed her the drawing.
She looked at it uncommenting.
– I only started doing these sketches after his decease. I never told him of the dream of course.
– How could you suffer such love and love your husband?
– I couldn’t. I used him as a vessel in which I poured out my love for the dreamt and never-forgotten image. Never has a woman filled a man’s life with truer love. Never has a man been made to feel deeper love. It didn´t matter what created the love, whether to me, knowing, or to him, blind to it. That is the essence of its purity.
My eyes went out over the gardens stretching out before us. The slightest haze had intervened to soften the brilliant sun’s hold on the land.
– Our marriage was perfect.