n a dream, I kissed a woman. Not once or twice or as part of a seduction but as a natural and needed feature of life, my life. It began on a balcony and continued under something like an archway along a very dark street lined with empty cars.
Of face of this woman I can say nothing except that it was smooth and soft and when I was not kissing her I felt her skin against my cheeks. Perhaps we were pausing or whispering but I remember no such sounds.
I am nearly blind. At night I go to bed with extreme trepidation. My dreams are filled with detailed memories of bits and pieces of the past I see with utmost clarity. They are most clear in the moments before I wake into the blur I know as my life. These dreams are rarely romantic and never before included a woman eager to kiss me deeply and gently and not stop, as if stopping would end the dream and I would be returned to my residence for the blind, in this case an apartment in Rome.
So to avoid this, or perhaps out of good will, she continued to move me to places where we could begin kissing again. I was rapt. I grazed her lips and entered her mouth as she did mine. Occasionally our tongues entwined as if they had messages to impart to one another since when they touched I felt jolted.
For a moment in the dream I felt sad and she sensed this sadness and pulled me to a nook where we awaited a taxi, still in the pitch black, and under a cypress tree she attached herself to my face and looked into my eyes. I knew this even though I could not see hers but only continue to feel her life-giving persistence, as if she were a nurse and the kisses were not what they seemed but perhaps instead final oxygen to a dying man.
She said not a word, not one, and I said not a word, not one. At the corner of a giant city with a monument to a monarch who had deserted his homeland she looked up for an instant at the steps leading to the top before turning to kiss me again so I would not need to try to see what she had in the dark.
This taxi of ours, first here, then there, why did it not come. She took several steps along the asphalt road, also black, saw nothing, and came back to me and I felt that coming back as warmth. And again the kissing began.
Feeling her absorb me and caress my lips felt like an assertion of union, a statement of sorts, a promise, and not a preamble to eroticism to come.
These kisses, our kisses, were some sort of affirmation, a filling in of a blank so vast, my dying vision, that it could at least for long stretches pull me away from the reality of my condition, which while we re kissing I forgot.
I placed my mouth over hers so that it moved gently in and from side-to-side as if we were not kissing but following steps in a dance in which from moment to moment it was the other’s turn to lead. Thus the kisses couldn’t truly stop since we were engaged in something of substance, destined to last for at least a few more minutes.
We kissed in a foyer under a dark chandelier, empty, though all at once we heard the glass shards of the giant crystal lamp sway and collide to make a kind of music.
This, then, was the arrival of the taxi, finally, and so I let go and she let go, and the headlights appeared to appear, or I felt them to do that, and I felt her hand also on the door of the taxi, whose driver played Chopin and may or may not have actually been seated where drivers usually are.
She gripped the handle and opened the door and I began to recede, until she could no longer open it, and instead shut it, and looked at me from a few feet away, moved forward toward me, and this time kissed me for so long that tears began running down my cheeks and I was embarrassed at this since they dripped on her shoulders. Yet she persisted and the driver did nothing and I could not stop her, did not want to, yet suddenly leaned down to pick up the three roses I had bought to give her before she left, three overly ripe roses that could not survive the night since their petals had already began falling off.
Still, I grabbed them and turned to the open door but the taxi was gone and I stood there in that same dark, dreaming that she had not left and was continuing to kiss me until the world emitted a fierce loud noise and reentered a room I could not see.
I looked for her all over but I knew she was gone and that no book in the world contained her name, let alone the name of the monarch who had watched us hang on to each other for what had seemed nights at a time.
I woke to my blurred world and could think of one thing and one thing only, that I had to immediately write her a letter telling her how those kisses had saved me for a while, and asking her please, kindly, if she would, to consider returning, even though she had a boyfriend in Prague and another in Nice, beautiful boys, all hers, but could she please once and a while come back under a portico late at night when even dead kings sleep and return to make me part of her, male me vanish into her, kiss and kiss and kiss until the blur that is my life’s permanent tenant grows annoyed and leaves for another city, leaving the two of us at night to keep at it until the time comes, and it will always come, when I must bend down to pick up her roses and she will be gone.