Just a few hours ago she competed for my attention. As I wrote and thought at my desk—as I reasoned and argued privately with Augustine, Moore, and Emerson—she was there in the room wishing to flirt only with me. Occasionally I would grant her a glance and smile to recognize her presence before returning to my task. And even though she was somewhat steeped in jealousy against the preoccupations of my mind, she understood in her own way and let me do my work.
Hours have passed and my lust for work is satisfied for now. I can turn away from the lettered keys and set aside my reference books. Where now is the woman?
I find her asleep in bed. The room is dark, but not so dark that she is hidden from me. The temperature of the air is pleasant—so much so that, even as she soundly sleeps, she has pushed the sheets and comforter down below her legs and I can see her completely. And see her I do, with loving eyes.
During the day she is animated and quick to smile. She is fond of making comic faces and acting out her stock of characters for entertainment sake. In all of this she is attractive and vivacious—her red hair and opulent figure drawing many eyes as she enjoys her day. But I have long held that she is never more beautiful than when she is sleeping. She is a pretty girl at peace who is made all the more pretty by the lack of effort. She is beautiful and I have become the voyeur of her dreaming.
It is somewhat ironic that she who desired my attention now has it so fully and without effort. I can think of nothing else, nor do I want to. Do I arouse her from her sleep? It would seem only fitting since in my rapt adoration she has aroused me. Perhaps not, for I would be rousing her more for me than her, and a selfish motive might bring diminishment to the moment.
Earlier, as I set about my work, I could feel her loving and wanting me even as I drove on, compelled by my thoughts. Does she feel me now in her sleep? Does the velvet shroud of night that holds her eyes closed also diffuse that communication? Or rather, does she know, on a level only achieved by decades of companionship, that I love and want her too—making the force of my longing and love strong enough to press through consciousness and whisper my affection into her ear as she walks through the garden of dreams?
I feel so deeply that I must at least touch her. I reach out into the dark and gently lay my hand upon hers and I swear that I can feel the faintest, almost imperceptible movement as she grips mine in return. Hand in hand, we walk together in the garden.